If you have been following my blog, I am telling a story about myself and my marriage to my husband, the father of my son J.O. If you want to start from the beginning please read my post called Another story begins . . . , or to learn a little bit more about my son, read: And then it begins.
So our business was off and running. We started out in a cold warehouse, with no heat, tons of raw materials, a couple of blue portable outdoor bathrooms, an industrial scale, a packaging equipment & materials, a forklift and employees. I soon developed relationships with the raw material suppliers, trucking companies, and freight companies. I contracted with a woman who took care of all of the payroll things, including cutting the paychecks,and dealing with all of the withholding. I soon had developed an employee policy manual, which was distributed to the employees.
Now all we had to do is produce. We had some trial and error situations. In the beginning the flow of work wasn’t efficient. The packaging was rough and messy. Loading our first container was far from being efficient, both in the loading process and in the quality of product. There was much room for improvement.
Yet, when the first container went out it was a big milestone for our company. Not only did we rejoice, but we had visitors from the local chamber of commerce, the mayor of the city, representatives from the bank and my family. Everyone celebrated the first shipment.
After a few months passed, my father approached and asked me if he could work at the processing plant part-time. I told him he can, but he needs to understand it is a start-up business. We were working hard to make it a success, but there was no guarantee it would be a success. I said if he is willing to take that risk, the could definitely work at the processing plant.
So the importance of the business being successful got pretty serious. It is one thing for my husband and I to take that risk. I knew if something happened I could always get a job. I worked in technology and there is always a need for a good business analyst. Now my father is also dependant on this business being success.
It was going to take at least thirty days before the cargo ship would reach port in West Africa. Once it was there our it was our business partner’s job to clear the goods from customs, get it to his warehouse, and sell the product. Then he was supposed to wire the sales proceeds back to us. For the first year this business was not going to make much profit. For the first six months every dollar needed to be reinvested in the company. After six months we would start having a true profit, and after that it would continue to build.
Before you know it a second container was shipped out, a third and a fourth. We had really improved the work flow of the processing of the product. By then the building construction was complete and we were ready to move into the structure. We had built and area that was enclosed separately from the main warehouse. This area included some offices, a break room, bathrooms, and the equipment used to process the raw materials. By this time our new circular assembly line equipment arrived and it worked perfectly for our business.
At about this time I was pregnant and needed some help at the processing plant. My husband talked to his brother, who lived in Houston, to see if he would be interested in joining our business. He decided he was very interesting in working with us. Immediately he made plans to move his family closer to us. Shortly after he joined, my other brother-in-law approached me and wanted to work at the plant. Once again I went through the whole risk discussion, and he said he was willing to take the risk. So now the importance of the success of this business was immense. Four family’s lives were dependent on it.
It’s a different world . . .
Change in career, another move, and starting something new . . .
Good-bye Chicago, Hello Columbus . . .
Chicago and a time of crisis . . .
A place of prosperity . . .
There are good people in the world . . .
Hard times: a need to relocate . . .
And another story begins .