The Prosperity Stories is our way to profile our business partners, help tell their stories, and share how they are able to live a more prosperous Life. Beyond numbers.™
Meet Amir Rahim, Owner of Grounded Kitchen, Coffee & Bar, a restaurant and third-wave coffee bar that specializes in BBQ and gastro-pub food made from scratch.
Q As a business owner who had to close their doors multiple times because of the pandemic, how has your experience been?
Amir: It's been rough. There's no question about it. There've been a lot of things that have happened that have really tested my commitment, patience, and understanding of things. In my particular case, we had an infrastructure put in place from day one. Our “accounting hygiene”—a term I just learned this year—is excellent, so when it came time to fill out forms and applications for grants and subsidies, it was at an arm's length. We were able to do the work—and let's face it—we had tons of time. So even if it took all kinds of fiery hoops to jump through, I wasn't doing anything else.
Q What advice would you give to other business owners?
Breathe and be patient. Take the time to fill out the federal government grants and subsidies paperwork because once it's done, it's just a matter of repetition. Make sure that you have great accounting hygiene—it is instrumental in surviving.
Q What is in the future for Grounded Kitchen, Coffee & Bar?
This is the very first time that I can't forecast what's going to happen. I've been doing this for many years, I've made a lot of mistakes, and I've been lucky in many ways.
Change is inevitable, we're all going through it, and it doesn't matter what type of industry you’re in—time doesn't wait for anyone. However, in the past, I felt that we could forecast what was going to be part of the change. The pandemic has hit hard on our ability to forecast, so I think we need at least a year and a half of just rebuilding, stepping up, doing what we need to do, taking what we've learned, and within 8 to 12 months, it'll be easier to understand the direction the hospitality industry is going in.
Things like using technology for our services, QR codes, ease of menus, online orders, and all the things that have escalated with the pandemic are still very young, so I don't know what's going to happen. I do know that it's probably worth sticking around for.
Q What advice would you give to someone who wants to open their own business?
If you have a dream, do it. Set yourself up, think about what's involved in it, what it means to be your own boss and a business owner. The truth is, it doesn't come with all the glamour that may be associated with being in the restaurant business. In the first few years, you're going to have a lot of work, but you can’t do it alone. It's not sustainable to put yourself at the centre of everything over the lifespan of your business, so build a really good team of people that you can count on, that you can trust, and that are going to be great ambassadors for your business.
Put the infrastructures in place. Look around, find a really good bank, embrace technology, and get a good accountant—even if it costs you more in the beginning. Do all the textbook stuff, make a business plan, and never let money get in the way—it's only money. If you have a dream and a vision and you know that you're going to be good at it, keep working towards it and don't let money stop you.
Published by Elite Accounting Inc.
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