I’ve been wanting to start my own business and be my own boss for a while now. Partially, because I don’t feel like employers see my potential and the idea of a future in office cublivion makes me die inside.
But, I’ve had to do some serious introspection on what I’d be good at. I was thinking about starting my own research consulting business. I’m a research nerd and I love data. Studying statistics and research methodology has been such an eye opener. I now question every data source I see and unless there is peer-reviewed research to back up something, I know to be leery of it. And I like doing that sort of stuff. But with research consulting, I always feel like there is someone better than I am out there. Not that I need to be the best at something, but I worry that I might flake.
However, business models are something I find super interesting — when I worked for construction contractor I learned a lot about business and how to price jobs to ensure everyone gets paid, materials are covered, schedules are accounted for, and the business makes a profit.
I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
So, over the last two days (kind of inspired by The Cat Named Sage), I’ve been researching cat cafes.
The first one in Florida is supposed to open up soon in Orlando.
Why not here?
There’s a sizable population from state workers and college students at FSU. We have a decent population from two medical facilities and we are right off the interstate. I mean, in a smaller town, I don’t think it will work. A lot of the people here rent, especially students… or they live in the dorms. This would be a good place for them to come and get their feline fix and do some studying.
Then it’s location — what are the needs. The location has to fit the needs. Will the land lord allow animals? Then there is permitting and fees. Obviously there are going to be some construction costs — but, I can always ask my dad who is a whiz at that sort of thing; the food prep area MUST be separate from the cat area. There needs to be a cat “back room” where their litter boxes are and kennels.
Hours need to be set — some places do food all day, but only allow certain number of people into the cat area by appointment or during certain times of the day. Then adoptions happen after hours because they can be stressful on the cats.
What kinds of foods are going to be served — just coffee or bakery items? A lot of those things can be made at home and brought. Maybe fruit? Other beverages?
Then it comes to making partnerships with local animal shelters. The success of the cat cafe is not only measured in how well your business is doing financially, but how many cats are being adopted. Crumbs & Whiskers have successfully helped over 250 cats get adopted.
I like these kinds of thought exercises… because it all seems like an awesome idea, but there is the elephant in the room — money.
Some places I read about did crowd funding, but not very successfully and had to pull out of their personal savings.
How would the budget work?
There’s a lot that goes into starting a business. Right now it kind of seems like a pipe dream. But it’s a fun thought exercise.