It’s all about execution. No matter how great your ideas are, if you do not execute your idea, you won’t become successful.
Case in point, we have a small accessory retail business. Currently we have 20 stores in major malls but are still growing. We want to grow to above 100 stores in a few years. When we look at our bigger competitors, I can see they sell similar products as ours but execution is key.
Throwing money is easy. Getting it back with profit is not. So think first before you throw. Estimate some numbers, see if you have any capital to survive.
Next is managing the business. In my retail business, it’s all about the people. Finding good people can be a bitch and seriously, I had to fire two area supervisors in three months because they just couldn’t cut it. One couldn’t handle people well while the other couldn’t sell. It’s hard to know this just from the interview. You really have to give them a try to see if they’ll work out for you.
Lastly, it’s having the patience doing the same mundane thing in and out. Seriously, there’s nothing more boring than writing out checks, depositing sales in the bank and balancing your books. I do that. I also source merchandise, cost them, clean and repair them and then tag them for distribution. Payroll is another headache and while I do have people to help me with it, you still have to double check their work.
All of this becomes harder if you have limited resources. Money isn’t unlimited and so is time. And how about energy? Woe is to a person with a spouse who cannot understand the sacrifices you have to make as a businessperson.
For example, Sundays are devoted scouring new mall locations. Last Thursday, I was counting inventory. In the evenings, I balance my books. Nothing is glamorous about it. Just tedious hard work. And lots of resilience to keep going at it even when it’s no longer “fun.”
If you have what it takes to do a startup, then do it. Have a good idea then EXECUTE. Many people can start but few can sustain. Hopefully, you’re one of the few who can sustain.