Starting a new company can be a challenge for anyone. It takes a leap of faith, but you need to be able to follow your gut and trust your instincts. It can be even more challenging as a woman starting a new company in our predominantly male industry. You may have been thinking of it for a while and wondering if you should “go for it”, but how do you know if and when you’re truly ready? While starting your own business isn’t for everyone, a few key considerations may help you make your decision.
1- What is your current work and financial situation? If you love your job and the people around you, it might not be the best time to jump ship. There is something to be said about the financial security that a stable job offers. If you are looking for a change, are you financially stable and able to support yourself and your family while you get things off the ground at your new company? Some companies generate cash quickly, others take time; this is something to keep in mind.
2- Do your family and/or friends support your ambitious effort? Having a strong support network is vital. It’s important to have people in your life to celebrate your successes and support you during times of failure.
3- Are you prepared to wear ALL the hats? Depending on your start-up costs or corporate funding, you may have to do it all without a massive team of people around you. You will quickly find an appreciation for the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to support you in your current position. Strategic partnerships with companies and people you trust can go a long way to making things easier. Seek these out if it makes sense in your business strategy.
4- How comprehensive is your network? Do you have strong relationships with everyone in your potential supply chain? You’ll need vendors and customers, but also colleagues you can count on to answer questions and encourage you to keep on going no matter what lies ahead. Knowing which customers might be willing to take the leap with you on something new can be critical to winning those first few deals. Calling on these customers and feeling your own success will propel you further.
These are just a few fundamental considerations that came to mind when I started my business. Remember, this could be the beginning of an incredible adventure. I faced challenges that I never imagined, but had no doubt I was on the right path when I took the plunge. I cannot envision doing anything else. No one knows what is best for you but you, so trust your instincts and don’t rush the decision. It could be the biggest and most rewarding move you ever make!
To further your network, stay tuned for details on a special Women in Print Alliance event to be held during the PRINTING United Digital Experience this October to collaborate with like-minded print professionals committed to equality, diversity, and the celebration of women in print.
About the Author
Ann Crum is the owner of Phoenix Inkjet & Colour Solutions LLC, a worldwide digital inkjet ink and consumables supplier to the printing industry. She tirelessly drives customer satisfaction and believes in building strong partnerships within the industry. She has been a member of the Women in Print Alliance since its inception.