Wayne, one of my SCORE advisors, introduced me to Matthew D’Agostino, retired third-generation owner of La Bonbonniere in central New Jersey. When I was on the east coast to work on a project for Foiled, he was gracious enough to take me to a deli lunch (despite his vegetarian diet) and talk ACTUAL bakery talk for a couple of hours.
I gleaned close to 200 bits and pieces of helpful information, but the most valuable was this:
“If you can figure out how to run your business while you’re away from it for one full week, then you’re ready to scale it out.“
This really made me think: what are the pain points that my business experiences when I’m gone? I identified four:
- Nobody to do supply deliveries while I’m gone. (I hired one of our drivers to do this.)
- We need a new supplier for foils that we don’t have to pickup from. (I found a new supplier that can ship directly to the kitchen.)
- When deliveries go awry, I step in and fill in the gaps. (I doubled up on drivers.)
- Custom cupcakes are tough to execute. (Setup longer lead times for customization.)
Thanks, Matt, for what is probably the most useful piece of advice I’ve ever worked towards in this entire business.