Friday, April 30, 2010

Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting Notes

The owners of Tango Zulu Imports are in Omaha, Nebraska attending one of the largest capitalist conventions - the annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway.

We arrived at Omaha and took a quick nap before heading out to the cocktail reception at Borsheims. The scene at Borsheims, which is a Berkshire holding, was not unlike that of a popular concert, except that the audience was comprised of people of all ages and different walks of lives. The credential hanging around our necks served as the secret password into the building, and fighting against the dense crowd, we finally made it into the center of the building and got us couple of drinks. Borhsheims was shoulder to shoulder with drink-toting shareholders ogling the jewelry. As we were admiring a diamond ring for $15,000, someone walked up next to us and asked where the jewelry above one million dollars are sold. What is money after all, hey? We settled for free drinks and lots of meatballs.

We are looking forward to the annual meeting tomorrow, when the Oracle of Omaha will talk about how Berkshire fared last year and impart his wisdom. All in all, it's been a good day.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Journey of A Small Business Owner #3

Tango Zulu Imports took another step forward today. Most of our ordered inventory has shown up and we moved some of them into our store front. I have been spending most of the evening creating product images - a painfully slow and tedious process. On the bright side, we had our cousin Liz here tonight to help us with product evaluation and design of store front layout. Liz is fantastically experienced with retail store design and had ideas that seemed so simple and natural yet they were ideas we'd never think of on our own.

We met with a jewelry maker yesterday. She had a great selection of beautifully crafted earrings, rings and necklaces. Her work is also featured in the Seattle Art Museum and we are glad to feature her items in our store.

I am planning to take a week off in two weeks to help the store get ready for the grand opening. Things are looking up, though whenever I start looking at the details, it is difficult to avoid being stressed. I'd never thought starting a business would be such a difficult process. Not in a technical way, but in the millions of little things that seem to spawn out of each other.

However, today is a great day for Tango Zulu Imports.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Journey of A Small Business Owner #2

Although it took us several years to decide on starting our own business, once the decision was made, we kicked things into high gear from the start. Within days, we finalized our business plan, made decisions on corporate structure, completed capital and financial analysis, decided on store location and finalized our inventory. Now committed, we started living through periods of elation and nervousness. We feel that we have done our homework and taken into account all factors that are within our control, the rest, as the saying goes, is up to chance.

This process seemed strangely familiar. It reminds me of the time when we bought our house, probably the biggest investment that we've ever made, yet from the conception of the idea to putting our signatures on the paper took less than six weeks, and we only spent one day looking at houses!

We have been very happy with that adventure, now that we have lived in the same house for more than a decade. Although starting a business is nothing like buying a house, I believe we have prepared for this new adventure as well as we are able.

Besides, the inventory has arrived. We have a lot of work ahead of us to set up the store front. If you are interested, look through our online store and let us know if you want something. We aren't officially open for business yet, but do let us know before my wife decides to keep everything for herself - she's completely in love with the goods we got!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Journey of A Small Business Owner #1

We have, as many entrepreneurial souls, entertained the idea of starting our own business for a long time. There had always various reasons and excuses that stood in the way of carrying forward that idea - what business, how to run it, how to finance it, and most of all, what if we fail?

In early April, 2010, we finally put together a business plan and gathered up enough courage to tread into the unfamiliar territory of starting a retail business. On April 6th, we received our business license and the company was born.