I’ve given this post a lot of thought, More Half Steps. What more do I include that will be helpful or explanatory? So here goes!
- Following the Overwhelmed Rule. When do you decide to take the next half step? When you are overwhelmed is the answer. When we decided to move out of the house it was because we were feeling overwhelmed with living in the midst of the business 24/7. When did we decide to hire Lia? When we were overwhelmed with all that had to be done to stay current with our orders. When did we purchase a second roaster? When at the end of each day our bins were empty and we were feeling overwhelmed by the crush to roast more coffee the next day. I guess I would say when you lose margin it’s time to take the next half step.
- Setting Realistic Goals. It seems obvious, but setting goals helped us realize where the next half steps were. If we set a goal to have a certain number of accounts by the end of the year we knew how many half steps it took to get us there. When we calculated what it takes to double our production, then the half steps become evident we need to take to get there. One can look at every part of the operation and make assessments based on your goals so that half steps jump out at you.
- Learning to Say No. This one seems like a strange one. But there are times when someone is asking you to take a giant step, but you know you don’t have it in you or the business to make that huge commitment, so you say no, not yet. It’s hard to do, but it has kept us in business.
- Keeping God in the middle of it all! I am called to be a pastor at LifePoint Church. What an awesome church it is. I’m privileged to be a part of such a great movement of God. He is also doing a great work with Furnace Hills Coffee Company. He has been the author of the half step. So as we have kept Him in the middle of it all, He has guided our half steps along the way over these last two years. Yes, we could have been blessed by God and been as huge as the big boys, but I think we would have lost our way. Yes we’re growing and some day may be one of the big boys, but for now we are growing at His pace and pleasure. That gives Erin, Louise & me time for both the coffee business & our service at LifePoint. We love it that way!
I guess these steps are more philosophical in nature & may be more like guiding principles than half steps, but they have served us well. As we look out the window of our roastery we see God at work and more and more people enjoying our coffee, so they are working for us.
If you were us, what might you add as a guiding principle in starting a coffee roasting business? On Friday I’m going to share the delight we enjoy interacting with our customers. I think you’ll like that post. See you soon!