Nate Warnke – Rockhound Brewing Company

Nothing lasts forever, right?   Businesses, like everything else, each will eventually go away, only to be replaced by something new.  Maybe it is over the course of weeks or maybe even decades.  In the case of Rockhound Brewing Company, a local restaurant and brewery, the statistics are leaning hard towards a premature closure.  Though statistically, Rockhound actually lasted longer than roughly 80% of other new restaurants.
You could blame Covid, restaurant costs, the growing (at least it was) competition, or a number of other factors.  The truth is that the restaurant business is tough.  It is capital intensive, finding, training and retaining employees goes beyond a full-time job and your client base is often a hangry bunch that will often complain at the tiniest of discrepancies.  Margins are brutally thin, ranging from 2%-6%, on average.  Toss in the fight for reviews, dealing with local jurisdictions about their evolving laws (for better or worse) and you have a recipe for starting and growing one of the most challenging businesses.
From all of this, it is no surprise that many of them do not stand the test of time.  The pandemic is knocking out restaurants all over the country.
But how do you close a business?  What happens to the lease, equipment, investors, employees, etc.?  How do you make the disheartening decision to close up?  How do you disconnect your life from your livelihood?
I have always told my clients that your business should be designed to support your life, not the other way around.  In many cases, there is no shame is closing the doors because a business is not producing the results you want it to.  As long as you do so as gracefully and admirably as possible, you can chalk it up to experience and move on.  All this knowing that you did the best you could.
Nate goes through all of this with us in this business podcast episode.  I sincerely hope that this episode helps other entrepreneurs do what they can to not only survive this pandemic, but to thrive.  I also hope it helps people know when it is time to pull the chute, and head towards their next chapter in life.
As a side note, I interviewed Nate a while back, well before the word pandemic became a household term.  That interview is here:

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