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Typically a business plan takes 200 hours to research, write and build out the financial model if you are a first-timer. We want to ensure entrepreneurs focus on what they do best, whether it's creating new ideas, marketing or building their startup team. And leave business planning writing to the experts, at The Startup Garage.
What were the initial challenges? How did you overcome them?
I think that most of the challenges entrepreneurs face are personal challenges. With my first company, I didn't really put into place a 'pay my bills plan' before we started. I just thought the company would start making money really quickly, and I could pay myself a salary. The reality was that that wasn't true, and isn't true for most start-ups, so I struggled for a while just trying to figure out how to pay my bills, while still having time to get the business started.
I would put a daily practice into place, like I have now, where I get up and either run or walk in the morning and then I do about 30 minutes of meditation and prayer.
I also make sure that I have a very clear plan, and I take breaks to make sure that I’m not getting off track. This really helps me stay efficient and focused.
Do you have any other personal reflections or a message to budding entrepreneurs?
Remember that it takes a long time to make money — Nine to 12 months for small businesses and two to three years for high-growth companies. Don't quit your job until you really can afford to, or make sure you have a pay-the-bills plan in place. I see so many good ideas fail because the founding team fails with their personal financial planning.
It's essential to put financial projections together and business plans together beforehand. Doing this saves a lot of headache, heartache and mistakes down the road. Have a blueprint and a strategic plan for your business — not just a great idea.