I’m 46 and been in sales and business development for 20 years. I have had an idea in my mind for many years and would love the freedom of running my own business but the fear factor and financial commitments have always held me back. I’d like to ask other people’s opinion on how they took the first step, how hard they found it – the good and bad, thanks?
First step is never easy, some might have seen the perfect opportunity and others might get forced due to circumstances. As for me, it was more of a forced situation but since I wanted to setup my own firm for sometime probably my circumstances made me take that first step.
As for fear factor and financial commitments, well they are always going to be around you till the time you reach a point where you feel settled. As for me, it is 3rd year of our business and still not reached a comfortable position but at least i get the pleasure of doing something i wanted to do and in a way i wanted to do.
Not sure if this answers your question but surely it can be start towards finding some answers.
Happy to catch up and chat if you need.
Good on you Peter. Go for it. You do not want to have any regrets in your life.
You overcome fear by being prepared. Work on putting together a sound business plan. Enlist the help of a great accountant (suggest chartered) to review the financial aspects of the plan and business structure. Find a great solicitor to set up the business structure.
Get a "war chest" of funds by way of savings to last you for 12 months. Do a budget and determine how much you need to last 12 months with no income from the business. This eliminates stress and stops you from seeming "desperate" in front of clients.
Last three things.
1) Don't tell your in-laws (particularly the brother-in-law).
2) Brain wash yourself by reading only motivational books and listening to motivational cds.
3) Believe in yourself and your ability to succeed.
This is the best time in the history of business to be your own boss! I’m into my second business. The first one cost me half a mil and I went back and worked for employers for 8 years before starting this one.
I am very fortunate to have been in a very strong position at the beginning and have a very supportive and understanding wife.
Do your research, there are some business killers that you won’t be able to control and hundreds that you can. There are some great tools on moneysmart.gov.au for small businesses.
Be sure that the product/service you want to exploit has a growing market and be committed to making sure you offer it in a uniquely personal way. People don’t buy things, they buy feelings and they buy from people they trust or someone a good friend trusts and refers to them.
As Anurag said, it is year three for me too and it was only around March this year that I started getting people calling me every week instead of me having to make 50 calls per week to find new leads.
Stay the course, listen to coaches, professionals and experts and never underestimate the “Brand You” effect. Don’t forget to come back and launch to us when you are up and running!
Best of luck
To use the cliche, start with a business plan. While most of it will be in your head, you need to get it on 'paper'.
Cash flow is a key issue to consider, and expect to become time-poor. It is a major step, but once you get through the initial two-three years, extremely rewarding.
Speak with your accountant (or get one) with business experience (CPA/CA recommended). Use their experience and knowledge, get a good bookkeeping software (Xero, MYOB etc.) and take some time with them to understand some basic report formats.
Finally, speak with a finance broker (one that can liaise with your accountant always helps). Make sure the financial pressure is under control so you can devote time early to grow the business (fall-back finances essential).
I was 44 when I started my first serious business in the real estate industry (has dabbled in side hustles for many years,mainly online selling) 2 years ago after 22 years of working for others.The fear factor was HUGE as at this age there is more at stake,family,kids,mortgages etc etc My personal Q & A inside my head:-
Q.Worst case scenario,where do I end up financial if business is not successful? A..well I can become an employee again!
Q.Is there a market opportunity or a need for my services? A. definitely
Q.Do I have the skill,qualifications,experience etc be the best at what I do? definitely.
Q.Is my wife supportive of this venture A.Yes. wider family,no,but didn't care about that.
Q.Am I prepared to lose everything over a new business venture? A.No I wasn't,as not a high risk taker,so planned and prepared accordingly for months (sought business advice,spoke to others in the industry,spoke to accountant etc before making the decision to go out on my own.
Is it hard doing a start up? its the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my business career besides being a dad to my 2 x kids (4 & 6 year old) Both keep you awake at 2am! But I did and am still doing both simultaneously. Now more like 5am starts.
Through the blood,sweat and tears my business is now state finalist in the Start Up Superstar category of a major business award. I never thought I would get this far! But I did as the number one thing that matters in all of this is your attitude to make it work no matter what obstacles are thrust upon you.And there will be many challenges and obstacles in business and life that will continue.It never goes away.You have to be fit of the mind,heart and stamina required.I had to change my eating,sleeping and fitness regime to keep up with it all.Your own business will consume you 24/7 if you allow it to.You need to control that or face burn out. Your mindset will make or break you.
New business is not for the faint hearted,its a lot harder than I would have ever imagined and has taken 4 times as long as I though it would to establish itself and until potential clients began to find me instead of me searching for them.But it has been a rewarding journey on many levels.Running your won business is just a matter of getting over the barriers that continue to be thrown at you.If you can grapple,duck,jump over or under those,one by one,you get closer to whatever your meaning of success is to you.
I follow my old public school motto to the day...Nile Sine Labore. Nothing without work!
Hope my post and my colleagues wisdom helps you.
Best of luck.
this will be you in 40 years mate, along with the rest of us entrepreneurial types!!!!!
but in all seriousness, if you have that genetic flaw that tells you to work longer hours for less pay than many, and kiss goodbye family time or sick leave, then more power to you!!!!! Because it really is people like you that can make a massive leap from what you should get and what you COULD get.
But the biggest word of advice I can give you is be aware. And the best way you can do this is to be informed and educated yourself about what you are doing and why you are doing it. If you dont know why you are doing something, find out. Then figure out a better way to do it.
my most successful client challenges me constantly. He is aware of every aspect of his business. EVERY aspect.
there is nothing he cant tell you about every peice of equipment he owns, why he needs it and how long before its going to be replaced.
He knows every staff members family names
he knows how to do the payroll, drive the truck, negotiate the contract, change the tyres, make the coffee, lock up and set the alarm, because he has done it all and has no problems pulling his weight, but he also knows that his time is better spent doing certain things.....
He NEVER asks a question unless he already has a pretty good idea himself of what the answer is. Which means I have to be on my game every time he calls. He knows exactly what is going on in his business, he respects his employees, and he doesnt waste anything, let alone something as scarce as his own time.
and he has just sold a business that he started from zero about 16 years ago for around $10m.
so be like that bloke.