At a certain point during your small business start-up you will realize that your plan is working, kind of working or not working at all.
To start a business is one thing. To keep it going and have it succeed, let alone make a profit is entiely another story and that’s what I’m going to dig into today.
Like I mentioned in my earlier post, it’s best to find mentors to guide you along the way, especially if you have never been in business before. Find other seasoned business owners that are willing to help and assist you so you can avoid icebergs, sharks, barracuda, jellyfish and all the other hazards that could sink your new enterprise.
The earlier you find these people the better.
Because a small business startup take time, perseverance and a willingness to do whatever it takes. But without a plan and guidance, you might find yourself back in a job with the other percentage of folks who didn’t make it.
And now we’ll continue with the startup saga of the Two Jacks and Dave…
This story continues where we left off in part two – Beyond the Startup.
After the initial opening of the business and settling in we leased an office we couldn’t afford. This was a mistake and cost us dearly because we then had to move the office into my partners Mother’s home. Boy was this humbling and an experience that I will never forget.
Fortunately for me I was very young, flexible and had tons of energy but the agency/management/product business was fledgling, underfunded, unfocused and not going to make it, unless serious changes were made.
Believe it or not this was a really great experience for me. Both the hard lessons learned and connections made were worth it, although at the time I can say it was quite stressful and led me to living in a hallway for $50 a month.
Talk about a hit to the self image. VP of Ad agency living in hallway – that’s what a client wants to know….NOT!
Anyways -we looked and searched for funding, but no takers arrived. I funded some of our dealings with my credit cards and ended up paying these off over a period of years. It’s a nice reminder of your mistakes and misdealings when you go to pay a bill every month for a few years.
Time to Pull The Plug…
At the point where I realized it was time to move on, it was almost too late, but I got out just in time. Instead of sticking it out I decided to move on and start anew, and start anew I did, but in a totally different small-business venture that again included family.
This was painful but proved to be the right move at the time. I needed stability and could not move forward with my existing business partner.
The downside of the split was that Uncle Jack had to pay off the bank and neither of us had enough cash to pay off Uncle Jack. This led to Uncle Jack’s kids coming after Dave and then Dave had to take an advance on a credit card to pay off his distant relatives.
Sound like fun? If not, then avoid the pitfalls and road blocks in your start-up by taking advantage of these points:
1. Have solid partnership agreements in place, even if it’s family. Make sure to have your legal house in order, no matter what the potential partner says. Because when it comes to money or debt or liabilities, you could end up holding the notes like I did.
2. If you have a vision for your business and the market is ripe… Pursue and stick to your vision like GLUE! Just like we should have with the ‘On Hold Product’ that we produced.
3. Like I said in the beginning of this post – FIND Mentors and people who will guide and help you along the way. It may take a month or two or three but it will be worth it.
Enjoy the journey…because it’s the only one you have.