Do you want to start your own business? Then you need understand what starting a business is like.
I get a lot of phone calls from guys tinkering with the idea of entrepreneurship. That’s why I wrote this post. (There’s also a video, which you can find at the end.)
Starting your own business can be pretty amazing, if you think you’re ready. But, business can be scary stuff…especially getting started.
Reid Hoffman is the guy that founded LinkedIn, and a bunch of other things. He is an entrepreneur genius. Reid’s got this great quote that I love. He says,
That being an entrepreneur is like jumping off a cliff and you assembling your airplane on the way down.
That is a perfect analogy for what starting a business is like. Your business might take off, but it might crash.
And if you take people with you on this journey, you could ruin their lives.
So, if you’re going to jump into business, then you need the following:
A Good Business Plan
The object of a good plan is to increase your likelihood of success.
A good plan is going to have at least these 6 key items:
- Monthly Breakeven
- Quarterly Goals
- Service Call Needs
- Install Needs
- Maintenance Needs
- Manpower Needs
You can read more about those areas in Kerry Webb’s recent Business Plan Blogs:
Willing to Lose It All
There is a possibility that it might not work out. You have to be okay with losing all of your time, initial energy, and money.
You’re jumping without a parachute. Entrepreneurs take leaps without having a parachute, without having the safety net. After-all, entrepreneur means “risk taker.”
That’s how I often determine if someone is serious or not about starting a business. I measure his willingness to take a risk. His willingness to jump without a parachute.
Parachutes are not optional in your business plan. Parachutes prevent you from going all in. When you have a parachute, you don’t work with urgency.
If your business crashes and burns, then you’ll drag the pieces back up the cliff, and jump again. Or, you got to work for someone else.
That’s the level of commitment you must bring to business ownership.
Worth the Risk?
If you’re a Technician, and you’re contemplating starting up your own business, my first piece of advice to you would be:
“Don’t do it!”
Now, this is coming from a guy that’s started a couple of businesses.
One didn’t work out. I didn’t lose everything, but I lost time. I lost three years of valuable invested time. I lost money.
There’s a lot of money I could’ve been making doing something else. I could’ve made more money as a sales person, but I believed in the business. I stayed until the point that I could not. I wasn’t a hundred percent owner. I sold my part off, and that was it. I didn’t make much money out of it. I lost far more money than if I were doing something else.
In essence, I had a parachute. I knew I could always do “something else.”. And you know what? Hanging onto that parachute was a big mistake. I should have let go and either made it, or crashed and burned.
I learned my lesson when I started Service Excellence Training.
No Parachutes. Flying is the Only Option
With SET, I went all in. I said to myself, “Hey, it all may crash and burn.” And, it almost did burn. We came so close in the first few months of not getting the business together.
But we made it! The wife and I were committed. We built the plane just in time. It started gliding feet from the ground, and now it’s soaring.
Want to start a business? My first piece of advice to you is don’t.
My second piece of advice to you is this,
If you’re going to do it, then be ready to go all in. Know that it might crash and burn.
My third piece of advice would be to have an amazing plan. An amazing plan is not working for someone else while you do side jobs. That’s not an amazing plan.
An amazing plan is being a hundred percent committed. You must have a business plan. You need to know how much money you’re going to lose; or how much money you’re going to make; and in what time period. You need a plan for this thing to last long term.
You need plan for the people you will take with you.
Entrepreneurship is about caring for people. It’s one thing for you to crash and burn. It’s a whole other thing to take other people on the fall with you.
Hey, this isn’t exactly motivational, but it is sound wisdom. You should listen to if you’ve ever considered starting your own business.
Until next time this is Todd Liles for Service Excellence Training, as always, helping you turn learning and earning.