We are born with an entrepreneurial streak – It’s in our DNA and there are an increasing number of people looking to start new businesses. This wave of start-ups is now zoning in on Jersey City as small business owners feel that Jersey City is becoming a hub and a vibrant destination that makes them feel optimistic about business growth in the area.
Coworking is a brilliant phenomena, which is now really coming into its own. It solves a lot of problems for entrepreneurs and opens up endless opportunities. Coworking spaces offer a community for entrepreneurs who otherwise might feel isolated, as well as abundant resources to grow their businesses.
There are a lot of options for financing a business, but none of them are easy. I was rejected by every major bank before I took my plan to community lenders and was approved. The process was painful. They poked and prodded into every detail of my life and it took months. In the end it was all worth it. I had what I needed to build my space and get myself to breakeven. Investors are another increasingly popular option, but you have to be willing to give up control of your business. You have to decide what you can handle and know what the other party is looking for. Whether you go with debt or equity financing you will be accountable to another party or parties. My goal is to get to a point the business itself can finance its growth. For most businesses this is the best option and will allow you to maintain your independence. For others you have to go after outside financing. Just make sure you never lose sight of why you started the whole thing to begin with.
Cashflow is the lifeline of your business. It’s not just about what you bring in and what you take out. But, most importantly, it’s about when you do it. I use my cash flow statement to know exactly where I stand and decide the next step of growth for my business. My cash flow projections are my peace of mind. Read More
As an entrepreneur, having financial control of my business makes the difference between me managing my business or my business managing me. One of the main reasons I became an entrepreneur was to be independent and have more control over my life. Read More
I use my business plan every day. It is a living document in my business. It is a tool that helps me stay focused and make decisions, while considering the implications the decisions will have on other parts of the business. A lot has changed since the first draft of my business plan, but it has remained a constant check and balance for me. Read More
Leadership is at the heart of every successful business. There is no doubt that every business will have its successes and failures. Being someone who can stay focused on the vision and lead employees, customers, partners, vendors…whoever is on board, through the ups and downs is what differentiates a leader from a manager. I knew I was a good manager before I started my own business. I was organized, focused, hardworking, outspoken. I knew how to get the job done. Now that I’m an entrepreneur, that’s not enough. I have to lead. I have to see how all the pieces come together, put them in the right order and, most importantly, inspire people to join me. A business plan will help you put and keep the pieces together, but your gut and willpower are the secret sauce.
To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be honest with yourself. Do you have what it takes? Are you willing to put in the hours and discipline needed to build a business? I find myself working as many hours, if not more, than I did when I worked for someone else. I carry the weight of the success of my employees and the happiness of my customers on my shoulders. I stomach the ups and downs in cash flow and endless commentary of naysayers. But because I’m willing to do those things I have the freedom to choose my path and create my purpose every day. It’s a very cool thing, but not for everyone. That’s why knowing where you stand in the market and what is needed to get to your goals is so important. It will help you stand your ground and push forward.