I feel like I’m finally recovering from an insanely busy PJP weekend…and it is 10:01 on Tuesday night. On Saturday, we supplied 300 tarts for a wedding AND 177 nine-inch pies for the Rock Bridge Elementary Chicken BBQ. And as you might have seen on Facebook, Jeanne and I made 56 cherry pies before the sun even rose over Columbia on Saturday morning.
After we delivered the last of the pies to Rock Bridge Elementary, Team PJP went to lunch together and over margaritas, chips, and salsa, Behind-The-Scenes-Tech Guru Jason commented that we should endeavor to make every weekend as busy as that particular day. Specifically, we should work for the opportunity to fill exceptionally large orders, like 177 pies for one account, on a weekly basis.
As we pass the six-month mark of PJP V. 2.0, I’ve spent a lot of time over the past week thinking about our growth. How do we maintain a fully stocked retail location, yet pursue the lucrative large accounts that expose our product to a mass market? In short, how do we grow, yet maintain our product…and our sanity? In short, how exactly does one achieve World Pie Domination?
I found myself pondering all these thoughts late on Sunday night and I actually decided to go down the Google rabbit hole because short of going to lay on Stan Kroenke’s couch and asking him to impart all his wisdom upon me, I wasn’t sure who to seek out with all the thoughts on my mind. (Plus, Silent Stan would probably just suggest charging triple net rent and buying a sports team in my spare time.) And look, here is the only sound advice in this blog post tonight…do not Google “how to grow a small business” unless you want links to magazine articles that seem to all impart the same advice OR have your Facebook feed flooded with ads for subprime lenders to small businesses. Most Entrepreneur.com articles were either poorly written or authored by someone with a stake in the game, like a commercial loan officer or someone who made millions after appearing on Shark Tank.
With no obvious help from the Internet, I decided to change my approach and simply just lay still and think about how to grow PJP. Sure, we could likely add more wholesale accounts, but we would need a delivery truck and a driver (that isn’t me) to get the product there. We can’t really afford a truck until we have more revenue, and that is why we need more wholesale accounts in the first place. And we can’t achieve World Pie Domination if it is all happening in Columbia (though, I do fully support Operation: Columbia Pie Domination). We need to spread our exposure to different markets in new ways. Which brings me back to needing a truck and a driver annnnnnndddddd…I’m making myself crazy.
And so is this how it works for the average business owner? Do we all feel pressure and drive to succeed and grow…but very rarely ever feel like we have a direct path to do so? I kept thinking that I would arrive at some state of nirvana with all my data and Tweets and Facebook statuses and emails and texts and in a perfect storm, I would have all the answers and well then, everything would be easy. As easy as pie. (Pun fully intended).
But didn’t John Lennon say that the more we see, the less we know? Or maybe it was The Red Hot Chili Peppers. I should probably check Google…