One morning, as you sit gazing out of your kitchen window, you decide you have had enough. You have had an idea for a business for many years and are ready to make a go of it. So, the decision is made, I’m going to start my own business and work for myself. Entrepreneurship, can begin with a dream or from necessity. Either way, you should make sure you are mentally prepared for this journey.

While sipping that cup of coffee you begin to think about where you will open your business, how will you fund your new endeavor and survive without that paycheck (At least I hope you are).Can I do this myself or do I need to hire help? A thorough business plan and preparation are essential to owning and operating a business. Planning for success seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many do not.

Awhile back I stopped in at a client’s new business to make sure everything was running smoothly. Upon inquiring about how their new business was progressing, she had this look of terror on her face. She explained that they have been swamped with business, and they had not even started advertising or marketing yet. The peak summer months were coming up and that would bring more potential customers to the area. They were going to be overwhelmed she replied.

To me, that was exciting news and a reason to celebrate. I suggested the obvious, hire some help and build their inventory to accommodate the growth and pat themselves on the back for their early success. Her reply was shocking to me but not unusual. She did not want to have to deal with employees and she did not want to have to work the late hours that were sure to follow.Unsure of what her next move would be, she decided not to advertise and just go forward with just her and her daughter and see what happens. Her decision to react rather than plan on success could spell a negative outcome to what she took a leap of faith to create.

Let me be clear, not every business needs to be ready to go “Global”. Some businesses satisfy their needs by remaining small local shop serving the immediate community. Keep in mind, once you decide to cross the threshold of entrepreneurship, you will be judged to a certain extent by your business. My point is, you should decide early on, how do I handle success? Ask yourself this question; “Am I creating a business or a job?”. The answer to that question may not be as subtle as you think. In my 35 years of working with small businesses, I have seen many examples of people merely creating a job for themselves with no regard to becoming successful. Planning for success would seem to be a prime part of your business plan, but unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Joe Casteel

2018 President, Lake County Chamber of Commerce
Owner, North Bay Merchant Services

Joe Casteel is a 20 year veteran of the Electronic Payment industry and moved his business to Lake County in 2006. A proud member of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce and current President, Joe and his wife Jacie have called Lake County their home since 2001.