Setting yourself up for the next challenge
Extracting ourselves from the second shop is a difficult but important step. When we first launched Artisan Putney, we pretty much lived there day and night working the coffee machine and the shop floor, getting to know our customers and in many ways living their coffee shop dream. While we enjoyed this early part of running Artisan, we found it to be nonstop and discovered it was very hard work.
As many of you know, the years slipped past us and after a lot of work we had systemised Artisan Putney and we could begin to step away. This then meant we turned to the next challenge of opening the second shop, where we really were going to test out the strength of our hard work in setting up the first shop to function without us. We started the second one much like the first, by being on the shop floor all the time, getting to know our customers and the local businesses.
Artisan Stamford Brook has now been open for over a year and half and we have had a lot of fun, however recently we find ourselves going through the same process we went through with Artisan Putney – slowly handing over the shop to the team and letting them take charge. We think that extracting yourselves from any business is a very hard skill and it takes time and a lot of thought. The amount of time we have heard owners say ‘I can’t leave the shop because they (their team) will never do as good a job as I can’ is ridiculous. To be honest, we believe that if you think in this way, you will never be able to really step away from your business in order to grow and develop it.
We know that while we were managing Artisan and running the shop we would be on the floor all day and then get home and do things like payroll, accounting, marketing etc. So in actual fact, when you employ an expert to be your shop manager – they only have to focus on being the shop manager. If you ask us, they shouldn’t do as a good a job as you – they should do an even better job than you! It is up to you to provide them with the skills, knowledge and ownership in order for them to do this on your behalf. If you can get this transfer right, then you will give yourself time to actually work on your business and start planning for the next challenge. This is exactly where Artisan is now – on the brink of our next big challenge!