WEEK 4: Slowly But Steady

Zoey C -

Hello everybody! Welcome to week 4, almost half-way through the project. Time is definitely flying! I had 3 interviews and made some progress on my business plan so let me just fill you in on everything that happened this week:

My first interview was with Raphael, the owner of Raphael Indigo productions. This is an event planning business that focuses mainly on weddings, but she also helps with other events as well. A big piece of advertising that I have noticed with local businesses here in Prescott is that word of mouth is huge. Raphael talked about how 50-60% of her customers saw her working at other people’s weddings, and they decided they wanted her for their own wedding or event. Raphael emphasized that “no matter what you are doing, you should try your hardest to make it the best you can do,” no matter how big or small the task is. She tries to cut herself slack when mistakes happen because mistakes are how we learn and grow as people, but as long as she is trying her best, that is all that matters! Raphael is one of those people who wants to be your best friend and hear every detail, but she has had to learn to be more realistic with events. Her clients will go to her with an AI-generated image saying they want that, but she has had to learn to be realistic and let her clients know that their vision is just not possible.

I was then able to talk to Hayley of Primrose Board Co., who specializes in making charcuterie boards for different events. She had made charcuterie boards for fun during COVID, but after making one for a family dinner, the idea came up to start a business! After doing some research on the industry, Hayley jumped right in and started preparing to open Primrose Board Co. She hopes that in 10 years, she will have a storefront, and this will be open 7 days a week with ready-made boards for people to buy! Hayley talked a little about her advertising, and we started to compare the Instagram and Facebook demographics that she attracts from each social media platform. On Instagram, she finds a lot of younger couples reaching out, most of them getting married. But, on Facebook, there is an older demographic reaching out for different events.

My last interview of the week was with the owner of Cornerstone Family Chiropractic, Andrea. She and her husband, Dr. Rob, run a neurologically focused chiropractic office with the mission to help other people thrive and heal. Before they even opened, she and her husband would go to downtown events to start advertising for the office. But, they soon realized that downtown events typically draw in more tourists than locals, so these events were not great investments. There is no direct competition in the area with this business, because this is the only neurologically focused chiropractic office in the area. The only competition they have is with Big Pharma, which is the sector of major pharmaceutical companies. They work to prescribe medication to hide the pain instead of finding the root cause of the pain. Andrea and I had a nice discussion about employees, where we talked about how employees in this generation seem to have no work ethic. I have been seeing this when talking to small business owners, and there was a good point brought up where if being raised in technology could be causing this change in work ethic between the generations. Andrea’s biggest question for other business owners is what they do to ensure they are hiring someone who actually has the work ethic they say they do!

This automatically counts up the number of google reviews and Facebook likes the office has! The white box is a comment box where people can comment on the service, but this is rarely used.

With my business plan, I have organized the sections I am going to be writing. My business plan will have 7 sections, which is Executive Summary, Company Description, Products, Market Analysis, Strategy, Management Summary, and Financial Projections. There are many subsections in each category that I am adding, but too many to talk about at the moment. This week I focused on finishing the products section where I basically focus on what products I am selling and a little on the competitive comparison. My menu will have options of different combinations of dirty sodas as well as an ability to mix your own flavors. I will also have juices and lemonades, and I have noticed that having seasonal drinks and specials keeps people interested, so I will incorporate some seasonal specials such as different types of hot cocoa for colder seasons. I will also have other treats such as cookie dough and cookies so that I can also bring in customers who are not into drinks. I have no direct competition in the area, but my main competitors are national and local coffee shops, as well as dessert shops downtown in Prescott. With my business, I would love to have friendly competition, while also playing smart and giving the other shops a run for their money! Here is my NEW logo (sorry for switching up on everybody) but let me know what you guys think? Would you guys go to a soda shop here in Prescott?

The Sip SHop
The Sip Shop: Coming January 2025!

Thanks for checking in and everybody please be safe during Spring Break!



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    Taylor Phelan
    Hey, Zoey! I love the variety of businesses you are interviewing. I was wondering, through all your interviews, are you noticing that businesses rely heavily on social media? For your business plan, I think a lot of our generation and younger would become customers through social media. Is that something big to consider?
    Great question Taylor! YES 100%. In this day and age, social media is a useful and effective tool that businesses use, especially small businesses, to start attracting people. A part of my marketing strategy for my business would be to have an Instagram, since making an account is free and has been effective in growing many businesses that I talk to!
    Hi Zoey! I love the logo, especially the green and minimalistic aspects because I think that appeals to the younger population here in Prescott! Since you are interviewing a wide variety of businesses/services, are you running into any issues regarding a common foundation for a business model? Are you going to try to gear your interviews towards those in the food/drink industry? Also, since it is specific to Prescott, are you going to incorporate a possible location here in town where you could open your soda shop?
    Hi Zoey! I love that your soda shop incorporates so many other products that appeal to such a broad audience. When starting off your business, do you think it is more important to find an ideal location right away or focus on providing quality products and moving to a better storefront later on? How far in advance do you have to start advertising your business before it opens?
    Hi Gianna! I am interviewing a wide variety of service businesses just to get an idea of overall management tactics and I have found a couple common ideas, but the execution is different. They all focus on customer service to ensure they are giving the utmost satisfaction but the way they give good customer service is not the same, like some focus on connection with the customers, whereas others focus on good quality and so on. With the business plan, I am mainly using what I learn from food businesses to build my management ad such but I am using general ideas from other businesses and twisting it to fit a drink model! I have searched and found a location that I actually discuss in my week 5 blog a little bit!
    Hi Maddie! I do think it would be nice to find an ideal location early but given that funds are typically very limited, it would be better to just find a location first. Once you build a reputation and grow your business, you have more flexibility and more funds to move to a better location! Of course, if possible, it would be good to jump into an ideal place but that is not typically the situation. With advertising, some of the businesses that I have talked to started advertising just before they opened. By advertising, I mean just spreading the news through word of mouth. But others, especially businesses that are based in people's homes and advertised on Instagram, start advertising once they are opened. It depends on if you are actually planning your business or just jumping in as some people tend to do!

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