… came in a post about building a restaurant. Consider it a perfectly apt metaphor:
Construction is always tricky. There will inevitably be issues that will arise that were previously unknown. It’s impossible to see many of these things since they are often times hidden behind walls. Once the walls are opened or torn down, the internal skeleton and infrastructure are fully revealed. In our case, we had major and very costly ventilation problems that needed to be addressed in order to make the building safe and bring it up to code. We were able to take care of most of our issues through our contingency funds that we built into our budget, but we still find ourselves over budget in a few areas even while remaining below budget in others. One thing to remember is that for the most part general contractors, equipment purveyors and architects will not do a very good job of keeping an owner within or below budget. It requires a remarkable amount of of diligence to do so. …
No one will do a better job than an owner of keeping contractors and subcontractors on schedule. The opening date of a restaurant is only vitally important to the person paying the bills. As I write this, our restaurant has been closed for one month. To me, it seems like one year. That is not to say that our contractor is unconcerned with the time frame, but his investment is not the same as ours. The longer we wait to open, the more ground we lose toward reaching profitability.
With very slight rephrasing, that ought to be in the introduction of every “Transition 101” guide. No foolin!