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Diary of a Start-Up: Onward and Upward
 

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This last week at the Moxie has been an amazing one, and by amazing I mean incredibly stressful. We've finished all but the very last building details (we still need to install glass in the concession area and the projection room), our final inspections have been rolling in (two down, two to go), our 35mm projector was installed and calibrated, we received our first 35mm print for next week's test screenings, we've ordered all the hardware for our point of sale systems, and on and on and on. If I sat here and listed off everything we've done this week, your head would probably explode... literally. Likewise if I listed all the stuff we have LEFT to do.

I'd be lying if I told you Nicole and I weren't pulling our hair from all the stress, but I'd also be fibbing if I told you we weren't as excited and giddy as Tom Cruise on his wedding night. If we can successfully prioritize our final steps, we'll be primed and ready for our grand opening. However, if we devote too much time and effort to any one task... we'll be hurting. It's like my uncle says, "It's hard to soar with the eagles when you're surrounded by turkeys."

If we can step away from my family's folksy adages for a moment, I'd like to say a word about marketing, or our lack thereof. We've been incredibly lucky when it comes to garnering good, free press. Every press release we've sent has resulted in no less than three to four quality news pieces. The community's awareness of our financial struggles and delays has helped us create an invaluable buzz surrounding our grand opening. However, I doubt the news-worthiness of our business will extend much beyond the first few months of operation. When that time comes, it will be up to us to extend our market presence beyond our niche audience.

The Moxie's advertising campaign will begin with a monthly calendar that will be distributed far and wide. There's no better advertising than a calendar stuck to someone's refrigerator telling them exactly what we're showing each and every day of the month... unless, of course, you consider Moxie-branded collateral toilet paper, but that's another story altogether. Beyond the calendar, we'll also be participating in strategic ad bartering with a couple local magazines that distribute to our demographic all across the city. Will we ever consider radio or TV ads? Perhaps. I guess it all depends on whether I can license the rights to that old intermission staple:

Let's all go to The Moxie.
Let's all go to The Moxie.
Let's all go to The Moxie,
and have ourselves a blast!

Dorky, I know, but once it's in your head... it's impossible to get out.

I wish I could keep writing in with more posts from The Moxie, but our tour of duty has come to an end. It's been a blast, but I guess it's all for the best... I mean, we've got a new business to run!

Diary of a Startup 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 atThe Moxie Blog.

Last updated: Sep 9, 2005




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