Look closely under my desk, there's my little dog.
I continue to be excited about what is happening with the group that gathered #under the maple, for recently their focus has taken an abrupt turn. It's fascinating how events can fall into place when people without an agenda instead of playing the "Ain't it awful game," can pool their resources and find a solution."
The conversation continues:
“Sally, what’s wrong?”
“Twinkie and Shal, I’m happy for you. I really am… But inside, my heart is hurting so I can hardly breathe.”
“What is it?”
‘I’m afraid I will have to sell my business.”
“What?” I thought you were doing well.”
“I thought I was doing all right. You know Hank got laid off during the pandemic, and they didn’t hire him back. He’s so well educated it’s hard to find an equivalent job. He’s lost his will. I thought the restaurant would support us, but we’re carrying a large mortgage on it, and a few years ago I took out a second mortgage. We have a balloon payment due, and not the funds to pay it. I think I will have to sell the building.”
“But then you will have no business,” says Shal.
“You could go bankrupt,” Harvey says.
“Yes, but that would destroy our credit for the next seven years. I don’t think I could run the business without credit. I know I sounded cavalier about my cooking, and commissioning a chandelier and all that. I wasn’t paying attention. I thought the restaurant was pretty much running itself. But it appears that when you take your eye off an endeavor it can run amuck. And my best cook moved across country. He got a better job. That was the final blow. And the rest aren’t Italian cooks.”
“You could train them.”
“Oh Sally, how can we help?”
“By being here, I guess. A soft place to fall as you have said. I hate to talk about money, but that’s what’s happening. I’m so embarrassed.”
“These things happen,” sat Ollie. “Do you have any equity in the building?”
“Yes, the equity would pay off the bills. Real Estate has increased in value, thank God. It’s a good time to sell.”
“But you are selling your business…”
“I know. It’s killing me.”
“What about having a food truck?” says Simad. “They are really popular in Portland.”
“Yeah, I know, but I see them sitting idle here in town, and I pride myself in serving fresh food.
I can’t see myself in a food truck. I believe my customers would lose faith in me. I’ve lost faith in me.”
“Okay, Sally, we have six brains here. What can we do?”
“Just listen to me.”
“We’ve doing that,” says Ollie. “Do you mind if I ask how much would be left over after you’ve sold the building and paid off the bills?”
“Around $200,000, I figure. Not enough to get another building or a business started.”
“Wait a minute. Let’s consider some alternatives. You’re too good a cook to just stop.”
“Maybe a catering business,” says Harvey.
“That might work if I could get my kitchen certified for selling out of it.”
“You know,” said Twinkie,” I’ve looked into tiny Houses. What if you had a commercial kitchen in one. I think you can get one or build one for around $100,000.”
“Where would I put it?”
“On my property!” Harvey yells. ”I have an acre, and that means I’m qualified for a second dwelling. Put it in Liz’s garden. What better honor than to serve a friend. I think I could get an easement to it through the neighbor’s field behind my house. I brought a Bob Cat tractor through there once. They seem to be generous folks.”
“This would need to zones for commercial,” said Shal.
“I’m grateful for it. Harvey would you really let me place a Tiny restaurant on your property?”
“Hell, I’ll build it for you.”
“I’ll build it with you,” says Shal. “I’d even quit my job for a piece of this action. This is a good business venture. They have offered me a severance package anyway, and I was thinking of dropping down to half time for the baby. This could be such fun.”
“But, we would have to stay within budget guys.”
“What say we buy stock in your company?” Harvey suggests.
“I’m not taking any of your money,” says Sally.
“We’ll do grunt equity for a percentage of your company,” says Shal.
“You take 60%. We’ll divide up 40%. How does that sound? When the business takes off, we’ll take dividends. Or we could take a salary and be an employee-owned business.
“What grunt can I offer?” asks Twinkie.
“I would hire you as a waitress,” says Sally.
“I would love that. You pay me minimum wage and give me a percentage of the company and we’re on.”
“To be the majority shareholder, I would go with 51%,” says Sally. “That way, you guys could divide up even more. And we need to form an S-Corporation to avoid double taxation for everyone.
“Okay,” says Ollie, “you have Harvey and Shal as builders, Twink as waitress, Sally as cook. I can offer my networking system? I used to be a Real Estate Agent. I know a friendly Mortgage broker, and although I do not have a license, you can sell as owner, I will guide you and get a Real estate lawyer to write the contract. Will that earn me a spot?”
“Definitely.” Says Sally. “My head it spinning. Do you think we can work together as a team?”
“If we can’t, we haven’t earned our stripes as co-conspirators in life,” says Ollie. “We’re a Mastermind group aren’t we?”
“It works if you work it,” says Shal.
To be continued…