As a new Lieutenant in the Army, I learned that when in a complex operating environment, even the most robust and well-organized plans do not survive first contact with the enemy. This lesson comes from Helmuth von Moltke, a German Field Marshall and strategist from WWI. He wrote it as, “No plan of operations extends with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy's main strength…strategy is a system of expedients.”
He taught that planning was critical to success, but even more so was the ability to adjust as needed to the ever-changing situation. He recognized that when in battle, there are an infinite number of variables that change every moment; planning contingencies for each was a futile exercise. Instead, military leaders are taught to build versatility into their plans and teams; ensuring that when the unexpected happens, new action can be executed quickly to adjust and ensure the team continues forward towards the objective. This is another characteristic of being Able.
We looked at our new venture in the same manner, because every business operates within its own complex operating environment (the market).
We opened the doors to Able Ebenezer 4 weeks ago, and in that time we’ve learned a great deal. Far more beer than anticipated is being sold out of the tasting room, and far more restaurants are expressing interest in serving our beers to their guests. The question quickly became how do we adjust to these demands, while maintaining the integrity of our product and service? Here’s what we’ve done thus far:
For those in the local public who have expressed how much they love the experience of our Tasting Room, we amended our liquor license to allow the serving of Pints. In doing so, we have achieved the local, communal atmosphere that “Live Free or Die” citizens crave.
To maintain our promise to establishments putting Able Eb on tap that we would never allow growth to hinder their access to our products, we have begun a waitlist for new accounts. As tempting as it is to sign new business, the last thing we want to do is make the commitment and fail to deliver in the future due to over-extended inventory.
These above adjustments are driven by one of our company principles: We’re in the business of building lasting relationships with our customers, be they individuals in our Tasting Room, or the owners/managers/staff of New Hampshire restaurants. It’s very easy to gain customers up front; it’s far more difficult to keep them for years to come. We prefer the latter; it’s just good business.
Finally, we’ve begun interviewing fellow veterans in the local area who share our passion to bring onto our team. This is a major step for us, as creating a job (I like to think) is a dream every entrepreneur shares. We hope to create many more in the coming months.
With that, we continue on with our production and delivery efforts within this complex operating environment; we will continue to adjust and drive on. I want to personally thank you all for granting us these challenges with your continued interest, patronage, and telling of the story.
Co-Founder | Accounts & Engineering