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Starting a Business

Let’s face it…starting a business elicits a mix of feelings and emotions.  There are challenges and uncertainty, as well as the excitement of doing something on your own, building something, or changing the way people live, work and play.  We have more than 20 years of experience working with start-up companies.

There is an old saying, “It’s not the businesses that you invest in, it’s the ones you don’t invest in that make you successful.”  Friends will often say, “Go for it, you can do it.”  Ask them to risk the money that you are going to risk and see if they are still going to believe in you.  If they do, take the money and get started!

All too often I hear of people starting businesses who have no clue that they are seriously outmatched and underprepared.  It is not that they can’t do it, it’s that they are going into their business with blinders on.  They haven’t had anyone take a critical look at their idea.  They haven’t had anyone tell them why they should or shouldn’t start a business. 

If you are looking to start a company, let’s talk.  We offer a one-hour complimentary consultation.  It may save your business investment (or your marriage)!

 

How have you helped clients start a business?

A few years ago a client asked us to help them set the pricing for projects they were working on.   We worked to understand their client base, what they found to be of value, etc.  We created a pricing model that worked for each project the client worked on.  They quickly went from $0 to over a million dollars in profit.  Not every client will experience the same results, however, our goal is to help every client maximize their profits.

 

What do you think about multi-level marketing companies? 

They are a great model for the person who starts it, but they lack a true business model.  The largest issue is that they remove “a middle-man” and add hundreds of middlemen in the form of “down-line.”  The second reason I don’t like most of them is that they are often built on false expectations.  The largest problem is seen with the stay-at-home-mom.  We have so many educated moms at home right now.  They went to school and now feel that their life consists of picking up after the husband and kids.  Then they get roped into selling a product or service with very little real potential to create a meaningful income. 

 

What is the most important element of starting a business? 

One? There are really four:  (1) a good idea -- it doesn’t have to be great if you are skilled,  (2) a good understanding of how to manage,  (3) two-to-three times the amount of money you believe you will need until you are profitable, and (4) you have to believe in your product/service, e.g. a good sales person can sell even an “ok” product and/or service.

 

Where do you see business owners needing the most help?

It really depends on the industry.  When a client has some control over pricing, then it is typical that they don’t value what they do enough.  Often they will agree with this, but getting a business owner to step out beyond their “comfort” zone and charge more takes some work.  When they have little control over pricing (government contracting can be very price sensitive), then we are working on costs, which means everything from taxes to toilet paper.  Every dollar we squeeze out of their income statement drops to the bottom line (into our clients’ pockets minus what the tax man takes).

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