Never miss a new episode of Shark Tank? Invented a revolutionary evaporating kitty litter that you’re itching to debut to the world?
You’re not alone.
Every month, some 543,000 new businesses are launched—but the hard truth is that only seven out of 10 survive the crucial first two years to stay in the game.
To help you get your own big idea off the ground with your expectations in check, we asked Trisha D. Scudder, founder and principal of Executive Coaching Group, Inc.—a pioneer in the field, with over 25 years of experience—to outline the unexpected sacrifices, the rookie mistakes, and yes, the perks of being the big kahuna during the tricky early years of owning your own business.
LearnVest: What’s the first bit of advice you’d give to someone who’s thinking of starting their own business?
Trisha D. Scudder: First and foremost, get the facts! From research to talking to people in your new industry, make sure that you have a real, complete view of what it will take to launch your business and be successful. Most entrepreneurs fall in love with their idea—reality and details be damned. That sets up a lot of suffering and sacrifice later, which could be avoided with an informative plan from the start.
Second, consider a business partner. The right choice in a partner–maybe someone who has different strengths than your own–will help you succeed faster, and not feel so burdened and overwhelmed in the early years.
How much money should someone have saved up before launching a business?
Enough! This question is impossible to answer in generalities. Some start with $5,000 and a great idea. Some require millions to launch. That’s why you must research and forecast what it will take to get your business up and running–plus fund your daily living expenses.
It takes time to build a business, set up a location, hire staff and attract a client and customer base. And during all of this, money is going out, not coming in. In most cases, you should double whatever you project you will need in time and money to start your business. The world isn’t waiting for your idea or business—it is doing just fine, thank you, without it. So it takes great persistence and resilience to have the world finally see you–and want to work with you.