Author Topic: Lifestyle  (Read 1722 times)

Offline phillamb168

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Lifestyle
« on: October 14, 2013, 02:37:03 AM »
As mentioned in my other post, the brewery/pub project is picking back up again. The whole process is exciting, as I've been sort of pushing myself into the Paris food and beer scene, I've made a lot of connections and met lots of cool people, and I feel comfortable saying, despite not having yet done a POC/Market test, that a brewpub would work pretty darn well, even if it's in the suburbs.

I am not terribly concerned about income, as the current pub is packed every single weekend and they don't even serve good food, and I'm not terribly concerned about raising money because with a combination of kickstarter, our own funds, and friends helping out, I know we can afford the price he's asking.

My real concern is being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, one which allows me to be with my kids and wife as much as possible. I'll give you an example of the way it is right now: I am less than enthused with my current job, as I have ~3 hours of commute every day, and my coworkers are annoying and the work is boring. But, the pay is great, and I have my weekends to do whatever I want with the wife & kids, plus evenings can be pretty calm. Pretty standard 8-7 (like 9-5 but with crappy commute) living, really. I make enough to allow my wife to not have to have a job so she can take care of the kids at home, and while we don't have a Mercedes, we have a couple nice cars and I really love our moderately-priced house.

The thing that allows us to live like this is the fact that I am a contract worker with my company based in the US. If I was a salaried employee, I'd be lucky to be making 35,000 a year, and that is _not_ enough to continue our lifestyle. So if we do the pub thing, I'd be taking on part-time contract work to make ends meet, getting up a little earlier and going to bed a little earlier to fit in the hours. I've done it before and it's worked out alright. But my concern is, with the pub, how do I balance work and life? The current owners have made the pub their life, and I don't want to do that. I want to hire good talent and farm out whatever I can, but I also want to have 'creative control' over the enterprise as a whole.

Am I just dreaming, is this even possible? I am willing to accept some sleepless nights and a few days of 'when will this day end,' but I DO NOT want that to be my day-to-day. I want to be able to have two consecutive days off and I want to not have to be in the pub every night until close. I figure this will be much easier to do as I live literally next door to the place, but, oof. So many questions...

How do you guys do it, without giving up on family?
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Lifestyle
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2013, 05:05:10 AM »
Only advice I can give you is, the first couple years your are going to have to put your business FIRST if you want it to succeed. A business like this is like a newborn, maybe worse. It sucks up all your time, energy, passion and resources. luckily for me I have a VERY supportive wife.

I just now, after 3 years, managed to get my weekends back. And then it's just every other one. I have employees now which allows me to have much more freetime. But they are expensive and I'm a few thousand dollars behind in my own pay because they come first. But they allow me to breath, go in late if needed and ship beer when I'm sick or on vacation.

As a for instance: my other passion is back packing. In the last 3 years I've gone exactly 3 times. One of those was Friday night with kids. I'm starting to see light in tunnel again where I can start planning trips every 4 - 6 weeks again. But if I hadn't taken the business serious and dedicated a huge portion of my life to it and put it first on many occasions in front of my family it would not have succeeded to this point. Thems the hard facts. You can't just "kinda" do it and make it succeed.
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Lifestyle
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2013, 05:11:01 AM »
Personally, I believe that small businesses are only as good as the amount of time the owner of said business obsesses over it.  Hands off owners tend to get taken advantage of or have some sort of staffing issues beyond the normal drama.  That being said, there is a very popular cafe that i frequent whose owner does exactly what you want to do, and does it fairly well.  He works like 10-5 and takes his kids to work every day and does all the beer buying.  I believe the only reason he has been able to do so well is because the GM of the cafe has his complete trust and authority behind her.  She does everything like shes the owner, and he does not question it.  The problem with this kind of management setup is that its gonna cost you a good bit of cash, because now you are paying someone to run the business in its entirety that isnt going to share the potential profits of the fruits of their labor.  This leads to a rather sizeable weekly salary. 

In short, it can definitely be done, just make sure you find a quality person you are paying enough to stay honest.  Id also personally plan to be in the pub later every friday night(a saturday now and then) assuming business is booming on these nights. I should also point out this the kind of working relationship stated in my example above is not earned overnight.
Just my 2 rambling cents.
 
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Lifestyle
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 05:15:23 AM »
Stupid Tapatalk update won't let me update my post without crashing app. I hate Tapatalk.

I just want to say that I have managed to take a week or two of vacation every year, so it's not total tie down. But the last vacation I took I ended up getting sick when got home so I was away from brewery for 2 weeks and it almost broke the company because we got so far behind. Like I said, I have employees now so not as big of an issue but they still need direction so it's not like I can be gone for long.
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Offline VinS

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Re: Lifestyle
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2013, 05:49:52 AM »
Like the others said it depends on what you make your prioerties. You can start buy just making a better beer selection, than improving food, than bring brewing in. Take baby steps . If you try everything at once you'll make it harder see your family. Good luck
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Lifestyle
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2013, 07:29:43 AM »
Major said above that employees are expensive.  I don't agree.  Employees are there to make you money and to free you up for more important things.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: Lifestyle
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2013, 07:40:17 AM »
Two or three things to add - first, I'm not looking to make a ton of money of course, I am trying to work it out so that my primary income is from my part-time web contract work. That figures into number 2, which is hiring: employees are _incredibly_ expensive here - payroll taxes for a full-time worker are typically 150% of what you pay said employee. No, that's not a typo. For the most part you'll pay your worker X and then you'll pay 2X to the state. There are certain dispensations available if you're a new business and you're in an area without many other options, and I fall under both categories, so that'll help. But it's certainly not 30% like it is in the states. That being said, however, you don't pay people super great either - 2000 / month takehome is considered really good pay for the restaurant biz here.

Third thing, I guess pertaining to lifestyle, my only fear is that I'll turn into some sort of cave-dwelling gollum creature who never ever leaves the bar and I will never see my kids. But of course that's not very realistic, as most places around here don't open until, earliest, 11am for lunch. I suppose I'd be willing to give up on 'calm evenings' M-F if it meant I'd be able to hang out with the kids in the mornings.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Lifestyle
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2013, 07:53:25 AM »
Major said above that employees are expensive.  I don't agree.  Employees are there to make you money and to free you up for more important things.

This is true, all I'm saying is that for a young company struggling to get by the first few years employees add serious financial bourdons. They are like rent. You can't skip paying them. You can skip paying yourself. My brewery could not be in existence today without two key employees. One is the sales guy, the other is my assistant brewer. We really need an office manager but just can't afford another salary yet.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Lifestyle
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2013, 08:53:42 PM »
I would say if you want to take it seriously you will need to devote considerable amount of time to it. If you want to do it part time, forget about brewing for your pub.

If this is establish business you might be fine operating it part time. If you plan to build new business from ground up you need full time involvement.

Just my own experience of building up the business.
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Offline phunhog

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Re: Lifestyle
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2013, 06:30:09 PM »
You bring up a really great point about the "lifestyle" change of owning a brewery.  In fact that is the biggest reason why I have put my plans on hold.  How much time, that I will NEVER get back, am I willing to put into it. Right now with a young family and a great career....the time is not right. However at some point nearing retirement and with the kids in college it will be the time. You see this all the time in the wine industry.

Offline euge

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Re: Lifestyle
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2014, 11:06:27 PM »
I quit a good job recently, vested, pension, health, one week vac every two months, and opportunity to advance even further but I am done due to the commute. Could be as much as 3 hours a day in nasty traffic on I35.

Now I make more money as a part-time as needed without benefits. Ask your employer for flexibility. Phil if you become a success brewing/bistro-wise shed them.

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Offline eriktheipaman

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Re: Lifestyle
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2014, 10:28:05 AM »
Two or three things to add - first, I'm not looking to make a ton of money of course, I am trying to work it out so that my primary income is from my part-time web contract work. That figures into number 2, which is hiring: employees are _incredibly_ expensive here - payroll taxes for a full-time worker are typically 150% of what you pay said employee. No, that's not a typo. For the most part you'll pay your worker X and then you'll pay 2X to the state. There are certain dispensations available if you're a new business and you're in an area without many other options, and I fall under both categories, so that'll help. But it's certainly not 30% like it is in the states. That being said, however, you don't pay people super great either - 2000 / month takehome is considered really good pay for the restaurant biz here.

Third thing, I guess pertaining to lifestyle, my only fear is that I'll turn into some sort of cave-dwelling gollum creature who never ever leaves the bar and I will never see my kids. But of course that's not very realistic, as most places around here don't open until, earliest, 11am for lunch. I suppose I'd be willing to give up on 'calm evenings' M-F if it meant I'd be able to hang out with the kids in the mornings.

A restaurant may open at 11am but you will have people there much earlier doing prep work and accepting deliveries.