Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurial Dreams

Entrepreneurship is one of the cornerstone foundations of our cultural ethos. A society that encourages and stimulates entrepreneurship is brightly regarded and rewarded by innovation. Younger generations are even more inclined towards entrepreneurial endeavors than those past, as traditional careers, ways, and means of working continuously evolve.

Consider the following if you have caught the entrepreneurial bug...

ARE YOU AN ENTREPRENEUR?

Some of the characteristics of an entrepreneur include:

  • You think about a problem or challenge as an opportunity to improve or create a new product or service that will benefit others and likewise improve their lives
  • You are aware of needs and wants that are lacking in the marketplace and are able to identify creative solutions
  • You can associate with the customers' perspective to understand what is driving their decision making
  • You are flexible and can adapt to unexpected and unwanted situations with relative ease
  • You are able to think on your feet and manage stressful moments with calm and poise
  • You have strong communication skills to sell and explain your product and idea to investors, media, consumers and the public
  • You are passionate and confident, with the leadership capability necessary to steer your business and team towards success
  • You are hardworking and able to commit long hours without time off when required
  • You have the financial and logistic resources necessary to start your business and sustain operations when not receiving a stable income or revenue stream
  • You are self-motivated and disciplined enough to be your own boss - to create goals and meet deadlines without external pressure
  • You are able to hone in on your gut instinct and cultivate business acumen to make decisions

WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND REWARDS?

What is your tolerance for risk and uncertainty? It is important to clearly understand the risk vs reward trade-off and fairly assess your ability to bear risk.

Risks:

  • Financials- sacrificing your income, raising capital and investing savings to start up the venture, with no guarantee of recovery.

Do you have the financial means to live without a steady stream of income for many months or even years?

  • Benefits - being self-employed means no healthcare insurance, pension and retirement plans, paid time off or medical leave.

Can you manage the costs associated with a lack of benefits, for yourself and those you look after?

  • Personal sacrifice - your time will be consumed by the business, especially early on. As a result your family life and personal relationships may suffer. You will undergo moments of immense pressure and stress.

Are those around you willing and able to support your decision and sustain themselves if you are less involved? Do you handle stress well?

  • The idea - predicting consumer sentiment and profitability for your product or idea is a gamble. No matter the depth of market research, understanding or experience, it is extremely difficult to gauge business success beforehand.

Are you able to adjust your product or service and bounce back from failure if your idea does not initially succeed ?

  • Security - low stability exists if all of your eggs (time, money, effort) are in one basket, and your business will continuously change with maturity.

Is your appetite for risk sufficient to tolerate operating without a safety net or backup plan?

Rewards:

  • Flexibility - you are your own boss, thus you set your own hours and decide when and where to work. You are not bound by a traditional office environment and can set up your personal and professional base in multiple locations if desired. With time and success you can eventually realize greater freedom.
  • Passion & purpose - work does not feel like work when you are doing something you love. You feel fulfilled because you are achieving a goal that you care about and have worked hard to create.
  • Serving others - you control your ability to make an impact on your community and the world. You can serve as a mentor to others as you have gained knowledge in specific business expertise, leadership and entrepreneurship. You can allocate profits, time, and energy to community work and development.
  • Skill set - you will build a diverse and well-rounded skill set while increasing your perspective. Running your own business requires you to wear many hats and understand all business functions, including strategy, business development, accounting, financial planning, marketing, communications, and human resources.
  • Satisfaction - you have autonomy to write your own story full of ever changing challenges and experiences so that you continuously grow, learn, and contribute. Your determination and perseverance will pay off in job satisfaction and accomplishment.
  • Financially, the sky is the limit! - after bearing the burden of financial stress and responsibility, the reward is the upside of a successful venture. As your business grows so do your profits, well deserved! Financial independence allows you to allocate your funds as you wish, whether that be reinvestment into the business or for personal use.

GETTING STARTED: Steps to Business Implementation

  • Idea Generation: a great business starts with a great idea, product, or service that fulfills a consumer need or improves upon an existing market. Whether your ideas comes about through a "light bulb moment", analysis, or awareness, careful planning is needed for an idea to translate into a successful business.
  • Market research: in order to effectively formulate your product or service you must understand the desires of your end user. The consumer will mandate your success through their interest in your offer. Therefore significant market research must be undertaken to define:
    1. Who are your consumers? What product or service features are important to them? What drives their decision making? Where are they located?
    2. Who are your industry competitors? What is the scope for new entrants into the market?
  • Business plan: formulating a business plan is helpful to define your business goals and offering. It allows you to clearly outline and explain your strategy to potential investors, funders and those who you will engage from the onset of business creation. A business plan should include:
    1. Business goals and strategy
    2. Product definition and explanation
    3. Organizational structure and key employees
    4. Financial analysis which includes capital requirements and forecasting
    5. Market, industry & competitor analysis
  • Marketing: market analysis and a marketing strategy are essential to build awareness and sell your product. The market analysis should encompass multiple points of reference:
    1. Research you conducted on the industry at large and specific competitors in the field
    2. 2. Market size refers to the number and population of individuals who are potential buyers of your product or service. Once you determine the market size it is important to estimate the market share you intend to capture vis a vis the entire population. You can measure market size and share in number of units (for example people) or in terms of revenue.
    3. 3. Pricing strategy will depend on a number of factors including overhead cost estimates, location, raw goods and materials expenses, production costs, salary & labor expense, operations & distribution costs, marketing & advertising expenses. Once all expenses are taken into account the profit margin you would like to achieve must be considered versus overall price. If you run a service business, your pricing will be billed per hour or project rather than per item.
  • Logistics & operations are integral to your flow of goods and services. This begins with the supply chain you use to source your component goods, how and where the good are produced and then passed along to the end consumer. Efficiency in service and costing is key to processing your product in a timely and affordable fashion.
  • Human resources management relates to the recruitment, training and strategic mapping of your workforce.
    1. Recruitment - identifying the specific skill set and background of experience required for a role or function is crucial. Beyond competencies you should consider the personality, work ethic and integrity of a candidate and how they fit in with your company culture. A thorough interview process should include a number of evaluations and background checks.
    2. Training should be continuous and not just as the onset for a new hire. Through training & development a candidate will acquire new skills that will help them better contribute to the business and also keep them interested and focused.
    3. Strategic mapping refers to the placement of talent within your organization as it relates to the overall business strategy. This becomes necessary as a small startup business grows into a mid to large size. HR strategy also helps to guide the budget as employee salary & benefits are significant business expenses.
  • Financial planning & analysis is imperative to establish and judge the health of your business. Potential funders will want to understand the financial projections for your business when making a decision on investment. Keeping close track of key financial statements such as the balance sheet and income statement will help you to gauge the success and profitability of your venture.
    1. The income statement is a report on your business earnings and expenses over a fixed period of time. It shows you what sales have been made and the corresponding expenses that have been incurred. To accurately calculate the income statement you must identify the various types of expenses related to doing business including cost of goods sold, operating expenses, selling expenses, general & administrative expenses, depreciation and amortization expenses. You can then calculate the net profit of the business by subtracting expenses from net income, accounting also for interest and taxes.
    2. The balance sheet is snapshot of the financial position of your business at a specific moment in time as it relates to assets, liabilities and equity. Assets types include current and fixed. Liabilities are claims by creditors and debt obligations. Equity is the initial investment of capital into the business. The balance sheet shows what is owned by the business and conversely what it owes.
    3. Statement of cash flows details the inflow and outflow of cash in your business at a specific period. It measures the position of cash through the effects of operating, investing and financing activities of the business.
  • Legal: almost every business no matter what size or type requires legal assistance for a variety of functions including incorporation, taxes, trademarks & patents, contracts and advisory. Legal counsel can come in the form of in-house counsel or private counsel. It is important to set your business up properly from the beginning with the help of a lawyer rather than incur unnecessary legal fees later on.

CANTWELL & GOLDMAN- HOW WE CAN HELP YOU

  • As experienced attorneys who have lived and practiced in Brevard County for more than 30 years, we can share with you why some businesses succeeded and why others failed. Our goal is two-fold: to protect entrepreneurs and to help them succeed.

CANTWELL & GOLDMAN CAN PROTECT YOU BY ASSISTING YOU WITH THE FOLLOWING:

  • Building your Company structure (corporation, LLC, limited liability or other structure. What is the best fit for you?)
  • Drafting Shareholder agreements
  • Advising on Employment matters (contracts, agreements not to compete)
  • Reviewing franchise agreements
  • Reviewing leases (commercial and equipment)
  • Reviewing contracts-purchase real estate/equipment
  • Reviewing federal/state/local law and regulations impacting your business
  • Advising of tax consequences of a proposed transaction
  • Intellectual property matters

CANTWELL & GOLDMAN CAN HELP YOU SUCCEED BY assisting you with a quality professional referral network for:

  • Insurance needs (worker's compensation and liability)
  • Accounting/tax matters
  • Commercial realtors/business brokers
  • Financing needs (lenders that specialize in helping small businesses)
  • Specialized marketing/consulting needs
  • Appraisers
  • General contractors
  • Lending/finance-banks and other lenders who will be of best fit for client
  • Entrepreneurial package - contact us to find out more!