Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Record Shop

When I first started this blog over a year ago, we had hopes of using it to garner support for our dream of opening a cafe in Halifax. Well, that day has finally come! As of January 9, we were accepted into the Self Employment Benefits Program run jointly by the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development and Employment NS. Essentially, we are given a living allowance, access to a series of workshops covering everything from developing a business plan to networking, as well as the guidance of a business adviser. Sounds amazing, right?! Folks seem genuinely shocked when I tell them the support we are getting to open our own business and, honestly, we do feel rather lucky. I cannot say enough good things about CEED and their incredibly supportive staff. If it wasn't for them, I'm not sure all this would be happening. It's no surprise CEED, either through the SEB or through their funding, is behind a lot of the small businesses in Halifax. Check it out.

But don't think for one sec that this whole business planning thing is easy! It's long ass hours of researching and writing and reading and researching and writing and rewriting and so on and so on. But CEED does a great job of breaking it all down into manageable parts. Much less overwhelming. One of those parts was the development of a market research survey. Last week we launched our survey and within hours had reached our limit (damn trial versions). We certainly didn't expect the overwhelming response but it was pretty frikkin' cool. So, we re-posted a second one and it's live if you care to put your two cents in. Oh, and did I forget to mention the name of said cafe?! Duh duh duh....introducing The Record Shop resto-coffee bar.

We've even gotten a little press. Last week I had contacted Hilary Beaumont at OpenFile Halifax to let her know of our survey just to expand its reach. I mean we LOVE all our friends sharing but we wanted to try to get some folks outside our own circles. Well that little twitter message resulted in a phone interview and then an awesome article and then many retweets and then new followers and well, you get the picture. It's been pretty incredible. So thank you Hilary and everyone else out there for sharing our story, giving some great feedback, and, most importantly, supporting us.

If all goes to plan, we open this summer. But stay tuned to the blog or the fb page for updates as they happen. Now how to tune out all the social media (can you say addicted!) and finish that report for Friday...