(I had this post ready a week ago but it didn’t post – so here it is now)
Last week was busy number crunching, and at the end I ended up having to make some hard decisions about how we will execute RedStores.com The plan was to finance myself until funding came on board.
As life plays out, funding didn’t happen, and much of that has to do with the things going on in my personal life and the demands that those things put on me. Alex moving to Canada, was something that was not planned. Ensuing court battles, changes of schedules sapped away at my available time and my available energy.
And so, in the end, I had to make a call to grow RedStores.com organically (group up) vs via funding. Organically also means slower growth, making money at all stages, etc. My letter to my staff I think gives a clear picture of what I had to do.
In some ways, its comes as a big relief. It feels like a whole set of pressure just evaporated – and I’m actually excited to get on with leading the growth of RedStores.com hands on – the way I did built PearlsOnly.
And, without further ado, here is the letter:
I wanted to let you know about some recent decisions I had to make and the changes that are coming as a result.
As you know, RedStores was setup a separate company. We did very good with the company, and built a beautiful site and an excellent system to manage and work that site. Unfortunately, to develop the site further and move it to a money making site, requires more money. I had been hopeful that for where RedStores.com we would be able to bring in funding from investors and others to help with the growth of this company.
The reality turned out different, and for a number of reason (a lot of them personal and related to Alex relocating to Canada, and my own personal energy level) I haven’t been able to achieve that.
Because of that, RedStores.com created a big pressure on us all, with the need to pay RedStores salaries and rent, and at the same time not bringing in any money.
So, although it is possible for me to continue with RedStores.com for another 12 months, it creates pressure on our cash flow for PearlsOnly and makes things difficult for running PearlsOnly well.
And, although it would be still possible to raise more money for RedStores in the next month, the other issue that has not been solved is that a couple of our critical management systems in the company need my full attention and energy. In particular, the financial accounting system and a system to track our tasks and projects.
After carefully evaluating our options, I had to make the decision to grow RedStores.com slower, one step a time, and with growth fuel by growth of sales from RedStores.com not investment. (the same way PearlsOnly got built)
To this effect:
1. The office on the 5th floor will be shut down. We are looking to rent it out to other people, but if we cannot we will simply let go of the office.
2. Nina will move up to Customer Care position for the Christmas months.
3. Product Data entry specialists (2) have unfortunately been let go
4. Gerry will no longer be employed full time by RedStores. I expect that we will remain with RedStores project thought as either an advisor or consultant, although that is not decided yet.
5. Shawn will move to PearlsOnly on full time basis – and will help us get new PMX build, and also help us get ‘quick sales’ from RedStores.com by helping us build Amazon feeds, and basically continue to ensure that we are still moving forward with RedStores.com in terms of development.
In terms of PearlsOnly, our biggest projects that will take overriding priority to any other projects will be: accounting system. The reason being is that some of the decisions that I had made with regards to RedStores.com where based on estimates and not on real data. Basically, without an accounting system, we can easily make bad decisions and not know about it till much later. Some of those ‘bad’ decisions I did make. And so, to ensure that we make GOOD decisions J, we must complete the accounting system.
With this move, there will be quite a few office changes. For one, I’m happy to be moving to 10th floor and to see your smiling face more frequently. Some of you will be moving to different places. Eileen is doing a great job co-ordinate this effort and will let you all know her office plans.
What I am hoping to achieve with these changes, is to ensure that our main company, PearlsOnly is strong, stable.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.