Developing the plan

planning image 2Now that I had made the decision to open a second record store in Davis, California, I needed to plan exactly what I had to do. This step included everything I had to accomplish in order to achieve my goal. First, I put together a team of people who would help me. Then we went into ‘brainstorming’ mode and made a list of everything we could think of that had anything to do with opening the store. We stayed at it until everyone ran out of suggestions. From that list, I identified the ‘critical factors’ associated with opening the store. Critical factor are those things that must absolutely work for the plan to come together and function. They are the things that have to happen first because the rest of the things you do depend on them being in place. I found only two critical factors. But they were big ones.

First, I had to find the right location, and second, I needed to raise some money. I believed that everything else in the plan was within my bandwidth such as setting up the store, picking the right inventory, finding employees, and managing the store.

However, implementing the plan was dependent on addressing the critical factors sooner rather than later. I tackled the money issue first. I couldn’t really rent a space if I didn’t have the money to pay for it. I ended up getting a bank loan and credit from my suppliers. The loan would give me an operating cushion, and the credit would allow me to buy inventory for the store before having to pay for it.

Once I had the financing figured out, I started looking for a location. But before I actually signed a lease, I needed to make sure that my plan had realistic deadlines. The last thing I wanted was to be paying for a space that wasn’t producing any revenue. After resolving these critical factors, the rest of the projects and tasks included in the plan fell into place quite nicely.

My next blog will show you how I implemented the plan for the new store.

–Barney Cohen

President, Business 360 Northwest


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