WEEK 1: And So It Begins…

Zoey C -

Hi everybody! My senior project is officially underway! This week was the slowest it will be for the rest of my project, but I am happy to report that I was able to set the stage for the remainder. I reached out to over 20 local small businesses in my area, and a big portion of them have answered me! I am now scheduled for the next 3 weeks with interviews, with my first interview being on Monday!  I honestly did not think that I would get a lot of responses, but I am grateful that everybody I have talked to is super willing to help me. For the interviews, I had to get some questions together, which was a little tricky. I had to look into different parts of managing a company, such as how to keep track of workers and paystubs, as well as marketing the company to gain more profit. I have come up with some questions that I will be using, so I am all ready for the interviews!

Other than scheduling people , this week I focused a lot of my time to starting my business plan. I had to do a lot of research to learn what the structure is for a plan, but I noticed that every example I have read is structured a little differently, which makes it harder to write one. I wish there was just one structure that everybody followed, but this will test me to come up with an individualized plan. Last week, I responded to a comment about which model of business I was making a plan for, and I said I wanted to do a soda shop. But, as I looked into soda shops, I noticed that the main demographic for soda shops is younger people around the ages of 10-35. With Prescott being a retirement community, I decided it would not bring in as much profit as a better business could. So, I decided to pick a different business to build a plan for, and I have decided to make a plan for a cookie dough cafe. I chose this, because I knew that I wanted to do something with food, and I have a sweet tooth so of course I was looking at different desserts! But, cookie dough has increased in popularity over the years, due to it being easy to make and ready to eat. Also, young and old alike seem to enjoy a treat every now and then, but for the older crowds, I will make sure to have an abundance of flavors with sugar free options as well. So, I am writing a business plan for a cookie dough cafe named “CookiDoh.” Very creative, huh? Here is the logo for my new business:


I had to pick a location for my new business, since that is needed for my business plan. So, I looked at buildings in and around Prescott. The problem with our area is that there are not a lot of options, and the only buildings I was able to find are retail or offices. I picked one that is off of Willow Creek Road that was an office building, which is not ideal. In my theoretical situation, I would have to spend more remodeling my building to be a cafe instead of an office building, but I will take that risk! CookiDoh is going to be a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), and I picked this for many reasons. First off, LLCs protect the owners from personal liability, and this also protects their assets. So, if I were to every be sued, my assets and identity would be protected. There are also many tax benefits, like with an LLC, the owner can choose to be taxed as a sole proprietorship or as a corporation, depending on which is more advantageous. They are also very easy and inexpensive to make, so a lot of small businesses will make their legal structure an LLC.

I have gotten through some of my company description, but I will make sure to finish that this next week. My first interview is tomorrow with 4 interviews this week in total, so I will update you guys on how they go! Wish me luck and thanks for checking in!



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    Taylor Phelan
    Hi, Zoey! I love your logo—I would definitely buy some cookie dough. Are there a lot of different regulations because your business is food-based?
    Hi Taylor! Yes there are many! In order to start a food-based business, you do need to have a permit. You will also need to have a Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) certification, which is acquired through a food safety examination. The Arizona Safety Regulation requires that a CFPM is at every food location, and their job is to make sure food handling is done right. There are the usual regulations such as sanitation and proper temperature so as to keep the food clean and edible! But, those are the biggest things for a food-based business!
    Hey Zoey! I think it’s very smart that you considered the Prescott demographic when deciding on what type of business to model. I’ve also always wondered what “LLC” means, so thank you for sharing!!
    Wow Zoey! It looks like you have made a lot of progress! I am super excited to learn about what you gather from your interviews each week! Do you have certain questions that are going to remain constant amongst each interview in order to collect a certain result or are you trying to gain more of a broad understanding of different business models? Also, if your business ever comes to fruition, I would definitely be your #1 customer.
    Hi Gianna! Yes, I do have a set list of questions that I am asking each small business owner, but some questions may not be relevant for a certain business though. For example, if they do not have any employees working under them, I am not going to ask them about how they manage their employees and their pay stubs. I have been able to have some good conversations so far and branch out from the questions I have written down, which I think has helped me learn more than just asking the set questions!

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