What is your “why” for starting your own business? Has it changed since you started?

Some people will say “I did it because I didn’t want to work” or “I didn’t want to have a job”. Other people will say “I found an opportunity and I just ran with it”. Other people will say “I wanted to go out and change the world”. The answers can vary. My reason for starting my business was because I thought it was incredibly romantic. As a young person, I read a lot of business biographies and was always captivated by the idea that somebody could take an idea and turn it into a physical product or a service that ended up changing the world – people like Henry Ford, JP Morgan, Rockefeller, Bill Gates, Richard Branson. The idea of having autonomy and freedom resonated with me as a young person. I didn’t come from means and so my “why” wasn’t really about money as much as it was about pursuing something that I thought was romantic and very (very) interesting.

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I’m finding it difficult to manage my personal finances after starting my own business. My business is growing fast, but I can’t afford an accountant. What do I do?

Managing your finances is probably one of the hardest things to do as an entrepreneur running a business. This is because all the money that you have personally comes from your business and all the money that your business uses in the first few years is coming from your pocket including mortgaging your house, borrowing money, using your credit cards, etc. I think many entrepreneurs struggle with how to manage their finances and manage their business finances at the same time. I would suggest that you start by becoming clear about the help that you need. Is it helping bills? Is it to help collect money from people that owe you money? Is it running payroll for your staff or your employees? Is it making sure that you have filed your taxes on time with the government? The better you can define what problems you’re having then the easier it is to find a solution.

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What is the best advice you can give someone planning on starting a business?

Probably the best advice that I can give someone who’s planning on starting a business is to understand what business you’re in. A lot of times what will happen is an entrepreneur will start a business and they’ll think that they’ve got it all figured out. They think it’s the product or the service that they sell and that’s the business that they’re in. Their business is the solution that people are buying. People pay money for a solution and depending on how their experience with the product or service delivering the solution is will impact on how much they’re prepared to pay and more importantly, how much they’re prepared to disproportionately pay if it’s a great experience.   

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Questions #entrepreneurs ask – 08/07/2019

Listen to the podcast here:

1. What are good ways to tackle debt without claiming bankruptcy? (02:22)

2. Given the dynamic nature of business, is a business plan necessary? (08:40)

3. How does building a business with the goal of being acquired, differ from building a business you intend to own and operate? (13:32)

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