Are you looking to build your own business? Go out on your own? Sadly, we tend to overemphasize the high-end process of developing a plan and then getting investment, while the vast majority of real businesses are self funded.
I saw a Wells Fargo study that concluded the average cost of a startup is $10,000. People don’t always realize that even angel investment, and much less venture capital, are options for a very small minority of real startups.
What I like best about Tim McEneny’s new book Unlocking Your Entrepreneurial Potential is in it’s subtitle:
Marketing, money, and management strategies for the self-funded entrepreneur.
The emphasis there is mine: “for the self-funded entrepreneur.” That’s a very important distinction to make. While book after book details how to develop a startup using the plan and pitch and get investment motif – which is rare – relatively few focus on self funding, alias, bootstrapping, which is the way most of us do it.
Tim covers all the bases, from the mind set at the beginning, through preparation, planning, launch, reaching break-even, and profitability, even, at the end, selling the company.
My favorite detail is a collection of what Tim calls “takeaways,” more than 50 of them, short and sweet and well positioned. They are highlights, set aside graphically, adding interest and summarizing. For example:
- Take-away #12: Always have a Plan B in your hip pocket. The assumptions in a business plan will prove to be wrong.
- Take-away #22: You can’t take back your words (or e-mails). Reacting emotionally simply isn’t worth it.
- Take-away #37: Simply stated, get the money in the door fast and part with it slowly. Maximize cash flow whenever possible.
- Take-away #46: Obsolete your own product or service before someone else does.
Good work. A good book.