In finishing the last segment of this blog, I left you with our skills inventory completed. Based on our responses, it seemed that between both my skill set and Gary’s, we were ideally suited to an occupation dealing with people in a helping way. We were also lovers of beautiful surroundings, the concept of home, cooking and Gary is a whiz at fixing nearly anything. We began to narrow down our business pursuits to small, casual dining or accommodations. Neither of us entertained the idea of a hotel. Next stop on the journey…..Where?
Location, Location Location! Business is a very different animal than working for others. It would be entirely feasible to have developed the very best X in the world, perfectly run, beautifully orchestrated and ideally imagined. However, if the business is service in nature~all this would be for naught if there are insufficient numbers of people to patronize the glories of what you’ve accomplished.
We wanted the location we selected to be both personally pleasing as well as economically awesome.
We both really enjoyed North Carolina. The state offers the joys of all four seasons. All without the exaggerations of excessive snow that we thought might prove personally exhaustive as well as a shot in the foot to a business that requires people being able to access the business location. Location has many facets, climate is only one of them. The second, equally important, is what those in business call “the draw.” An apt definition of that term would be “what does your location offer the people you are trying to attract to your business?” We entertained several areas of North Carolina. We looked at Cary, N.C., Winston Salem, N.C. & Wilmington, N.C. areas of the state at the same time we looked at Asheville, N.C.
I was a hard critic. I had raised my child in Port Saint Lucie, Fl., worked as a nurse there for more than 20 years. We had friends of a lifetime there. It wasn’t that we’d really chosen the place but it held our history and hence our hearts, in the palm of it’s hand. It’s hard to select another location for an undertaking of this kind. At least it was until the electric door of Asheville Regional Airport opened ushering my exit to the expanive panorama of an awesomely beautiful mountain landscape in full fall color. It is said that Asheville claims it’s own. I believe that because on that very day while Gary was securing our luggage at baggage claim, the city of Asheville reached out, gently took my hand and welcomed me home.