I never thought I would start my own business. I remember literally speaking the words out loud, “I will never start my own business.” I said this to my wife on our drive home one night. At the time I had been witnessing one particular business owner who seemed overworked and under-rewarded. He worked long weekends and his “days off” he was still running errands or fixing broken equipment. I saw first hand the many challenges of owning and operating your own business. So what changed that two years later I would be hitting the streets, slinging shots of espresso every morning, working for myself? I slowly began to see the benefits of owning your own business.
Owning a business is the hardest thing I have ever done. There are some times where I have wanted to quit and where the challenges seemed too great to overcome. But it has also been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. So as I watched this business owner work so hard every single day, I also began to see the benefits of being a business owner. I saw the opportunities that came with owning a small business. Opportunities to connect with people and have a lasting impact on their lives. I saw the value of having a source of income to call your own. Your product and brand, your hard work supplying you with income. The importance of loving what you do cannot be overstated; that is why the most successful small businesses are those run by people who are passionate about what they do. I am passionate about coffee and have been for many years. And I am passionate about the community that can be formed around a simple beverage. All of these things together began to get the entrepreneurial wheels spinning in my head.
A coffee shop would have been the ideal avenue to pursue my passion for coffee and connecting with people. But in starting a coffee shop, you accrue a large amount of debt, you may not make an income for as long as a couple of years, you have to hire employees before you even sell your first cup, and you have to find that perfect location. With a coffee cart, there is much lower overhead, because you don’t accrue as much debt, you can get paid sooner, you can go to the customers rather than having the customers come to you, and starting out you don’t have to hire and train employees. It was an easy decision. I began researching and discovered that people start coffee carts all over the country and they are even more popular in Australia and in the UK.
So I bit the bullet, bought a van, got an investor on board for the start up costs, and six months later we were on the streets selling lattes. It has been so rewarding to be a small business owner and to enter the coffee industry. I am so glad that I did and it has been a profitable experience thus far. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not rolling in the dough from this business venture, but our sales continue to grow each month and we continue to get awesome catering opportunities.
It has been a great adventure and I look forward to all that is to come from this coffee cart business.