Monthly Archives: December 2017

Steps to starting your own business

“I’m afraid to start a new business because I may blow through all the money I saved.”

Author: Phillip Washington Jr.

A wise man once wrote, “Suppose one of you want to build a tower.  Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? “ (For the pastors and bible study teachers out there, you will know this wise man is Luke, the disciple, not the rapper.)

Most people know the statistic that something like 8 out of 10 businesses fail in the first 18 months because they run out of money.  What I’ve observed over last 10 years advising families on how to achieve their dreams and financial goals is that the number one reason for failure is they refuse to put the hard work in on the front end.  There must first be a well thought out financial plan.

Here’s what happens to most businesses who I’ve seen fail.  They say, “I have an idea I think is great”.  Or, “Everyone told me my (insert the dish) is the best they’ve had.  I can make some money doing this”.  Or, “I hate being told what to do, I’m going into business for myself so I can call the shots”.   Then they quit their job, join the chamber or some other networking groups, feel free for a couple of days and then reality sets in

After a few months they realize, “Oh snap (really another letter word, I wanted to keep it g-rated for the young entrepreneurs reading), people aren’t buying my product as fast as I thought.  I’m bleeding through money fast.  How long can I keep this up?”  Their potential customers and employees (if they have them) can feel the desperation which affects sales negatively even more.  Who wants to buy from a business that seems desperate?  401(ks) get cash out, lines of credit and credit cards get maxed out, homes get second mortgaged, until the business owner taps out or has to file bankruptcy.

All this could have been avoided by putting some work in on the front end doing proper planning. Sure, you may push back the launch of your business a few months or sometimes even a few years, but wouldn’t it be worth it to wait to make sure you eliminate taking unnecessary risks that will just about guarantee your failure.

Here are  a few steps to creating a financial plan for starting a business:

  1. Brainstorm lots of business ideas.  Try at least 20.  I know you may feel you already have the idea, but trust me, see what other ideas you have inside you.  Schedule two separate 30 minute sessions to do this.  Breaking it up helps create more and better ideas.  List as many ideas as you can.  Write down even the “dumb” ones.

  2. Organize the ideas into 4 categories:

    1. High price, low expenses (ex: a business selling advice)

    2. High price, high expenses (ex: Luxury car dealership)

    3. Low price, low expenses (ex: writing an ebook)

    4. Low price, high expenses (ex: affordable clothing store)

  3. Looking at your gifts, talents, resources and connections, pick an idea that you have a lot of confidence, based on facts, that will most likely help you make money.  Hint, it’s most of the time, not your original idea.  Don’t worry, you have to start thinking like a business person.  Play to your strengths first so you can make money and deliver a excellent product to people.  There’s no rule that says, you can’t come back to your first business idea after you’re making money.

  4. Start building reserves.  This is the part that may push your business launch date back months or even years.  I recommend having at least 6 months of personal living expenses, all of your start up costs for your business and 6 months of your business operating expenses in reserves.  Some people reading may say, “but Phillip, that will take forever”.  My response, (shoulder shrug) what do you want me to do.  I’m trying help make sure you don’t get yourself in a bad financial situation after you go into business.  Suck it up because if you think that’s too hard, you probably shouldn’t be going into business.  It’s a whole lot harder on the other side when you’re in business.  Trust me, I’ve never had a 9 to 5.  All I’ve been doing since I was 21 is building my own businesses and I’m pretty sure only the grace of God has kept me from having a nervous breakdown a few times.

  5. Don’t put all of your money in retirement accounts that you can’t access until you’re almost 60 if you even think there’s a small possibility you will go into business for yourself one day.  If you put some of that money in a regular mutual fund, you won’t get the tax benefits of retirement plan, but you will get the flexibility to use that money for a business while still being able to use it for retirement one day.

  6. Consider, starting your business on the side.  There’s not a rule that says you have to quit your job. As a matter of fact, many of the most successful business owners I meet didn’t just jump out and quit their job.  The minimized their risk, by starting a business and devoting 5 to 10 hours per week on it and growing it slowly.  Again, this will mean you probably won’t have explosive growth, but it will help you build a business that will last.  And isn’t that the point.

  7. Build a great team.  Another wise man once said, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed”. (King Solomon)  Here are few advisers you want to have on your team:

    1. Tax adviser

    2. Attorney

    3. Credit adviser: One who understands how to help you get money from the banks if you need it.

    4. Insurance agents: Property and casualty and life insurance agents

    5. Financial adviser: To help you create and manage your personal and business financial plan along with your investments.

    6. Business bankers: Start building a relationship with them before you need money.  I would look at smaller community banks where the bankers actually have some influence on the decision making process instead of big national banks where you are just a loan number.

There’s no reason you can’t build a successful business and live the life you dreamed possible.  The successful business owners I know and work with, weren’t the smartest, most gifted people in their high school or college.  What they did that most people struggle with is, have faith and believe they will be successful, have the patience to properly plan, and maintain the discipline to do the hard work and stick to the plan. That’s it.  It’s pretty simple, but it ain’t easy.

Click HERE to get a link to “20 low cost money making (business) ideas”

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Posted by on December 24, 2017 in Financial


Let’s Start Giving

“If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one” Aesop

LaVida Harris, Contributing Editor & Reneigh Coffman, Community Iniative Director & Tony McGilvery Jr. Weight2Wear Brand Ambassodor (not pictured) supported Lets Start Giving Foundation on 12/23/17 by helping feed the homeless in downtown Dallas.

Lets Start Giving Foundation is a non-profit organization founded a year ago by then 9yr old Alaia Stinson, that helps the homeless and those at risk homelessness. Alaia’s hopes and dream is to one day have a shelter to help the homeless to have a roof over their head, even if it’s just temporar for them

This young girl has truly inspired us to do more in our communities. Please join us us by supporting them first with a simple “like” to their page and secondly support any upcoming “giving days” in 2018; you can support them financially to help this young girl’s desires to continue to give to the less fortunate and/or you may donate your time. Please contact them directly for their needs.

“Let’s start Giving”

LaVida Harris, Contributing Editor

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Posted by on December 24, 2017 in Charitable, Community, KRAVE Kares


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