Starting a business…

I just wanted to write a quick article regarding some things I think about as I reflect back on starting a business and the journey to get where I am now.

One of the most important things a new business is going to need in order to eventually become successful is patience!  This really boils down to the discipline of the owner, or owners.  You can also call this delayed gratification.  The reason this is so important is two fold.  The first is money, and the second is time.

Regarding money:

Your young business is going to need more money than you anticipate.  It is just going to happen, no matter how thorough you are with your projections and budget.  Customers will slow pay, or no pay (yikes!), and this is going to screw things up right from the get go.  Expect it.  Plan for it.  This is not an excuse.  Safeguard for this by requiring pre payment or by having a credit card on file to run if they are not making their payments as they agreed to.  This is definitely not the only issue regarding the money aspect of this article, and probably not even the biggest.

In my opinion the biggest issue with new businesses just starting out is that the business owner feels like the money the business generates is theirs to keep, and spend as they wish.  I see their point, but this is a quick way to run out of money, fast!  You are going to have to reinvest the money back into the business to be successful.  This may last for several years.  I know there is a severe lack of financial education in the education system in the world today.  You will have to seek out this information for yourself.

I personally didn’t take a salary from my first business for the first 4 years!  I am not exaggerating!  My business covered most of my expenses, which helped a lot, and you can do this too.  I only took out the money I needed for necessities like food, etc.  Honestly, I don’t even think the people around me could tell I was living like this, because looking back, I think they were living like this too, and many still are.  Now, I keep $50k plus in my bank account between my personal and business account, which is a single member LLC.  I use the $50k mark as most people use $0.  It took me 8 years to get to this point.  If you would like to hire my consulting firm, we can get you there much faster.

Regarding time:

I now have a much better understanding of time management.  You have probably heard the term, 9 to 5, to describe a typical corporate work schedule.  Well, I am not joking my Monday through Friday schedule was 5 to 9, and then I put it another 10 hours over the weekend.  That is 90 hours a week.  I literally ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner in front of the computer or in my truck between jobs.  I specifically remember sucking down a cigarette at 5am with my heart feeling like it was going to beat out of my chest wondering how I would have everything ready to go when my employees came in at 7:30, it was terrible!

If I were going to do this over, this would not happen with the knowledge I have accumulated over the years, but this type of determination will still be needed when you are starting a business. You must be willing to work around the clock if needed.  If you are not, you will not be around long.

I now have given more responsibilities to my employees, along with greater pay to compensate them for the additional work.  I’m spending 10 hours or less a week on my business at this point and generate a pretty healthy income, especially considering the limited time I have involved.  I put the time in on the front end though.  My 90 hour weeks are now getting evened out by my 10 hour weeks.  I am really glad I experienced those 90 hour weeks.  They now motivate me to never go back to that lifestyle.  If you are feeling like there is not enough time in the day, please contact us, we are here to help.

-Ryan Sciamanna

Good Business Consulting