Planning, Building and Everything in between

I cannot believe how quickly time is passing and although progress is being made, I feel we are still so so far from the end result of opening up a storefront. We are hoping to open in 6 weeks which sounds like a long time to get a shop built but there is much to do. Here are a couple photos of how our shop currently looks like... it's bare, empty and not very pretty.

Our shop will have 3 levels, yes 3 levels however it's more like a loft style shop rather than 3 proper levels. It's very unique and we fell in love with it the first time we saw the place.

A lot of time has been spent on the design and planning to ensure that we get everything right, remember that rule carpenters use "Measure twice, cut once"? It's a good rule to stick by if you don't want to make costly mistakes. We have been lucky enough to find an interior shopfitter designer and consultant to project manage our shop fitout. We actually got his contact through a few friends that recommended him and this is where we've found that our networking skills come in very handy. Most of the people we are currently working with on our project, such as Accountants, Interior Designers, Shopfitters have all come through word-of-mouth referrals from people we know running their own businesses, friends or colleagues. I have found that working with trusted referrals will give you the confidence you need that they will do the best job possible for you and also helps to develop a strong working relationship. It's a bit risky when you pick a name out of the YellowPages and hoping for the best - if you don't do your homework and trust the first person you come across they could potentially screw you over or even worsre waste your time!

So if you're looking to open up a shop one day, it's a good idea to start taking note when you meet people if you could possibly acquire their services in future. And it works both ways, you should also provide your details to them and let them know about your business or future business. I never leave the house without my business cards because more often than not, it's an opportunity for me to advertise my business. You'll find that a lot of people will find your business venture interesting and want to know more about it - if you are passionate about it enough! If you don't sell your business, then who will?

Mr.Cupcake is still amazed at how many orders and referrals I get simply through the means of the Internet as well. My (slight) addiction to Facebook, Twitter and Blogs is another way I advertise my business. And yes, there is a right and wrong way to use those means to advertise your business. Spamming does NOT work. But creating energy from informing people of what you're up to from time to time will help keep your business in their mind so when there is an opportunity for them to use your products or services, they will instantly remember you. I am no marketing expert but that's how it works for me anyhow.

A 60th Birthday Cupcake Tower on a cruise boat by the Yarra.
Flavours are Vanilla Vanilla and Chocolate Mint.

I also watched Office Space last night after not watching it for years and what an eye opener that between the fits of laughter. I could remember going to work with lack of motivation, not really enjoying staring at the computer all day and daydreaming. What would you do if you had a million dollars? If I had a million dollars (which isn't all the much to live off these days) I would still want to run my cupcake business. Also ask yourself this... if you got laid off today, what would you do? I would highly recommend you all to take a break and watch this clip. I got teary watching it, because it is basically my story.

My younger brother got laid off a week ago and he's made a brave move and decided that he'll take part of our venture and be one of the shareholders of our Company. He's developed a passion for coffee over the years and will become Cupcake Central's dedicated Barista and I have faith that he will be an awesome Barista. As we're focusing on high quality of everything that is offered in our shop - our coffee will also need the care, knowledge, skill and dedication just like our cupcakes.

I also took a look at my blog followers today and I'm up to 49 followers (not sure how many follow via other RSS feeds too) but I'm so stunned that I have so many blog readers out there! A very warm welcome to my new blog readers, hopefully you'll find my upcoming posts interesting and useful.

Hopefully I can post up some photos of the progress of our shop soon, our designers have come up with something amazing, fresh and new to represent what our business will represent. There will be no pink frills, shabby chic, grandma cupcake shop here. It'll be a shop that even the guys will want to pop into to get their cupcake fix.
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