DON’T MAKE THE MISTAKES I MADE AS A STARTUP.
My startup business failed because I made some terrible mistake, entrepreneurship is not just about zeal and goal, is not just about passion and vision. Wisdom is very important in your journey of building a business.
You don’t wait to learn from experience, you learn from people’s experience, I learnt this truth the hard way and I’m sharing this so you can avoid the same mistake I made some years back.
I applied for Yedp loan of the Central Bank and it was quickly approved. My business plan was superb, off course it should be, am a business plan consultant.
After the long process, it was disbursed by Sterling Bank. Now read carefully the mistakes I made that crumbled the business.
1. I was too excited: excitement is good but when it takes over your sense of reasoning and common sense, it becomes bad. The excitement of that huge amount of money in my bank account temporarily seized my sense of frugality. The picture I was having in my mind was just to start a big business that will start making lots of money. The way you see business on paper is different from the way business is run in the street. Never be too excited when money comes into your hand, especially loan. Get an accountability partner to calm you down so you can reason normal.
2. I started very big: No matter the huge amount of money at your disposal, start small and grow big. Even if the money is yours, start small and scale up fast. I started very big without enough customers to fill in the big vacuum I created, I keep making “big” expenses to keep the laundry business running. Paying workers and also dealing with the problem of unfaithful workers while the business has not started yielding enough sales to cover its expenses. Of course you make provisions for working capital to cover expenses during the incubation period of the business. But if you started big, the expenses will be overwhelming. Start small and grow big, if you jump up, you will surely come down, but if you grow up, you will remain up.
When a small business fails, you can easily get over it and start again, but when a big business fails, it’s not always easy.
3. I left the business too early for others to manage: owing to my consulting job, am not always around, so I have to trust others to help me manage it. You can’t trust others with a new business you just started and expect them to nurture that baby business the way the vision bearer will. New business is like a new born baby, it’s need all the attention it can get to grow. hired managers most times can’t be as committed as you to face challenges that comes with building a business. Unless the business is automated and can run by itself, but as a small business owner, you may not have all the finance to automate your business at that time or even the knowledge to do so. Better handle your business yourself until it gains stature.
4. I didnt have a mentor: mentors are shoulders you sit on to see ahead, a mentor would have easily helped me see these mistakes ahead. I was just running the business with the book knowledge I have. Very important, get a mentor who you can trust.
5. I was sentimental in hiring: I hired families and friend, not based on competence but based on “I know him” nothing kills business faster than that.
Run your business based on principles not on sentiment. As the business failed, they all went their separate ways and I’m left to bear the pain alone.
Finally, don’t stop learning. Keep learning and improving on your area of business.