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Diary of a Start-Up: Trimming the Fat
 

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Money, as the saying goes, doesn't buy happiness, but for us at The
Moxie, it would certainly buy an earlier opening date. At the moment
we're just a month shy of officially opening the theater, but had
finances not been an issue, we could have seen that opening in June,
possibly earlier.

Though we're not exactly hurting for additional financing, we've had
to cut a lot from our budget. For example, hiring professional
painters. Instead, Dan and I, along with whatever friend or family
member we could recruit, have had the fortune to spend the past two
weeks painting the interior of the building. And it's still not done!
The plus side of this process is that I've gained a new appreciation
for people who paint for a living. The negative side is that it's
eaten up a lot of time that could be spent on administrative tasks,
such as working with vendors, hiring employees, and creating our
monthly calendar, which we plan to hand out around town.

We were hoping to get all the painting done this week because tonight
is our public launch of the Moxie Founding Members, as mentioned in
last week's post. The Founding Membership is a program Dan and I
created to raise additional funds for those final touch-ups and
working capital. For $500, we're offering free movies for a year, free
popcorn, a plaque on one of the theater chairs, and some other fun
perks. We chose to do a membership over a bank loan for a few reasons:
we wouldn't have to pay back anyone; it would give us an automatic
core audience; and we have just enough moxie to do something like
that!

Moxie can only get us so far, though. We're hoping to cash in on an
event going on downtown tonight. Each first Friday of the month, our
downtown community does an Art Walk, where galleries stay open late
and offer new exhibits along with live bands, wine and hors d'oeuvres.
Though not an official stop on the Walk, we have advertised that we
will be open to hand out complimentary popcorn and sneak peeks of the
theater. And of course, we'll have fliers with information about the
Founding Memberships.

The people who usually attend these Art Walks are the ones who will
most likely be our regular customers. Tonight is a perfect opportunity
to spread the word about our memberships and the chance to gain that
extra bit of money. Let's just hope the unfinished painting won't
stand in the way.

Diary of a Start-Up is a weekly blog written by Dan and Nicole Chilton, who are currently starting up an art-house theater in Springfield, Missouri. Dan has been chronicling their progress for more than a year at The Moxie Blog.

Last updated: Aug 8, 2005




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