One of the many things lenders, landlords and others ask for in a business plan are the projected financials for the first three years. This includes cash flow projection, income projection and the assumptions to back up these numbers based upon a lot of market research. This was the first business plan I had done and although I knew I put in the time and work, I had no problem reaching out to others for help. I do not wish to mention the company involved because they were otherwise incredibly helpful. When I felt my business plan was ready to be seen, I presented it to one of my mentors from this company and he brought one of his coworkers in to also view it. They gave a lot of very helpful feedback and suggestions. It was also great practice to hear questions that would be asked in the future. The final comment that was made as they handed my packet back was, “As a new business, especially one of this kind and one of this caliber, it is never profitable in the first 8 months. You have it projected for the end of the 6th month. He recommended I take another look to fix this and then we talk again.” I did 3 years of research and work to back up my numbers but also, as a newbie, I took their advice seriously. These were men who had created many business plans over decades of business experience. I spent a period of time taking a look at everything and creating new “more realistic” numbers. Would you like to know how many months it took me to become profitable? Four.
I don’t say this to brag. (Okay, maybe a little.) I say this because I could have let the MANY roadblocks along the way discourage me and give up. I truly think one of the best qualities I have that got me through the tough times is my ability to let comments like these motivate me. I take ‘no’, bitch about it for a day and then come up with a plan of how I’m doing to get them to say ‘yes’, or prove them wrong.