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WHAT TO DO? Should my wife sell Wombat's Womb Cafe'?


Wombat No More

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Wombat No More

Well bugger! It's only very early days and only been open less than 3 months, and we aren't making anything but a loss right now, but the missus just talked to me and says she wants to sell the entire building comprising the cafe', two commercial for rent area's under and the 2 floor residential, with 3 (very little) bedrooms...

 

What am I to do? I built this place, taking 5 years to do so coz of a lack of money, but put my heart and soul into it, building the place to very high (Aussie) standards, with a real lot of steel and extra strength concrete and triple priced blocks coz of their superior quality, and built it so that in a hundred years it'll still be here as sound as when it was finished...

 

But, I put my heart and soul into it to make sure my family had a livelihood if something happened to me and I died (something which, suddenly, surprisingly, almost medically came to be last year), therefore causing all monies from me to dry up/cease immediately. (There was no other reason). So who am I to say to my wife to "bugger off, we're not selling this after all the sweat and tears and pain and suffering I/we went through to get this place here and working"?

 

So, she wants me to agree with her to sell up, put the money back in my Aussie bank, where it all came from initially, and buy a house in Aussie to rent out until the day comes, in many years, to move back to Australia with the kids. Hmmm. Anyway, I'm complying with her wish to float it out there on the forum so here it is I guess.

 

So I'm in a bit of a quandary now. She wants to sell the place, brand new, final inspectioned a few months ago etc, for an adamant P15mill and I reckon it cost over 5 years, getting towards that mark anyway. (There's somewhere in the region of 16,000+ concrete blocks involved, nearly all at 6" thick and masses of steel, a lot more than the engineers recommended)

 

The Lot involved would have to be split to accommodate just the actual 28mtr x 10mtr building (x 2 floors), with a couple of metres by 11+mtrs at the very front along the main road. So about 330 square metres all in all...

 

So, I'm sorta swimmin in crap at the moment (in my mind) but I don't want conflict in a thus far conflict free marriage, so suggestions would be good, a little advice perhaps (hang on, I'll just go out the back and beat myself repeatedly in the head with my baseball bat)

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  • Davaoeno

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I have no choice but to continue as before my wife said anything today, and fund the operation until it kicks in and supports itself. This is what I was doing before today anyway. The only thing that

I think the real problem is too few customers. Cutting the menu and staff and/or raising the prices won't improve that. Now if you can cut the staff a bit, that will help the books but I think you m

Phil, you are here asking us for advice, but you are giving us very little to go on .   Why did you wife want this place built in the first place? [ or did she ever want it to be built ie was it

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USMC-Retired

Phil you have to consider where your hobby was? Was it building the place that gave you so much pleasure or is going to be running the place.

 

You should cut the staff down immediately. One Cook and one waitress and guard. Then you and the wife fill in. Your flier Idea is excellent and you should get those out. You should be at the mall handing them out and to every taxi stand. Then people know you are there. Word of mouth takes forever to get out. Like I said before it is intimidating for people to see it. Also consider doing canderia type food at the entrance to slowly move that upstairs. Oton, Mongo, bolo bolo, buad, and other local favorites to sell in plastic. When they see the quality of this they will come up stairs for a proper sit down meal. Have you had a free open house? Where you serve free food to the locals? It may cost you 6-7K yet it is an opportunity to get people there and get a menu from you. Of course food free drinks extra.

 

The biggest thing Phil where is your love? Is it building it or is it running it. If it is not in the running part you are spinning your wheels because everything you do now will be a chore.

Edited by Norseman
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JamesMusslewhite

What about leasing out the building, then sell when you can get your price or real properties prices increase. Then you can generate the capital to properly advertize the property. An operating money producing structure is a much more attractive investment potential than just an empty building.

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hookedtothenet

Wombat,

 

I have no idea how much money you are loosing every week/month, but IMO to of put 5 yrs into a project and give up after only 3 month's of being open would be crazy! Businesses are like plants they need to be grown and sometimes they don't always produce the goods when you expect them to.

I reckon if you can afford to give it another 6-9 month's, trying different sales and marketing techniques, but I don't know your whole situation so it's difficult as I am not in your shoes.

 

Why is your wife so keen to sell it so quickly?

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Wombat No More

Phil you have to consider where your hobby was? Was it building the place that gave you so much pleasure or is going to be running the place.

 

The biggest thing Phil where is your love? Is it building it or is it running it. If it is not in the running part you are spinning your wheels because everything you do now will be a chore.

Mate, I never did nor do I want to, run this place. I'm a disabled ex serviceman who struggles with it all everyday and night... I sit up in the cafe all day and most of the night, just so someone is there. In effect, I've changed my living room from that room to the cafe, in front of the TV. I enjoy talking to the folk that come into the cafe and say gidday to all. I built it for my wife to run, trouble is she is not often up there in the cafe.

 

Now building, that is a different story, I always enjoyed that and putting hands on although my role this time was less hands on and more supervisory and cracking the whip, coz my injuries prevent me from doing much. But I do a little bit and suffer the pain and discomfort later, which is something I choose to do rather than lying down and taking it easy.

 

But, it's business as usual and I've done my bit for the missus and put up her wishes here...

 

 

Just to answer Tim in his post below this... What you say is not an issue at all. She does want to try selling BBQ Filipino style, at the front door but the actual cafe upstairs is fine and she can see that as well as all others who visit here. The general conscencus is that the place is terrific, well done, very comfortable, really nice and etc from just about everyone who comes here.

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USMC-Retired

Then change it to what she wants to run and not so much what you want. Keeping in mind some things you want. That would mean more canderia type foods and buffet style food. I know that is not what you want. But you built it for her.

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spooks

try going with the leasing and place it up for sale with rent paying tenants etc. I Suspect it may take a long time to sell at the price you are asking, then again maybe not :blink:

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Davaoeno
I built it for my wife to run, trouble is she is not often up there in the cafe.

 

 

Phil, you are here asking us for advice, but you are giving us very little to go on .

 

Why did you wife want this place built in the first place? [ or did she ever want it to be built ie was it your dream, and not hers? ]

Why does she suddenly after the place is just opened does she want to sell ?

Phil - i dont think you need business advice- what I think you need is better communication with your wife [ and i truly only say that in the most positive way Phil ]

And after you talk to her then tell us what she says, what she wants, what is bothering her, what her dreams are etc etc Only then can anyone here hope to even come close to advising you my friend.

 

 

the best advice i can give you today Phil is SLOW DOWN ! take a deep breath and try to relax. I;m sure your wife didnt go to bed happy with the place and just wake up this am all upset and wanting to sell out - in other words this decision has been coming for awhile - and its up to you to find out why.

 

Maybe she sees you losing money for 3 months and just plain got scared that you would lose everything ??? If this is her first major business venture that it not uncommon

 

YOu have a lot of investigating to do Phil - just go slowly and patiently

Edited by DAVAOENO
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USMC-Retired

Sounds like he needs a little Capital. Davao can he hit you up for 10K USD?

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Wirraway

Hi Phil

 

I agree with your wife if you can sell for 15 million which converts to A$357,000,this will buy a decent place to live in Australia with no mortage, your kids will benifit from a better education and health services. With your pension you should live a comfortable life.

 

If you need more income your wife can earn at least A$16.00 an hour, your wife is obviously thinking of the future of your kids, too many expats don't think of their kids welfare and just put them in Phiippine schools and hope for the best.

 

Good luck whatever yo decide

 

Ian

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rainymike

Not enough to really go on, but my guess:

 

You seem to think the building is the primary asset. The business hasn't really evolved into an asset and is currently a liability.

 

My guess is your wife views you as the primary asset. You allude to a major health problem related to the hard work you've put in. You see that hard work as your primary value. Perhaps your wife sees the building and all that hard work as secondary to you. If you go, she's stuck with a building that has some potential value but with a business that puts you all into debt day by day. Might be wise to slow down as others have suggested. Your dream and plans may just be yours alone. If you have a long term vision, you need to make sure that others know how to play that...maybe they don't.

 

As I said, I'm just guessing. Wish you luck.

 

(Sorry my best guess, but you leave out a lot of important information.)

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smokey

Phil, you are here asking us for advice, but you are giving us very little to go on .

 

Why did you wife want this place built in the first place? [ or did she ever want it to be built ie was it your dream, and not hers? ]

Why does she suddenly after the place is just opened does she want to sell ?

Phil - i dont think you need business advice- what I think you need is better communication with your wife [ and i truly only say that in the most positive way Phil ]

And after you talk to her then tell us what she says, what she wants, what is bothering her, what her dreams are etc etc Only then can anyone here hope to even come close to advising you my friend.

 

 

the best advice i can give you today Phil is SLOW DOWN ! take a deep breath and try to relax. I;m sure your wife didnt go to bed happy with the place and just wake up this am all upset and wanting to sell out - in other words this decision has been coming for awhile - and its up to you to find out why.

 

Maybe she sees you losing money for 3 months and just plain got scared that you would lose everything ??? If this is her first major business venture that it not uncommon

 

YOu have a lot of investigating to do Phil - just go slowly and patiently

 

 

 

 

i think it was more fun planning and building it then running it... like a house... look at me i move to Oregon overbuild a house then move to Philippines same thing then Arizona and in one year i am now in escrow on a second house after fixing up the first.. we need a dam hobby... people born poor have only one hobby ... work

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Davaoeno
this will buy a decent place to live in Australia

 

 

I dont see how that advice helps Phil at all as his wife doesnt even want to live in Australia at this time !!

 

and buy a house in Aussie to rent out until the day comes, in many years, to move back to Australia with the kids.

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Airborne1

Hello. I just wanted to add a thought from a forum reader that doesn't know you (Phil) personally, but have been following your restaurant situation for the past month or two on the forum. First, like yourself, I am a veteran with a disability rating, although mine was with the US Army and I will be coming to Cebu for the first time next week. I can honestly say that I have been looking forward to eating at your restaurant (pizza pictures looked awesome) and playing some billiards, as I get to know the area and city where I will be relocating.

 

I can recall reading your postings on how excited you were with the opening of the restaurant, its promotions, marketing on the forum, etc. And yes, I have also read posts where you talked about losing money each month and expressed concerns for a continued customer revenue stream. As the son of a successful restaurant owner, I can remember many evenings where my father worried about losses in the beginning, and if holding onto his dream would break the family. Long story short....it worked out fabulously. The restaurent was a success and was a family event every day...lol. As many other forum members have responded, it might take a more unique marketing concept, or promotional activities, maybe with local college student groups, or other small business owners, etc., to bring your concept to its peak. But it will take time.

 

I won't presume to know your financial position and emotional investment, I can only say that yes, some restaurants and business ventures fail. However, those that do succeed, are almost always well worth the effort and investment in the longrun. Regardless, I have enjoyed reading your postings, reading about your restaurant, and I will guarantee you at least one more customer once I arrive in Cebu next week. Best wishes, and hopes that everything works out with Wombat's future.

 

J.P.

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Alan S

My first impression is that it looks like "money now, rather than wait for profits to come in".

That usually results in little money now, compared to what could come in over time.

 

Were it me, I would hang in there and keep it going until sales and profits improve (which, from what I have read here) will definately happen).

 

However, it isnt me.

Only you can know all the finer details, and make the choice.

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