With one month to go, we are working hard making all the final preparations for the grand opening. The building is complete and most of the equipment has been installed. Each day starts with a review of our plan list to insure every task will be accomplished before opening day. Ten months of construction and years of planning are nearing the end.
We had a team meeting last week, after hours, to review the workflow process and the elements of the expansion. Adding four bays and another building will bring challenges and we expect a bumpy road in the beginning. Even with all the planning, things will go wrong. But, we are convinced that the additional bays, increased parking lot size and the new business model will allow us to increase efficiency and improve productivity. Customers will also benefit as we promote our while-you-wait express service. Time will perfect the process.
There will be other challenges as well. Additional employees, increased overhead and a big monthly mortgage payment, just to name a few. I have run the numbers countless times and know exactly what we need in terms of sales, car counts and income to support the new business. At the present rate of growth it will takes us a few years to realize any real profit.
The benefits of the expansion far outweigh the risks of the expansion. Our facility and property had many issues that would eventually lead to problems down the road. Our parking area was too small, our facility size would not support future growth, and the building that was demolished was in state of disrepair and hurt the equity value of the property. The improvements made to the property and the addition of a new building, increase the value of the property substantially, even in this economic climate. Plus, the additional 4 bays will give us the opportunity to accelerate our growth rate.
Our opening date is April 25th. It will be filled with events, food, prizes, music, a live remote from a local radio stations and tours of the new facility. Invitations will be sent to our customers along with invitations to local public officials. We hire a marketing agent to handle the advertising, promotion and press releases.
To tell you the truth, at this point, I’ll feel a lot better when those bays are in operation. All the years of planning on paper is one thing, but the real test will be when those first cars start rolling into the bays. I can’t wait for sweet sound of an air gun, the compressor and the clanking of wrenches.