Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hatching the Plan

Shutter graffiti reads "we want Gothic Dolphins" I think..
What does it take to open a little shop, as a foreigner in Tokyo? Where would you start and why would you want to do such a thing anyway?

Walking home from work the other day I took a different route and came across this empty shop near Nishi Azabu crossing.

While aware that this shop probably wouldn't be the shop (yeah, what do you think the rent would be on a place round the corner from Gompachi?), previous 'what ifs' appeared more possible with a space to project them into. My mind started swimming with how I'd arrange the space, what a rainy day from the inside of the shop would be like, ideas of how to get the word out, what products and services might best pay the rent.. Then I promptly pushed the thoughts back down and avoided mentioning it at home for the evening. Don't be daft.

Thanks to now owning a small oven (quite a thing, in Japan where toaster ovens seem to be more common) recent baking exploits and the reaction of friends and family led me to brood on the idea of opening my own cake shop. It would have a cosy tearoom kind of seating area and be focused around certain kinds of specialty cake. With some walk-up traffic, some online orders and regular arrangements with other businesses, and afternoon baking lessons.. wouldn't it work?

"Just what Tokyo needs, *another* cake shop..." Right?
Well, I do have a fairly niche idea that I can't find someone else doing and I would be thrilled if I was able to just get it up and running well enough to pay the rent and wages. I'm starting to do the maths, think about the business plan, I'm adding to an already considerable heap of things that are 'worth looking into', making lists of considerations, people to talk to, steps to be taken. This blog is a place for me to collect these notes, and who knows it might help someone else with similar thoughts in future.

The first step is visa status.. I am a foreigner over here afterall.

Watch, and be amazed as the plan falls flat, or as perhaps many months later it comes to fruition!

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