Half Steps:

Last week I mentioned that I would share our half steps that have brought us success in the coffee roasting business. These can probably be used in any business someone is starting.

Hopefully these half steps will be informative to you.

  1. Reading about how to start a business. Before we go into full swing with our business I read several books that helped me set the tone for how we would progress in the coffee roasting business. Two stand out as being particulary helpful.
    1. Rework was the first book I read. Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson are the guys that started 37 signals. Things like not borrowing money. Don’t quit your day job. Working at it when you can. Those were all half steps I learned from those guys.
    2. eMyth Revisited was another book I read in the early days. I love the premise the author, Michael Gerber, in that we should start our businesses as if we are going to franchise them. Some of the ideas in this book have helped me organize our business from the start.
  2. I kept (Am Keeping) My Day Job. We haven’t bet the farm on the business. We keep our day time jobs and use resources and spare time for the business. It has probably taken longer to build Furnace Hills Coffee Company, but it’s been worth the balance we have created in our lives & schedules.
  3. We didn’t borrow funds. That kind of goes with #2. We have spent funds we have and that means we have had to go slower, but we don’t owe anyone anything but ourselves. And we are keeping track of what we have borrowed from ourselves so we can pay ourselves back eventually.
  4. We started with the roasters we could afford and that all of us could use. Below you’ll see a picture of the roasters we started the company with. Now others may laugh, but it was what we could afford and what Erin could use. In fact she got quite upset when we stopped using them. By-the-way our Bolivian Superior never tasted better than when it was roasted with these small home roasters. Also, when they broke we didn’t try to get them fixed under warranty. We wanted to maintain our integrity. We were using them more in a day than a home roaster would use them in six months. They were cheap enough we’d just purchase another one.
  5. We started the business in our home. We started in our kitchen, then moved to the dining room then to the lower level of our town home. Then when we felt we had reached our limit we looked into renting something. God was good to us. We found something right on Main Street in down town Westminster. We took our time looking and found just the right spot.

Erin with one of her Nesco Home Roasters!

Check out our website and all the coffees Erin roasts with larger roasters now! On Wednesday I’ll finish out our half steps. That’s this Roaster’s View:


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2 responses to “Half Steps:

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