Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs
It's been a busy - yet wonderful fall! The last few months I've been intensively involved with UberPitch, for Women-led tech companies partnered with Refinery CT, Uber, Kauffman Foundation and even NPR. I spoke at TechWeek in Kansas City and also started my 10th (!) year teaching Personal Finance at Barnard College. I'm also super excited to present a seminar "Finance and Marketing Fundamentals for Startups and Entrepreneurs” with It Will Bloom - a new company I’ve co-founded. If you are a startup or entrepreneur, please reach out for more info!
Did the title grab you? I've worked with so many entrepreneurs and start ups the last few years - easily hundreds. Since I started my own business over 15 years ago, I've also learned first hand what it's like to be an entrepreneur and be in charge of my own revenue (and expenses!). I started to write this newsletter at the TechWeek Conference - besides being one of the few women among thousands of attendees (slightly disheartening), I quickly jotted down notes about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Since most of you know me, you won't be surprised to know it's about the numbers. It is more than that, of course, but read on....
1- Personal Numbers
Even though you are putting blood sweat and tears into your startup, don't want to forget about your personal finances. If you are in control of your personal finances, you won't worry as much and can really focus on your startup. If you are stressed about your personal finances, you might make poor money decisions about your startup that will hurt you in the long run. The easiest way to do this on a monthly basis is answer these 4 questions every month with a dollar amount:
* OWE- how much debt do you owe total?
* OWN - what is the total dollar amount of your investments, savings and any other assets?
* SPEND - what is the total monthly and annual amount you spend? Include everything in one number
* EARN - what have you earned year to date and last year?
2- Projected Numbers
Even if your startup isn't planning on raising money, you should know first hand your profit and loss numbers for next 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years and 5 years. These will be projected numbers that will rely on many assumptions but it is incredibly important and essential to the success of your business to create this right away. You can evaluate your margins, what expenses you should take on, what areas of your business are potentially more profitable, what revenue channels you should explore and learn more about the size of your market. If you need help creating these numbers, we can help!
3- More Confidence
See - I told you it wasn't just about the numbers. What I've seen first hand, is that entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business owners that take charge of their personal finances have more success in their businesses.
4- Marketing Plan Numbers
My star co-Founder at It Will Bloom is a marketing expert and keeps reminding me how important it is to add numbers to your marketing plan. This will help you figure out what to charge, what expenses you have to reduce/manage, what market you should go after, where you fit in regarding your competition and even - is your company viable financially? Let me know if you want to discuss this further!
Don't forget to check out "Finance and Marketing Fundamentals for Startups and Entrepreneurs" You can't afford to wait....