float center ownership

Float Center Construction Part 1...

Let me start this blog with the disclaimer that I am not a professional contractor, nor am I some wildly experienced float center guru. However, my husband and I have spent the last 7 months imagining, planning, designing and building Anicca Float Club from the ground up. We have poured our hearts and souls into learning as much as we can and doing everything we can to get this business off the ground. We have tripped, triumphed, fallen flat on our faces and picked ourselves back up all in the name of Anicca Float Club. It is safe to say, we know more than 99% of the population about float center construction.

So, where shall I begin....I am sure most people have heard the travel adage. "Take half of the stuff out of your bags and take double the money." Well that has some relevancy when it comes to Float Center construction: Add 30% more to your budget, double the time you expect it to be finished, "unpack" some of your splurge items and ditch your extraordinarily high expectations at the float room door. :)

Most of the people I have met entering this industry right now are the pioneers. We are the people with a personal connection and a passion for floating. We are the people scrounging together our savings, asking friends, family and crowd sourcing to help us fund these Float Businesses. Major investors may be making their way into the industry but they are not the dominant force and bank loans are tricky to acquire when the vast majority of the public has never heard of floating.

So, fellow passionate hard working bootstrappers I have a few questions for you:

1) Do you have a full time job?

2) Is your life/work schedule INCREDIBLY flexible?

3) Are you afraid to change furnace filters, change door knobs, screw in light bulbs and use a paint brush?

4) Can you communicate with carpenters, plumbers, electricians to tell them what you want, compare bids and NEGOTIATE?

If funds are limited and you are pretty handy with a power drill, sawzall, floor scraper etc., etc.... then being your own general contractor is a great way to learn heaps and make sure construction is going as you desire.  NO ONE is going to care as much about your business as YOU, NO ONE is going to know as much about floating and the specifics of float center design and NO ONE is going to make sure things are done exactly as you want. We are all human, people misread plans and plans change. Speaking from experience, you are not going to have your architect modify and reprint your master drawings every time a fixture gets moved or the exact location of a floor drain changes. I honestly cannot tell you the number of times we have made last minute decisions that deviate slightly from our original drawings or caught little errors and miscommunications as we have moved through each phase of our construction. Be vigilant and flexible!

A few lessons from the beginning:

1) DO NOT USE FRIENDS- Using a contractor friend sounds great at first, but if you value someone as a friend then I would suggest not hiring them as a contractor.   Misunderstandings, miscommunications an are inevitable.

2) BE SPECIFIC - If you want something you must tell the contractor and WRITE IT DOWN.

3)REFERRALS - Try to find contractors who friends and family have given glowing reviews! This is tricky, because many excellent home contractors do not touch commercial construction. When you reach the commercial level there are companies of all different shapes, sizes, capabilities, union and non-union. Finding the right contractor for size and scope of your job is tricky.   Ask around other small local business owners who have recently opened and see if they have any leads. If you find one great contractor ask him (or her) if he has people he likes to work with.

3) CONTRACT TERMINATION - Consider time clauses and grounds for dismissal on any contractor hired. How quickly do you expect a job to be finished?  Ask the contractor what is a reasonable time frame and then add extra time to buffer and account for unexpected challenges. If the person you hired doesn't show up for 3 days, doesn't call and you want to hire someone  else to complete the work make sure it is written in the contract! A lazy contractor may try to be awarded full compensation for an incomplete job. Unfortunately, not everyone is honest and hardworking

4) DO NOT EXPECT EVERYTHING TO BE ROSY: trucks break down, children get sick,  custom ordered items get lost, sewer mains will not be where they are expected to be, inspectors will show up at the wrong time, there will inevitably be a blizzard and maybe even a few power outages all along the way. It seems like we make plans so that the universe can throw wrenches in them. 

The best plans are flexible! Happy Float Club Owners will recognize the impermanence (ANICCA) of float center construction and take it all with a grain of Epsom salt.

Decisions, Decisions, DECISIONS...

We made the decision to Open a Float Club.... GREAT! Now there are only about 8,769 more decisions to make before we can open our doors! (Nope, I am not kidding!) Where will you open? What tanks, pods or ROOMS will you offer?  Will there be additional services? Retail? Oxygen? Aromatherapy? Singing parakeets?! The list of ideas will go on and ON!

For anyone who knows me personally, making decisions has never been my forte. As a child I would sit in the aisle at the toy store contemplating whether I should get the grey Sylvanian bunny family or the white Sylvanian bunny family? 20 minutes would pass and I would still be running scenarios in my head such as; What if one bunny family was more fun to play with than the other?, Would the grey Bunny family get along with the grey Bear Family? Will the grey Bunnies look good in the daisy yellow outfits I already have?

Fast forward to my 20s and I went through a phase where I never ordered less than 2 appetizers at a restaurant. Forget about choosing a single main course, I wanted to hedge my bets with small plates. The result, I ate at a lot of tapas!

You must be thinking that I have out grown of this childish indecision by now, right?!  Well... in my head I have improved, but I still treat the average yes or no question with multiple choice answers. (A habit that baffles my spouse to no end.) :)

What BIG decision has Anicca Float Club made this week?! Well after much pondering and many, MANY quotes... we have decided that we will not have a patchwork quilt shower made of Corian, Onyx, Acrylic and 2 different styles of tile.  We will not have 4 different shower styles either! We will have custom built acrylic showers. We will have no grout to clean and no sneaky places to harbor germs. Our oversized shower bases will be non-slip and there will be grabby bars for all the clumsy people out there like ME!

Whew... Now what is for dinner?!  Tapas anyone?

The beginning, or maybe it's the ever moving middle...

There comes a time in your life when you are no longer satisfied settling. You are no longer satisfied "keeping up with the Joneses" or the status quo. You are no longer satisfied doing things that do not ignite your inner fire because, there is something else in your heart.  There is something else on your mind.  There is something else that needs to be created. There is something screaming to get out of your soul!  Finally, you summon the strength deep within you to make it happen. Or perhaps I should more accurately say, you stop suppressing your passions with fear and rationalizations.  

There you stand atop a grand precipice and you have finally realized that it is actually scarier to continue to just stand staring at the, “what if” scenario than it is to jump into the seemingly dark and cavernous space below. YOU MUST JUMP.

This story, is our story, the true story of Anicca Float Club.  Stay tuned to our Blog as we share our insights and adventures in the world of floating and beyond.  It was only 6 months ago we decided to hurl ourselves into the abyss of Float Club Ownership and we have discovered it's not so scary, it's simply the next step on our adventure.