Through this writing position with Allbusiness and the website that I run I am blessed to meet with and talk to many women who are either interested in starting a business or who have already done so and are currently operating a company. The majority of these women began working in their own business because they found something that really spoke to them, whether it was jewelry design, handbag making, writing, or creating beautifully handwritten and hand designed cards.
As we chat about how we got started in the business world we discuss what got us interested in what we are doing and how we then turned that interest into a company. Oftentimes what we find is that we didn’t think too much about the funding at first, but then realized after we got started in writing up a business plan, or at least thinking one through, that we were going to need funding in order to get our feet, and our ideas, off of the ground.
Think about it: Even in a service related industry, of which I have entered, you need start-up funds. Business licenses are not cheap-I paid nearly$250 for my license in Pasadena and then when we moved I had to purchase a new license in my new town and paid about half of that first fee here. Supplies are not cheap: computer paper, pens, software, business cards, and any other small business trinkets, such as magnets and pens, all add up. If you are interested in a product related business you’ll find yourself shelling out even more money for supplies, storage, and sundries. Web sites start around $500 and can cost into the thousands depending upon what you need, and you may find that you need to upgrade your vehicle, purchase additional insurance, or rent office space.
That’s why it always worries me when I speak to someone who doesn’t know what they want to do, but who only knows that A) they want to own a business and B) they have no money for start up and want to open the doors on next to nothing.
If you fall into this category, stop right now. Turn around. Run the other way. Remain employed by others until you know what it is that you love and could stand doing every single day of the rest of your life AND you have the money to back you up. Otherwise, you will not be able to support a start up and, sad to say, you will be doomed to fail, as many businesses do in that first critical year.
I am writing this post today because I have been talking to a girl that has an excellent business idea. She emailed me after reading one of my blogs and we began to correspond. She ran the idea by me and started asking for advice, which I gave freely at first because I truly believed in her idea and loved her creative, and interested, entrepreneurial spirit.
Over the course of several weeks she revealed two major flaws that made me certain her idea would fail. First, she knew nothing about what she wanted to do. Her idea blended graphic design with technology, yet she didn’t have design experience nor did she know much about technology. After explaining the cost of what a designer would charge for her ideas, she told me that not only did she not know design, but she had no money to pay a designer in order to begin creating the first designs she wanted to use to start up the company. She also didn’t have the software needed to produce her creations or the money to purchase the software needed to produce her creations. When I explained my feelings about her venture, she said she agreed, but then a few weeks later she emailed back that she was still interested in starting a company and asked if I knew of anything that she could get into that would cost little to no money initially.
Unfortunately, this is fairly common. I read a lot of posts and emails and messages from mothers who want to start a company but who do not know what they want to do and have little to no funding for a start up. All businesses cost money, and before you sink your hard earned dollars into a company you have to know what it is that you want to do and how to do it. Bottom line, mommies: You must understand the idea behind your business in order to get it off of the ground (meaning you should be able to do almost every part of it on your own if you HAVE to, even if you have the funds to hire out help) AND you must have the money to back up your plan before you even begin.
Have a wonderful Thursday, mommies. This week sure is flying by!