Dear M & M:
So if the entrepreneurial spirit is burning inside you, and you want to start up your own business, what do you do? Where do you go to get the knowledge? How do you get the experience?
Let’s talk about the Leadership, Management, HR, Marketing, Finance, Operations and Sales knowledge needed to run a successful business. You may argue that there are MBAs you can get, but all that really does is prepare you to get a job managing an already established business… and yes there are 4 year Marketing degrees and 4 year HR degrees, but there are no Entrepreneurial degrees which teach all 7 aspects. Even if they did offer a degree in Entrepreneurship, a lot of start-ups are started be people who don’t want to, or weren’t able to get a post-secondary education. Now, don’t get me wrong, this knowledge is available. Everything you need to know has been written in business books or blogged about online. But knowledge without proper implementation is useless. Doctors and other professionals do 8 years of Post-Secondary education follow up by years of internships where they learn from seasoned professionals how to properly implement their knowledge. This gives them the experience they need, the type of experience Entrepreneurs also need. Obviously experience in something is gained by many years of doing it, but we can also learn from the experiences of others. In fact, the lives of the World’s most successful businessmen have been documented in book and film.
So while there are no Entrepreneurial degrees or internships, knowledge and experience can be accessed through books and blogs. This is all great, but, the problem is that most entrepreneurs are working 80-100 hours a week, doing absolutely everything themselves, and they don’t spend enough time with their families, let alone have the time to sit down and read through books and blogs, to gain all this knowledge. And even if they did, it would be like drinking from a fire hose. Where they would start, and more importantly who would help them figure out how to implement what they just read into their living and breathing business.
THE SOLUTION TO SAVE START-UPS: So how do we solve this? How can Entrepreneurs get the knowledge and experience they need to create a successful start-up that will survive past the 5 year mark and become a great company? The answer is Mentoring and using your resources such as the Small Business Development Center. The SBDC offers many workshops to help you get that knowledge you need.
Dear M & M:
What do I have to do to get a loan?
Initially, the lender will ask three questions: How will you use the loan proceeds? How much do you need to borrow? How will you repay the loan? When you apply for a loan, you will be asked to provide projected financial statements along with a cohesive, clear business plan which supplies the name of the firm, location, production facilities, legal structure, marketing and sales goals, financial analyses and operating plan. A clear description of your experience and management capabilities, as well as the expertise of other key personnel, will also be needed.
The state of your cash flow and collateral will be an important factor and can be a make or break considerations for lenders. “Quite simply, they need to make sure you can cover the debt. Consideration will be given based on your past performances in how you have borrowed and repaid in the past personally as well your past performance in servicing business debt or obligations. As a final thought there should be a clear understanding in your mind and shown in the business plan that if you receive this loan how you plan, say, to increase efficiencies through the use of this infusion of capital. What are you doing to ensure that improvements going to make a difference. What your plan is going forward and how you’re going to execute on it.
To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email email@example.com or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation(EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email firstname.lastname@example.org