Sunday, July 18, 2004

Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

I had previously mentioned that I am looking for a tried and true process for evaluating an opportunity that has recently come my way.
Well here is the opportunity:
Mid last week, my good friend Adam, asked me to run his family's business with him. He has worked part-time in the business for years. I would have a 50% split in the ownership. The business is a 50 year old wholesaler to small mom and pop convienence stores in the central PA area. The company only handles dry goods (i.e. They do not sell beverages of any kind). The mom and pop niche is significant since they cannot meet the minimums of larger wholesalers.
A little bit about the business (well as much as I know now):
Financials:
-Gross revenues are around $15 million-Margins are very slim resulting in relatively low profitability aproximately $100,000-About $500,000 are currently being paid to the owners (Due to the owners wanting to milk the business for all it is worth before they sell it)-There is a division of the business that services all the Slush Puppy machines in 17 counties in PA. This division makes up 15% of the gross revenues.
Organizational:
-There are 2 owners (married)-30 employees (mostly delivery people and service techs)-1 Operations manager (handles the warehouse and helps with back office paperwork)-3 Sales people that handle specific regions
I have done much thinking about the company and have a laundry list of ideas from improving the IT infrastructure (currently everything is paper intensive), reevaluate the trucking routes, going to a full service wholesaler (selling cold beverages). etc.
The biggest question I will have to answer will be whether I can handle owning a company at the age of 21 given that I will only have had a formal business education and limited management experience.
I will be meeting later in the week to go over actual documentation and financials. I am sure I will have more thoughts about it later this week.

Sunday, July 4, 2004

On Independence Day...

A couple of days ago I had the opportunity to attend a graduation ceremony of sorts. There was no Pomp and Circumstance, no procession, no academic regalia. There were some very happy recent immigrants gathered with family and friends around a simple pot luck dinner. The dinner celebrated something that most of us take for granted -- our citizenship in the United States of America. The faces and readings of the new citizens struck me as so thoughtful, so introspective that it was hard for me to contain my enthusiasm for them. The 11 people that gained their citizenship that day represented every inhabited continent. Their stories of why they wished and dreamed for US citizenship were as diverse as the color of their skin. Regardless of these superficial differences they banned together bridging gaps in language and culture to help each other reach their goal.
Sure there are problems with this country, what country doesn't have problems? On this Independence Day I am challenged to renew my fervor and zeal as a member of this great nation.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Odyssey of the Mind. Welcome.

Welcome to my new weblog!
Anyone that knows me knows that I am a guru with clasical languages and greek mythology. Hence I have named this weblog after the great epic written by Homer: The Odyssey. The Odyssey chronicles the long journey of Odysseus, a Greek warrior, back home to Ithaka from the battle of Troy.
Like Homer, I am going to use this weblog to chronicle my thoughts goals, and aspirations. I love to think about everything from business, strategy, entrepreneurship, technolgy, golf, martal arts, mythology and travel are all fair game for discussion!
Enjoy!