Monday, January 6, 2014

Rebecca: Longer than you think and faster than you think

When Ben began the discussion of starting his own app development company, he confidently stated that he thought he could have an app published in 3 months and that he could turn a profit in a year.  He had researched the market potential of mobile applications, and he was very confident of his programming abilities.  He had some experience in mobile application development (Apple).  He offered me statistics about the number of iPhone and iPad users, the number of downloaded applications per month, and the projected growth of the mobile application market.  It sounded like "money growing on trees."

As a child, my parents often reminded me that "money does not grow on trees."  It is still true.  When you talk to any small business person, they will often say "it will take longer than you think to turn a profit, and you will burn through your savings/reserves faster than you think." This is not advice to prevent one from following his/her dream.  It is advice to prepare yourself.  It is possible to build a profitable business, but it is not easy.

Thousands of entrepreneurial individuals have built amazing businesses, from the founders of Hewlett-Packard to the cousin who sells hand-made leather goods.  When I think of the business owners I know, they worked hard to get the business going and to keep it going.  Many share stories of burning through their initial cash reserves and taking personal loans to finance their dream of building a business.  Some even decided that "working for the man" has its own rewards.

Ben and I accomplished our 2013 goals. Thankfully, we did not have a high revenue goal for 2013.  We are happy with the applications that Ben produced in 2013.  For 2014, we have decided to focus our goals on increasing demand, increasing the number of downloads.  Maybe, we will set a "dream" revenue goal in 2015...because it takes longer than you think and you spend the reserves faster than you think.

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