I have a soft spot for those that want to start a business; they are the neglected factor that could make a major difference in our economy. Unfortunately, many new business dreams never see the light of day due to a lack of good and ongoing support. Let’s examine the facts: high school and college offer text book theories on how a business should grow, taught by someone who has never had hands on experience in growing a business. An expensive weekend seminar on how to “successfully start a business” makes money for the presenter and leaves the attendee with a lot of ideas but without any implementation support. Most other potential sources offer short term classes/seminars but don’t offer the individual “let me learn your story” method of taking time to listen and build trust on an individual level.
Business coaches/mentors usually ignore this group because the typical start up is extremely short on working capital and cannot pay their fees. Is there a solution or should we accept the fact that 85% of new start-ups will always fail?
Business dreamers fall into 4 main groups:
- The unemployed who can’t find a job.
- The underemployed that need extra income
- The newly retired population who finally figured out that they will outlive their retirement savings
- People who have a burning desire to become self-employed.
Like most business owners, these start-ups are afraid, afraid of what they don’t know and afraid to trust an outsider. They are afraid to ask for help and afraid to accept help. The old saying, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care, comes into play with business owners as well as startups. The key to a successful outreach is the process of “earning trust”. It starts with listening. Trust must be earned and deserved. Something must happen that gives other people evidence on which they can base their decision. You must be willing to give in order to get. An ability to listen with an open mind and heart is the best first step.
Profitability and sustainability for any business or any age is best achieved when there is a consistent support/advisor system that grows with the business. It must be affordable, reliable and believable.
There is such a system in existence; the best way to introduce such a system to a business owner or start- up is to recommend that they set up a meeting with me. This takes part of the fear away since they are getting a personal recommendation from someone they know.
Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.
St. Augustine of Hippo