Our new baby – a small business.

Thought I would take a slightly different tack this month
with this article and talk a little bit about the newest member of our family.
As you would expect with any new family member it takes a lot of adjustment,
changes in routine, sleepless nights, focusing on the welfare of that new bub
and less on your own personal well-being and the social life takes a bit of a hit.
Normally it’s the mother that makes the most
sacrifices but in this case I wonder whether it’s me with our third
child… most mothers are probably shaking their heads at this point, what’s this
guy on, crack?

The newest member and youngest is our small business Loan Market
Capital and Coast, it’s now 1 year old and what a roller coaster over that time.
After 15 years in the corporate world I finally became so disillusioned with
the culture and restrictive nature of this environment that I had to leave.
Many are probably in the same boat now and asking is there a better option out
there?

The simple answer is yes there is, BUT there are a few
things you need to come to terms with. They tie in with opening paragraph, it’s
like having another child. Early on it’s very intensive and you work damn hard,
eventually you see the fruits of your hard work with a well-adjusted mature
business. Of course it can go wrong, Lindsay Lohan’s parents are probably
wondering what went wrong much like the founders of Enron at its collapse.
Extreme cases, but a business can wreck-havoc on your personal life, reputation
and finances if not balanced or managed well.

My key learnings over the last year in setting up a new business


  • Love your customers – they are the life blood of your business.
  • Be patient, it won’t happen over night
  • Take your opportunities and back yourself
  • Understand what you want to achieve (goals) early and define a couple of exit plans
  • Plan well and understand the financials of your business to make informed decisions to expand, retract or transition.
  • Get over the pay cheque mentality, you get paid last, staff and suppliers get paid first. Being paid last means if your business is good you get paid the most.
  • Have a partner that is prepared to support you and make sure you allow time for family. Everyone is different, it’s what works for you and your situation.·
  • Have mentors & read books– there is always someone who has done it before you or very similar.
  • Ask your family and friends to help you grow your business, I must admit I was surprised at the support I got from people I didn’t expect to and those that I expected didn’t. Money and personal financial affairs do funny things to family and friendship. I try not to take it personally…

Corporates are great places to learn and usually pay a good
salary but they hard task masters with results expected within a framework that
can quite often be restrictive or counterproductive to its/your goals.

Our business is exceptionally young and still within the
critical 2 year and 5 year phase where 75% and 50% respectively are still
trading after this period. I don’t kid myself we have a long way to go.

If you decide to go down the self-employed path then you
really need to plan to do it, explore the options and understand what makes you
get out of bed in the morning. I explored numerous different ventures outside
my core skills and experience in banking before settling on a business that
utilised some of those skills but removing a lot of the stuff I didn’t want or
like doing.

The hardest thing I had to do was stop taking the easy way,
which was the golden eagle laying its fortnightly pay egg in my bank account.
Handing in my notice and saying I can be happier and more fulfilled doing it my
way even though I don’t know where my next mortgage payment may come from is
the biggest leap of faith.

If I am frank unless my wife had not backed me and ultimately
told me to grow a pair I wouldn’t have done it.

So my offer is if you want to chat my experience over feel
free to call and just mention the article, more than happy to give you a little
push.

For those that have supported me and the business over the
last 12 months, thank you, thank you, thanks you. We want to continue to get
better and provide you with a better service and experience.