Step into CBK Craft Bar and Kitchen and you’re immediately met with full on enthusiasm and energy from owner Billy Emeny. After purchasing the new bar and kitchen from previous owners of what was then known as Bravo in the Red Square we asked Billy a few questions on what makes CBK unique and what discoveries he has made along the way as a fairly new business owner.
Top 3 business standout moments?
One that immediately comes to mind is our opening day, 20th July 2016. Call it an epiphany but it was at that moment that I realised I DID IT!
I genuinely love being my own boss and having the freedom to run the business my way. Freedom doesn’t mean sitting around doing nothing, in fact it’s the opposite when you have your own business!
Another stand out has to be the fact whatever we are doing here at CBK it is working. That is extremely satisfying and seeing the vision come alive is so rewarding.
Top challenges/learning curves?
Learning the difference between cashflow and profit. Wow - that’s a steep learning curve and I’m sure a lot of business owners can relate to that on some level. The art of running a consistently profitable business comes down to having a results driven business plan and hard work that’s for sure.
Another challenge is working with the external powers that be in the area who make decisions that can have a direct impact on your business. As you can imagine there are all sorts of bylaws we have to work around so you have to work on relationship building and effective
Best advice you’ve received?
No one got to the top by standing at the bottom saying I want to run my own business, you actually have a take a huge leap of faith, jump out of your comfort zone and do it.
The other one is you don’t know what you don’t know ...as we all know hindsight is a wonderful thing, but really and truly I wouldn’t change a thing as you learn invaluable skills and what your key strengths are along the way.
What advice would you give someone going into their own business?
I did a business plan and it was a good business plan but I wish I’d done more. A biggie for me is to do your research, research and more research! I can honestly say Michael, Lindsay and Shelley have been amazing to work with; not only providing accounting services but business support as well.
Having Michael to work alongside us breaking down ways to improve revenue and profit and provide support and guidance is worth its weight in gold. Hand on heart I would recommend them to anyone in business. It’s the best money I’ve spent.
What services and support have you received from Grace Team?
Of course we get the standard accounting services and Shelley is brilliant but it’s the support and guidance that I get from Michael and the team that has had the biggest impact.
You have to have that key support and advice and once or twice a year I meet up with Michael and we go over the strategic plan. It is so worth it and as I say hand on heart these guys are amazing to work with. They have supported me in business in so many ways it’s been invaluable.
One thing you’d do differently?
Probably right at the beginning with the construction I would have a much better handle on contractors accountability to avoid the budget blowing out. In saying that though I love what we have created and the space has a great vibe and layout so I’m very pleased with the results.
Proudest achievement so far at CBK?
Best food, best customer service and best drinks is what we’re all about and when I get that feedback I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved. Being on the producing side of things is a great experience for me.
Also the fact that I go to bed every night knowing I support 18 people in my business. It’s nice to know you employ local people who get to live, work and play in the Bay.