Chances are if you are reading the Maker’s Row blog you have been there before or you are there right now. Leaving a full-time job to become a self-sufficient full-time entrepreneur is not for everyone. A successful transition requires a lot of planning, some serious patience, and a whole lot of flexibility.
We get the opportunity to speak with a number of first-time entrepreneurs at Star Funding about financing their start-ups. Many are in the early planning stages looking for more information before they make the jump. Planning is good, RIGHT? It certainly is, and along with planning comes a lot of “What Ifs”. There are 5 main fears I hear from the entrepreneurs I speak to. Here they are below along with some ways to get past them and into the world of being your own boss.
What are the chances I lose my initial investment? – Oh the life of an entrepreneur. Considering most businesses don’t make it, you should be prepared to lose your entire investment. First-time entrepreneurs experience a lot of costly and unexpected roadblocks along the way. Some of which can totally derail a project and put you back at square one. If losing your investment puts you into the poorhouse then you may want to seek out an investor or reconsider the size of the initial investment to begin with. Always make sure you have some funds tucked away for a rainy day.
Am I doing this the right way? – The good news here is that there is no right or wrong way to build a business. With so many options out there for product development, production, and sales the variations of how you can launch your business are endless. Now, of course your plan has to make sense and the numbers have to add up. Lean on someone with some experience here and let him or her pick apart the flaws in your plan (hopefully in a constructive manner). You can learn a lot from someone who has already made all of the mistakes.
What happens if I can’t secure the money I need? – Understanding the ins and outs of the funding that is available to different types of businesses is a good place to start. Arranging the right types of funding at the appropriate stages is crucial here and you have to plan accordingly. For example, if you are planning to become a wholesale business consider purchase order funding and factoring as a way to scale your business. If you are selling direct to consumers you may need to take out a personal loan to start or secure small cash advances against your revenue from a place like MRKT Capital. Don’t rush into a funding option because it’s easy or available. Pick the financial partner or lender that makes the most sense as a long-term relationship, even if they happen to be a little more expensive.
What if I can’t sell my products? – Yep, that can be a problem. After committing all of that time and investment you now find out you have a slow moving product on your hands. You will always want to test the market the best you can through friends and family prior to going full speed. Doing this early (maybe before quitting your day job) is always smart. The good news is that you have a product that you can now redesign with feedback from the market. There are also a number of great resources on Maker’s Row to help you improve your products and manufacturing process.
I just don’t want to let down the people supporting me. – And I don’t just mean financially. Becoming a full-time entrepreneur takes a toll on a lot more than just your wallet. It can put a strain on relationships as well. Putting 110% into your new project doesn’t mean you have to disregard those around you. It’s still ok to make time for friends and family. After all, they will be the ones supporting you through this endeavor. Make sure you take time to separate yourself from work to focus on the important people in your life and they will be your biggest fans.
Nobody said being an entrepreneur would be easy but the rewards can be amazing. There is nothing like being your own boss and spending your time doing what you are passionate about. Take your time to plan accordingly and don’t be afraid to seek advice and assistance wherever you can. Websites like Maker’s Row offer tons of great resources to help you get to your goals.
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