“Business Plan Pro gave me the ability to take the cerebral ideas and see it all come together.”Bart Fisher
Don't be fooled into thinking that the drive-thru café on your way to work is a small business; it is anything but small to an owner and budding entrepreneur like Bart Fisher.
It is 5:15 on Monday morning. Bart arrives at The Daily Perc in Rock Hill, Missouri and preps the espresso machine for the morning rush. He has already purchased two newspapers for customers, cleared the snow from the drive-thru lanes, stocked all the necessary paper products, and received the day’s shipment of dairy products, bagels, muffins, and cream cheese. For the next ten hours he sells coffee, espressos, cappuccinos, sodas, cookies, smoothies, and the concept of The Daily Perc to each customer that drives through his store. After closing at 4 p.m., he spends the next two hours balancing the books, contacting vendors, and cleaning the café before heading into a meeting with the city planner. Bart Fisher knows the meaning of multi-tasking.
Back in 2001, The Daily Perc business plan won a prize of $1,000 in Palo Alto Software’s Business Plan Competition. A year later, Bart launched the drive-thru coffee retail store called The Daily Perc. But he didn’t stop there. Since then, Bart has spun off four other businesses under The Daily Perc name.
Bart had been introduced to Business Plan Pro while at college and remembered it when it came time to write the business plan for The Daily Perc. “Business Plan Pro gave me an immediate structure to fill in my thoughts. The best part was the ability to take the cerebral ideas and plug them into an already set pattern and see it all come together.”
Bart began writing the business plan for The Daily Perc several years before the business became a reality. The Daily Perc concept was born while Bart was doing a lot of driving in Colorado and Nebraska. In some of the larger towns he came across, he discovered a secret little known to Midwesterners—that many drive-thru cafés serve excellent coffee. He believed the concept would work in his home state of Missouri. He was thrilled that he could drive up, stay in his car, and be served excellent coffee at a reasonable price. He was sure that fellow Midwesterners would also appreciate the service.
As the CEO of an entire group of companies, Bart works full time at the Rock Hill retail facility, making sure all processes are followed and keeping track of the day-to-day operations of the café. On his “off days,” Bart attends meetings with city planners, financial institutions, vendors, and equipment customers, as well as taking part in a daily routine of checks and balances on the future growth of the company.
Bart is looking to boost the economy of the Midwest as he grows the business. “The long-term goal is to have many locations throughout the Midwest,” says Bart. “I spent over 18 months researching coffee-based franchises before opening The Daily Perc and found none to fit my vision.” With this in mind, he has structured his company for growth. A holding company owns all of The Daily Perc entities, a separate company oversees the marketing and technology needs of the retail stores, and another company is responsible for the sales and maintenance of the equipment that the company is licensed to distribute. He plans to create franchise opportunities, so others can open their own cafés under The Daily Perc name.
“Because all of the corporate stores and the future franchise stores will be offering the same basic product lines, it makes financial sense to place all retail orders through one distribution company and enjoy the economies of scale. Not only that, but you then are able to better control quality and shipment times if you are not relying on multiple vendors to distribute to multiple locations throughout the Midwest.”
Before launching The Daily Perc, Bart started Netcom Services as a division of NetCom, Inc., a high speed cable installation company and construction firm, and worked on a number of technology-based projects throughout the Midwest. “This was my true first ‘business’ with financial meetings, goals, sales, and etc.” It was while at Netcom, Inc. that Bart traveled around the country and was inspired to start his own gourmet coffee store.
Which just goes to show - you never know where you'll find the idea that turns into your next venture.