by Stephanie Maldonado
One of the most beneficial elements of any business is keeping a close tab on what you are spending and what you are earning; in other words, what are your profits and losses. While this may not sound like a particularly enjoyable thing to take note of, it is essential to the survival and longevity of your business. A lot of new entrepreneurs are just happy to be paying their bills and making money, so they neglect to investigate if they are covering their costs or what their margins are. Details are important. You’ve heard people say that running a business is hard, well frankly, they are right.
The Jonas Project is working with a Navy veteran named Eva Vega who is not only a full-time mother, but also the proud founder of Thyme and Play. Eva is using the lean startup method and taking gradual steps toward opening a restaurant that caters specifically to children with special needs. She began hosting popup events in her own home and now has secured a space at a local church. She started small and learned from each event what worked and what didn’t.
“With the lean startup method, I was able to create a viable model and raise awareness of my brand. It is the perfect way to enter into entrepreneurship slowly and effectively,” said Eva.
With the help of her Jonas Project mentor Jared White, she has taken to tracking these events step by step. “I look at her business the way I would look at it if I was investing in it, so I ask her questions that an investor would ask,” said Jared. He acts as a third-party perspective and encourages her to sit down after each event and really reflect on what she feels she did right, what she could improve upon and what she wants to emphasize. Eva faces this task head-on and formulates a detailed analysis that highlights her costs and intake.
“I would attend financial seminars and walk away just as confused as when I went in. By doing this in an easy layout format, it has helped me understand the overarching benefits,” said Eva.
She uses these analyses to help optimize her business, in hopes of providing an even better product. After all, the main goal of Thyme and Play is to create a fun and soothing dining experience. Jared compares these popup events to basic training – you practice and practice until you are finally sent out on a mission. “The popups are not the endgame, the purpose of them is to hone her skills,” said Jared. She is thinking about the details early on and this will only help her in the long run. “The next step, I’m sure, is going to be having her own restaurant,” said Jared.
Tracking her events will be the key to her success because she is conscience of what it takes to keep her business running.