Before I made the final decision to expand from 6 bays to 10, I asked myself a series of questions: Why expand? How will the expansion affect my current business? How much of an increase in car counts do we need in order to support the expansion? How much of an increase in revenue do we need to support the new mortgage? How will this affect the future of the property? Will the population in my area justify the expansion? Who is my competition? What legal steps do I need to take? Are there demographic trends in my area that would be a benefit or hindrance to the project? What do I need to learn in order to make this work?
As I mentioned in previous blog entries, you cannot take on a project of this size by yourself. There are just too many variables and issues along the way. Plus, I needed to also pay attention to my existing business. I give a lot of credit to people like Donald Trump and Bill Gates who have the talent and genius to organize large projects. But their strength is in HOW they organize the project, not in actually WORKING the project. You will never see Donald Trump working a crane or bulldozer, nor will you ever see Bill Gates assembling a hard drive. Their strength is in their vision and ability to bring a project from concept to reality.
Since I don’t have the financial resources of people like Bill Gates, I needed to organize the project, create a plan and outline a detailed list with goals of items that needed to be done. After the initial concept and business model was created, I created a goal sheet of all the things that needed to be accomplished. This included items such as meetings with contractors, a site engineer, an architect, my bank loan officer, a business consultant and my lawyer. My plan had to make legal sense and financial sense.
The next step after I picked my professional team was to create a goal sheet and timeline that I could refer to on a weekly basis to get periodic updates from my team. In this way I could track their progress and make adjustments. This team would be needed to get all the town approvals and permits. This process took almost 2 years.
While all this is happening, the actual business model, building design and details of the new facility had to be developed and refined. My next blog entry will outline the next steps.