What Business School forgets to teach us – Financing
I just graduated business school at the Monfort College of Business in Northern Colorado and to graduate I had to write a thesis paper on why Entrepreneurship fails in the market. The top three reasons I found for failure in Entrepreneurs was:
1. Lack of a business coach
2. Lack of financial knowledge
3. Not knowing your target market (or pushing the wrong product).
I also learned that typical Entrepreneurs (the 30-50 year old entrepreneur) fail at a rate of 60-80%. This means that 6-8 individuals in 10 will try to start a business and fail. This is astronomical, and the question should be posed why start a business?
To follow up on the original question: How do young people gain financing to startup a business? Well, that is a hard question to answer. There is not a lot of opportunity for young people to find money in today’s market, and if they happen to get it from an angel, a parent, or some ‘magic’ they often don’t know how to manage it or make it work for the business. I believe that our schooling is the reason why. We read a book and are expected to be able to go out in the world and run a business or start a business. But the truth is that this is not enough. It’s like trying to win a Super Bowl after going over ton’s and ton’s of X’s and O’s with your coach. No matter how well you know it on paper you will never be able to execute it efficiently and properly until you do it. This is why it is important for youth to get hands on experience at a young age, and to learn how to manage the money in order to have access to it.
“I ran a business and learned how to finance myself for the rest of my life.”
This leads in to the extra challenge and responsibility I took on while I was a sophomore in College. I ran a College Pro Painter’s franchise in Northern Colorado while I was attending school full time and working full time at Texas Roadhouse. I had no money as a Freshman or Sophomore, I was working two jobs just to pay for school and the mortgage on my home. I always wanted to run a business, but could not see any feasible way to get the “real” experience I would need to convince someone that I could turn their money into real profit. This is pivotal in order to get ahead in the competitive market I would be entering in a couple years. Thanks to a bit of luck and good faith College Pro fell into my lap and I got to fulfill my dream as a 20 year old College student living paycheck to paycheck trying to survive. I ran a business and learned how to finance myself for the rest of my life.
Now I can say it was not easy, in fact it was the most challenging thing that I have ever done, and I have always challenged myself. I went through the lowest of lows and the highest of highs, sometimes in the same week! I also learned that if you put your mind to it you can accomplish a lot more than you think. I learned how to lead people, manage finances, deal with customers, sell myself, manage my priorities, schedule my time, build a network, balance personal/work/school/family time appropriately. Most importantly I took control of my future, paid for school, invested in my home, invested in myself, and am on the path to retire by the time I am 35. I do not know how I will do this, I just know that through the hard work ethic and personal potentials I realized through College Pro I will be much closer to this goal than had a stayed on the bench and kept running X’s and O’s!
This post was contributed by a former College Pro Painters franchisee based out of Denver.
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