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灰烬中重生

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核心提示:back from the ashes灰烬中重生michael dean迈克尔·迪恩(michael dean)relax the back休闲产品tulsa, okla.俄克拉荷马州塔尔萨m

back from the ashes

灰烬中重生

michael dean

迈克尔·迪恩(michael dean)

relax the back

休闲产品

tulsa, okla.

俄克拉荷马州塔尔萨

michael dean of relax the back

迈克尔·迪恩和他的“休闲产品”(relax the back)特许经营

photo by mike leeon dec. 6, 2006, the temperature in tulsa was hovering around 30 degrees, and the snowplows had just finished clearing out the parking lot of the eton square shopping center, where our relax the back store is located. then, one of our employees smelled smoke. a fire had started in a restaurant two units down from our store. while firefighters put out the blaze and there were no casualties, our unit--and much of our inventory, including beds, chairs, pillows and other ergonomic products--was destroyed from the water and soot.

照片由麦克·李(mike lee)拍摄于2006年12月6日。塔尔萨的气温在30度左右,清雪机刚刚清扫伊顿广场购物中心的停车场,即我们的“休闲产品”(relax the back)特许经营店所在地。这时,一个员工闻到了烟味。与我们相隔两家的餐厅起火了。尽管消防队很快扑灭了大火,并且没有人员伤亡,但是我们的存货,包括床、椅子、枕头等等,却因水泡和烟熏而损失殆尽。

then we went to work to save christmas. we negotiated with the landlord to take a new space in eton square, and over the next four days we moved all of the undamaged products there so we could reopen for customers. our four full-time employees--many of whom have been with me for years--and i worked in shifts to keep the store open despite the fact that we had no utilities and it was very cold. customers continued to come in off the street. we did our normal thing, and they almost didn't notice that there was all this mayhem going on.

马上就到圣诞购物季了——我们努力争取不错过这一时机。经过协商,房东同意借用伊顿广场的一块地方;随后的四天时间里,我们把未受到破坏的产品都搬到了那里,重新开门接待顾客。尽管外面天寒地冻而且我们没有任何取暖设备,四名全职员工——他们当中不止一位是跟随了我多年——和我轮流上阵接待顾客。顾客还像往常一样人来人往,我们也照常营业,他们甚至都没有注意到有什么不对的地方。

we ended the month only 6 percent under our sales from the previous year. by 2009, our tulsa store had grown to the no. 2 store in the country. the season and the store were saved because of the relationships we've built. our employees and our customers stood by us and helped us rise from the flames.

月底,我们的销售额只比去年同期下降了6%。2009年,我们在塔尔萨的特许经营店已经在全国排名第二。正是由于建立了良好关系,我们挺过了那个购物季。员工和顾客的坚持帮助我们从火灾烈焰中重新焕发出生机。

thawing a credit freeze

信贷解冻

matt ferguson

马特·弗格森(matt ferguson)

shelfgenie

天才置物架

richmond, va.

弗吉尼亚州里士满

we did everything right when my wife, beverly, and i bought our first shelfgenie franchise in late 2008. we had a solid business plan, a good cash flow and worked hard to get the word out. as a result, the richmond area's response to our customized glide-out shelving systems was so good that our 2010 sales were up 27 percent over 2009. the time was right to expand into three more locations, so we went to the banks for financing.

我和妻子贝弗利2008年年底购买了我们的第一个“天才置物架”(shelfgenie)特许经营权,现在看来,这一选择实在太明智了。我们的商业计划切实可行,现金流充沛,为了招揽生意,我们努力工作。里士满地区对我们的定制滑道置物架系统青睐有加,2010年销售额同比增加了27%。因此,我们打算再开三家店,于是来到银行寻求融资。

although our credit was good, we had double-digit increases year after year and they couldn't shoot holes in our business plan, we kept getting turned down. i spent a good five or six months talking to different banks. then, out of frustration, i asked the advice of someone who has been a mentor to me for about 10 years. he had been in the loop during this process, and when he looked at our business plan and track record more closely, he and his partner, who invest in businesses, decided to give us a line of credit to fund our expansion.

尽管我们的信用良好,年均增长率高达两位数,而且商务计划无懈可击,但是银行还是一再拒绝我们的融资请求。五六个月的时间里,我跑了无数家银行,结果令人沮丧不已。于是,我请教了一个做了十年导师的人,他参与了我开店的整个过程。他认真研究了我们的商业计划和以往经营记录,最后决定和他的合作伙伴共同投资,帮助我们进行扩张。

at first, i didn't want to take money from him; i wanted to do it on my own. but he really believed in the concept. while the 10 percent interest rate was higher than the 6 percent i would expect from a bank, we were able to structure it as an interest-only loan for the first year, which helps with our cash flow because the payment is lower. we expect our sales to be up 35 percent this year with the new locations, and i should be able to pay off the loan within five years. so, while we're paying higher interest, other aspects of the deal are actually better than what we could have gotten with a traditional loan from a bank.

起初,我不想用他的钱;我想自力更生。但是他对我们的概念青睐有加。虽然借款利息高达10%,远远超出银行6%的利息,但是他同意第一年我们只需返还利息即可;这样,我们的还款压力减轻了、现金流得到了保障。新店今年的销售额有望增加35%,五年后我就可以还清借款。尽管利息较高,但是其它条件要好于银行贷款。

smooth transition

平稳过渡

rich studebaker

雷奇·斯图特贝克(rich studebaker)

tropical smoothie café

热带冰品店

norfolk, va.

弗吉尼亚州诺福克

tropical smoothie cafe owners rich and paula studebaker.

热带冰品店(tropical smoothie cafe)所有者雷奇·斯图特贝克和宝拉·斯图特贝克(paula studebaker)。

photo by paul chin, jr.on a thursday night in february 2010, i was a month shy of celebrating the one-year anniversary of purchasing my tropical smoothie café franchise. that night, at the age of 38, i had a stroke and was rushed to the hospital. my wife, paula, thought i was dying. at the same time, we had employees counting on us for their paychecks, and she knew she had to tend to that, too.

小鲍尔·秦摄影。2010年2月一个星期四晚上,距离我们的热带冰品店(tropical smoothie cafe)开业一周年只有不到一个月的时间。那天晚上,只有三十八岁的我居然中风了。很快,我被送到了医院;妻子宝拉甚至以为我要永辞人世了。员工们还要靠我们养家糊口,她知道自己必须接手了。

paula called both the tropical smoothie headquarters and our friend and attorney joel nied. while paula had no experience working in the franchise, it was our livelihood. over the next days and weeks, she worked with a tropical smoothie representative and joel to learn the business and keep it running.

宝拉给热带冰品店特许经营总部打电话,还联络了我们的朋友兼律师乔·尼德(joel nied)。尽管宝拉此前从来都没有从事过特许经营,但这毕竟是我们的生活来源。接下来的几天和几周时间里,她与热带冰品店特许经营总部派来的代表和乔一道工作,很快就学了如何打理生意。

 
 
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