Whew! After a crazy week I finally managed to get on top of things. Up at 5:45AM today, the day opened with a email conversation from one of my competitors in the pearl space about possible synergies between us. Interesting stuff and huge amount of possibilities. Will be pursuing further and may look at making in person trip to meet with Jeremy. I have a mind map of some ideas in my private section which I will post under separate heading.
The morning opened with more discussions about the future vision for RedStores, and Mr. K and I conference and realized that we may not be thinking big enough! Just the other day I was thinking that maybe $125MM is to low of a target, and he actually figured the same. But so, still in the visionary stages at this moment.
One of the key issues that we are looking at, is what space we want to play in. Right now, RedStores via PearlsOnly is in the source, manufacture, logistics, marketing, customer care, etc. space. Another words, we are stretched across the whole gamut of skill sets – and in terms of scaling, it seems quite too broad.
So, Mr. K and I have been debating as of late if we should be playing the supply space or the ecommerce, tech space – and for me, the espace is definitely the right playground.
Further to support this point, I had reviewed more ‘numbers’ with Mossy for last few years, and had a really high level view of the business. Its one of the first times I have had this kind of visibility, or perhaps should I say clarity, of how things moved. Having this view, further empowered me to look at the strategic growth plan and to be much better able to focus on the core competency of RedStores.
So, nothing is fully decided yet, but I am meeting with Mr. K on Sunday and we will go over the strategic direction – supply or espace – and from there will formulate funding strategy accordingly. I a way, its just as much work to raise $10MM as it is $2MM, so if we look at playing in the supply side, then $10MM would be the target, if we go for the espace them $2MM would be more than sufficient to give me a 2 year runway.
Looked over the cashflow in detail and planned out cashflow based on worst case for next 2 years. This gives me room now to enact the hiring plan, etc. that move into the year. Monday we will be starting a full revamp of the financial reporting systems, which will be fantastic. I never though I would get so excited about accounting, until I started to get information that begun to empower my decision making.
Had a chat with Henry Winters about Loyalty programs as it is one of the things I’m looking for the German solution. It was a great conversation and it confirmed that my approach for this was right – keep it VERY simple, paper if need be. Great words of wisdom. Excellent that I was able to reach out to a loyalty expert in less than 2 days and gain the benefit of 3 years of his ‘lessons learned’. Tres cool.
Over next few days I need to put finishing touches on my ecommerce presentation and further prepare for the trip to Germany. Plan is for a quick touch and go – 3 or 4 days – need to be back for Alex’es 9th birthday!
My team has been doing a great job – everyone has really pitched in on helping support my effort on Germany – with Ashley doing a great job on market research, designers providing fast mockups, and the tech boys! :), putting those mockups into a ‘real’ scenario. It feels like the whole team is right at the starting line of a race and they are just waiting for the gun to go off – and then they will be off to the races. I feel the flywheel gaining momentum.
On a personal note, the new custody schedule with Alex had started, and I was very happy to be able to take Alex to school this morning and pick her up. We had a lot of fun this morning, easy pace, time to watch a bit of a cartoon. Very nice. I’m hopeful that after several months of turmoil things will be balanced for a while on the personal front – and that I will be able to focus on value add things – such as RedStores. So far so good.
Almost forgot! today’s most significant event. After 5 years, I have now split up the personal finances away from the business finances. Basically, I have now become a salary man, with a monthly salary that will be paid once a month. Absolutely necessary for future growth – and it will have some impact on me – basically, its a great personal development tool to set boundaries and then live within those boundaries. So, my lifestyle will be now adjusted significantly to reflect ‘limited’ income that is now in place. I actually welcome that, and I think I will be now adopting Mr. K ‘Simple Life’ moto for myself as well. I will likely (almost 100% certain) have to say goodbye to pool villa’s and other little luxuries…but in a way, I feel much more comfortable with a small budget than an infinite one. I’m looking forward to ‘feeding the company’ – investing into it as much as possible and setting up a structure that will enable LONG TERM wealth generation not only for me but also my future shareholders. And so, here is to ‘simple life’.