Balancing Projects Amid Success In Business
Quick Change isn’t a start up so I have no qualms saying that in a six month period achieving top line revenue increases in excess of 100% is considered a success — especially in a 30 year business that has steadily been declining since 2008 which ironically was its best year revenue wise.
Quick Change was immediate cash flow and because I have all my businesses under the umbrella of a holding company I can use funds towards any venture owned by “The Kapothanasis Group Inc.” There are pro’s and cons to this style of business structure, with the obvious being that any one business could compromise the other businesses in regards to a liability suit.
I am not to my core passionate about oil. I find oil to be an interesting topic, but I would never claim to be a subject matter expert in oil. I probably know more about oil changes than 99% of people, but that doesn’t translate to passion. I am passionate about being a businessman which in itself is helpful because I believe I could take any business venture and pour my entire soul into it.
Maryland native and Under Armour founder/CEO used his cash flow to fund a business he has a much deeper interest in. http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/music/midnight-sun-blog/bal-sagamore-spirit-straight-rye-whiskey-kevin-plank-baltimore-may-13-story.html
In fact the reason my partner and I were able to buy the vape shop we had for such a steep discount was because that vape shop only served as a stepping stone for the previous owners to fund their actual passion — which was to own a bar. (Why they couldn’t do it simultaneously is beyond me, but it worked out in our favor)
I have just got back from Greece where I was pursuing a new business project which I have tentatively named Acropolis Oils.
My day to day attention is with Quick Change as it has the most moving parts of the businesses I own. I have been putting more attention towards Nestegg Plans and Oleum, but those are two business models I typically can handle during Quick Change operating hours. However after hours is dedicated towards trying to make this “pet project” work.
There is no way around it, so I stay up until 2 AM most nights gathering information and doing research.
Acropolis Olive Oil — What Sparked This?
“I don’t work because I enjoy what I do.”
I am obsessed with olive oil, the regions they come from, and the nature of the business itself. I consider myself a man of the world. I have been to 10 or more countries at this point, and I am a dual citizen of Greece which happens to be the country that produces the highest quality olive oil in the world.
It would be immensely fulfilling to get into this business because this is where you start to move away from obligation and move into the mindset where “I don’t work because I enjoy what I do.”
I was in Santorini when I saw tourists grabbing the ouzo shaped like Corinthian columns off the tables of all the shops going through the island. They were grabbing it with no regard to the quality, and clearly only because of the packaging. This was just a small observation I made at the time, without any real second thought to it at the time.
I was back stateside when I went to Giant to get the Tunisian Olive Oil I typically get for cooking. When I approach the aisle I noticed something — all the oils were packaged in the same Marasca or Dorica 250ML and 750ML bottles. What happens is the consumer goes for the big recognizable name (Bertolli garbage) or the bottle with the best packaging (as many wine drinkers do.) This brought me back to Santorini when the non-Greek tourists were defaulting to the Corinthian column bottles of ouzo.
I reached out to Pilavas about their bottle and whether they self manufacture or if the bottles are made by a third party. I found out they do not export and the bottles are made in house, and they are not for sale.
I immediately reached out to local bottle makers in Baltimore and surrounding areas. My sample bottle was precious to me so I was going to wait until I had the right manufacturer before sending it off to be made into a mold.
The minimum order quantities put me way over the top and I had to look outside the US. Enter: Chongqing Youyuan Glassware Co., Ltd. a company in China that manufactures custom bottles.
I have been dealing with a representative of the company who goes by Jackie, although I am sure that is not her name. After three months of back and forth I sent my sample I created to be reproduced. I gave my specs and wishes and they were able to come up with a fantastic mold. The one extra touch I needed was for the bottle to be the dark green because those familiar with Olive Oil know that light makes it go rancid.
My bottle is 200 ML and has the appropriate neck threading for an olive oil spout. There is a 1 inch by 1 inch square designed to be where the label will go, and nutritional facts on the back.
Chongqing Youyuan Glassware Co., Ltd. has a minimum order of 10,000 bottles which is a far cry from the 200,000 most US based companies ask for. This is especially helpful in the startup realm where I am boot strapping it, and not raising money. Essentially my savings and Kapo Group Inc savings with shoulder the burden of making this initial batch happen. Eventually the burden will be replaced by purchase orders from vendor accounts we will need to get. When I say we I mean the royal we because it’s still currently just myself.
I just registered AcropolisOils.com so that is where the project will continue to be updated for future reference.