Phew – what a cool week. Extreme speed. So, where to start – since I have been somewhat delinquent on my blog and so many things have moved forward.
First, the cool thing is our ‘rocket’ poster is ready – looks quite, quite cool. The rocket is still at the bottom of the chart – but hey – we are aiming high. Very high. The team has roughly decided what they want to their ‘reward’ and its pretty cool – lots of trips – we could be renting our own plane at some point. Maybe not so far in the future.
So, goals being set, its time to talk about how those goals will be achieved.
Financial systems are coming along and today I had first P&L report for YTD. We still had to use some ‘soft’ numbers for Sales and COG – but we will be plugging in hard numbers soon. As soon as that is done, we will have a functional global picture of the P&L. Overall, somewhat surprising, the P&L looks pretty good. I mean given the level of investment I’m directing towards growth, we are doing good.
Beyond that, I completed my 1 page investor offering page – a summary of our business plan. At the moment I’m looking for around $1MM but if I had to, would take on $2MM or $3MM. The problem with looking for only $1MM is that its too small for big guys and too big for small guys. So, although I don’t need anything more than $1MM, I may have to go for more – since $1MM is really to small to get via angles. Having said that, we are moving VERY fast on our Muse sites and Bling sites and have also made very nice improvements on PearlsOnly properties. So, it is technically possible that I could self fund this growth – but I would much rather part with a part of the company and now have to sweat cash flow and focus on growth.
So, speaking of cash flow, I injected a bit more capital into the business to reduce cash flow pressure. Its been nice to get a breather from weekly cash movements.
Banking is coming along – met with HSBC and finally managed to get into the commercial banking team – which servers global companies such as us. Although they claim to be Global, I’m still ‘organizing’ HSBC to co-ordinate the activities for now. I think another couple of weeks and we will get traction on all of this and enter the Commercial Banking stream. The HSBC Rep from Beijing came over, and with every visit, we learn more and more what we need to do now, to be setup for good banking relationships in a year from now. So, although no immediate benefit, I’m certain I will be thanking myself for the effort a year from now.
On the website of things, we decided to rebrand BlingOnly to different name. Keeping it under wraps for the moments, but it’s a better domain name (actually I bough 10). We are holding over 100 domains right now – which is quite a bit.
After strategic sessions with Gerry (really coffees and chat) – we came up with much more focus on RedStores. So, RedStores.com (and .ca, and .com.au) will become customer focused site, where as the RedStoresGroup.com will become the Corporate site – aimed at on boarding suppliers and investors. Work is under way to get this done. The overall strategy for RedStores is on the ‘back of a napkin’ on the right. Funny – the sheet on right hand side – represents over 3 years of thoughts, work, plans, and hundreds of dollars of investment. And here it is! It has been here all along – but we just filled in one small ‘missing’ link – that makes all of this really tick. Good stuff.
My Canadian RedStores entity is now formed and open, as is Delaware entity – although I’m shelving them for now, since we are still studying the tax implications of corporate strategy and looking to see whether having entities in each country has a positive tax impact or not. Good news is that they are all formed, so now just a few more financial questions to be answered – and we will be able to go full forward.
In terms of staff, we have 5 or 6 job openings right now – and I expanded our office space to hold all the people. We will be moving our photo studio and photo editing people to a small ‘studio’ designed for photography and will open up our main office space for marketing, etc. In addition the new office space we need to register an Import/Export company – so actually managing to kill two birds with one stone.
So, busy week since I have been supporting Gerry, Carsten and a bit of Alex during last week. They are fantastic crew – and already my workload is less. But as always it is with ‘new’ people, you have a curve where the load gets worse before it gets better. Its now much, much better.