Why did Boost succeed where others failed?
Boost started on my kitchen bench. I was a young naive woman with no formal business training and I didn’t know the difference between a credit and a debit!
But I went on the journey of a lifetime and looking back, there were a number of reasons we succeeded and this one is king: I put my wallet away.
They say you have to spend money to make money but the truth is, in the early days, you have to stop spending money that is no necessary and only spend on what is critical.
Here are some hard truths you need to face if you’re thinking about making a success:
- First, you make nothing. The number one reason most businesses fail is a lack of funds. It is very rare for a business to make money in the first year. I worked from my house for the first two years, we did not take a cent out of the business for five years and I did not even take a salary for three years.
- Then, you sell everything. We even sold our family home in year two to fund growth. I have seen people who start a business with a flashy office, pay themselves a top wage and simply burn money. These businesses are often in the four out of five businesses that fail in the first five years. To make a business successful you have to give everything; your time, your money and sometimes it feels like your soul.
- Then you learn ALL about numbers. I truly did not know the difference between a debit and a credit when I started and to make things a little more complicated, the year I started Boost was the year GST was introduced. I may not have understood accounting, but I made sure that I knew where every dollar went. A colleague reviewed my figures one year in and told me later that it was more of a cash journal not a P & L, but he was impressed that I knew my business and how it ticked. I have met many new business owners that get a bookkeeper in to do their books. In most cases, this is a huge mistake for a couple of reasons; firstly to know your figures is to know your business. Your decisions are based on your numbers; they tell you how your business is going and where you need to focus. Secondly, no-one will treat your business like their own, except you. It is your money and you will have a higher care factor than your accountant or bookkeeper. Take the time to learn about your business and particularly in the early stages, do your own books.
- Then you let go of control. This isn’t easy when you’ve controlled every aspect of your business since it was born but there comes a point where you need a bigger perspective to take it to the next level. Not everyone has what it takes to step up from the kitchen bench to a $140million global operation. This is where surrounding yourself with the right clever people is really important and having enough humility to take advantage of their wisdom is critical.
- And then you win… maybe. After you work really, really hard – harder than you ever thought possible – and that first small win will be the most satisfying victory of your life….! Make sure you celebrate it!