I found a location or so I thought!
I found a location in Woodlawn and thought by it being near one of the social security office it would be a good place. So i talk to my business advisor and he suggested that i meet with a few people. He said i should meet with this equipment company because they can help me map out a floor plans. He also suggested i meet with a contractor to get a estimate of what work will need to be done and the cost. I also had to speak with the property manager of the location to get more information.
So i reaches out all of them. I reached out to the property manager first. I asked her the measurements of the building. I asked her about the heating and air system. I asked about several other things. She had no answer. She keep saying “well i don’t know and the last person who the maintained property who left two years ago and knew all of these things off the top of his head. The information in his head does nothing for me at all. After asking her multiple questions and she not really having answers i started being skeptical. I felt like she just wanted to get it rented by any means.
When i went the equipment company to price stuff and get a layout i had better results. The guy that worked there gave me a list of questions that would better help him to understand my needs. When i responded back to he answers i was able to get a layout of the equipment. He offered to come out and meet me at the property so we could walk through and make changes to the equipment list that he has provided.That was very helpful because I had no idea what i needed. I am a visual person so seeing it laid out was helpful.
Then I started looking for contractors that could come out an give me an estimate of how much the work would be. I found one through the internet. The company was sell established and worked on both big and small commercial jobs. I spoke with the general contractor of the company and we talk discuss what i am looking for. He tells me i need an Architect to come out and make plans and all this other stuff. As he is explaining i became confused. So when we end the call he stated he would pull some information and get back to me. The next thing i know i am getting an invoice for 200,000. He is asking me how would i like to pay the 10% deposit and would i be using my own financing or did i want to go through them. I thought to myself only a crazy person would pay someone $2,000 to start work on a place they have never seen. How can you give me a quote without knowing what the space looks like or what work needs to be done. I informed the man that i do not have a finalized space so i would not be paying the deposit. Which he knew prior to sending me an invoice. I honestly feel as though they were going try take advantage of my lack of knowledge. I may not be knowledgeable about starting a business but i am smart enough to know not to get into any agreement without a lawyer looking over the contract. The second contractor i meet was through my sister. This was a small company. They meet me at the space and we walk through and talked. The contractor had the same experience with the property manager as I did. When he asked her questions she had no answer. Once she left and we were outside the contractor and i talked. The location was not good. The property wasn’t up to date and would need a little more work then i was willing to put in. In the Woodlawn area there really isn’t a lot of commercial real estate with good foot traffic.
So after these conversations i took a step back to reevaluate what I wanted. I may need call i change the location and even my idea of having this cute coffee shop.
As of today I still haven’t decided what I want to do. I am doing research on different areas and different types of coffee shop.
Stay tuned I promise I going see this through!