Risks and challenges
The Cauldron is a somewhat unconventional Kickstarter project and as such comes with some specific challenges and risks. You, as a backer, should be aware of them (because we certainly are).
1) It could fail.
Yes, it could fail! The Cauldron is a startup tech company and there are risks in that. We will try with every iota of our focus and attention to help The Cauldron be successful, but it could fail. In the literary spirit of the pub, “tis better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all.”
We are passionate, competent, and excited to make this idea happen. We hope you will give us that opportunity.
2) Magic is hard to make.
It is. However, after prototyping over the past few months we are absolutely positive that we can deliver every aspect of magic that we have outlined in our video.
The Cauldron's magic is really about excellent design. Yes, we are inventing some new technology, but really what we are doing is pulling together the recent innovations in technology that can make magic seem real. It is a mix of creation, adaptation, and design.
3) The property market can be unpredictable so it may be challenging to get premises.
We are looking to lease a pub in Central London, which is some of the most desirable and expensive real estate in the world. This means that a) we may not get our first choice in property, b) a property may not become available in accordance with our timeline, or c) properties that we like may be more expensive than we can afford. These are real possibilities, and we have done our best to carefully consider each possibility.
a) We may not get our first choice in property
Totally possible and probably likely, but that is ok! We are not married to one specific property. We would really like the pub to be within a certain neighbourhood in Central London, but are flexible within that requirement. Part of the charm of The Cauldron is that it just blends in with other shops and pubs and that those who know about it can find it. That means that a lot of shabby establishments that are in need of some love have some serious potential.
b) A property may not become available in accordance with our timeline
We are looking to sign premises around September so that we can begin refurbishments and have our grand opening in March 2018. It is a possibility that no property is available with this timeline. However, we have been working with a property search agency that specializes in this market and feel confident that with enough flexibility we can can find a suitable location. If there are absolutely no pubs available to lease, then we will have to push back our timeline. We will make every effort not to do this. In the event that this happens, we will do our best to still deliver our Kickstarter rewards in accordance with the timeline outlined in this project.
c) Properties that we like may be more expensive than we can afford
The funding goal for this Kickstarter was set after working with a property agency that specialized in the commercial market in this part of London and building prototypes of the technology outlined in our Kickstarter video. We looked at pubs in this area that have gone on the market within the past few years. We believe that we have correctly estimated the cost to lease a pub, but the real estate market can change and market prices can increase. Unfortunately, we cannot control this. If we cannot find a pub within our price range, we have a few options. We can expand our search to other parts of London until we find a pub for lease in our price range, we can take on outside investment to bring in more initial capital, or we can partner with an existing pub in this area. Each of these options is not bad if it means we can execute this project in accordance to our timeline while staying true to the spirit of the idea.
4) Insufficient capital due to unknown expenses or low sales
Running a pub can be very expensive, but the most expensive part are the startup costs. Based on research and market trends we have tried to estimate a cost for each of the startup items, but unknown expenses are a possibility. Because there are several unknowns, our budget allocation needs to be somewhat flexible. In understanding this, we have tried to anticipate the unexpected, and will be frugal with how we make purchases and business decisions.
Also, it is possible that our actual turnover is lower than our projections. Again, these projections are based on research from similar properties. We do think that there are enough fans of the wizarding world to keep a steady stream of customers.
4) Matt has never operated a pub.
Very true; while he has spent a lot of time at the pub, it has never been behind the bar! Matt’s background is in technology, design, entrepreneurship, and education. However, Matt knows how to build strong teams, communicate across disciplines, and surround himself with highly competent people who have complementary skill sets. It is important to remember that whilst The Cauldron is a pub, it is equally a technology company, which is Matt’s bread and butter. The first hire for The Cauldron will be a senior engineer, followed shortly by a senior manager who has experience running a pub in London. Matt will lean on these two individuals for their breadth of experience and insight. The learning curve should not be underestimated, but The Cauldron can be successful by building a stellar team with experience in each of these areas.
We are proud members of the British Institute of Innkeeping, the professional body representing individuals working across the licensed hospitality industry. Through this we are paired with a mentor who has years of experience in the Innkeeping industry. We will surround ourselves with the best and brightest in the hospitality industry who will help advise The Cauldron and make it more successful.
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter