First seen in Focus Magazine
This month Aidan and Keiko Jarvis celebrate the 4th anniversary of GeraGera Mobile Café. Together, they have built a successful business selling coffee and Japanese treats to workers on their regular weekly office run and at Harbourside Markets on the weekends.
About 18 months ago they started thinking about expansion. The idea was knocking around in the back of their minds when they applied for one of MJ Accountants’ Business Excellence Scholarships. They hoped that some business coaching might give them the impetus to turn their dream into a reality.
So far Aidan and Kieko have had three coaching sessions with our accountant Jennifer Holman. I caught up with them to find out how things are going.
Mel: Tell us about your expansion idea?
Aidan: For months we’ve been thinking about a stationary cafe that would serve coffee and food. We had talked about it on and off and had plenty of ideas in mind, but never got much further than that.
Mel: Where did you start with trying to turn your idea into reality?
Aidan: Jen has forced me to put everything in writing, instead of having my ideas just floating around in my head. It’s made everything so much clearer. When it’s in your head things are constantly shifting. Writing it down makes me more committed to getting it done.
We worked on setting goals with realistic deadlines. That’s given us a lot of confidence. Everything feels more attainable and clearer.
Mel: That’s fantastic. What issues have you had to consider?
Aidan: Finance, location, managing staff… There are so many things to consider. I come from a kitchen management background, so there are a lot of things I’d never had to take care of before.
Mel: Did you find that daunting?
Aidan: Jen really helped us to tick all the boxes. She made me look at the things I would keep putting off, like work cover for employees. There were a few late nights getting the plan done. We deliver coffee to MJ Accountants, so Jen was able to constantly remind me of the deadline. But, to be honest she made it easy.
Mel: Expansion sounds like a lot of work. What’s driving you to make this happen?
Keiko: Our customers are really important to us. Everyday we see the same customers and we really appreciate them. In Japan customers are God and that’s the attitude I take to our customers. At the moment we have to turn customers away – and that’s really sad. With the new van we will be able to help more customers.
Aidan: We’re planning to position the new van in a space where we already have a big customer base. That opens opportunities for our mobile van to go to new areas. It’s exciting.
Mel: It is exciting! When do you hope to open your new van?
We’re aiming for November. For so long it’s been yes, no, yes, no… Now we know it’s going to happen. We’ve realised that the most important thing is to have clear goals and write them down. We’re focused! And it doesn’t hurt to have Jen cracking the whip.
MJ Accountants is here to help our clients grow and thrive. If you need help getting started on an expansion project, give us a call today.