When I was just 20 years old I opened the record store that I had dreamed about since I was a kid. Truth be told I couldn’t wait to get out of school and build Haidak, the store I had mapped out any years before. The idea was simple, a straight up hip-hop record store which would sell online and in-store, and which would hopefully become a thing of legend. At that time vinyl was really booming and I just wasn’t ready for the type of demand that came my way. Here then, is why I’d recommend that you get some business education before you go into your own business.
You don’t necessarily have to have a college education to enter into your own business, but at the very least you need to have some experience of seeing how a business runs. I failed to understand so many of the basic business principles which I should’ve known, and these almost caught me out a number of times. For example I bough up as much vinyl as I could when I got started, but when it didn’t sell quickly I was in a situation where I was asset rich and cash poor. This is just an example of a number of times that I almost lost Haidak.
If you are working in someone else’s business and you make a mistake, then it isn’t the end of the world, the same can be said if you are getting school educated. When it is your own business however that mistake can very quickly become threatening to your business. I can remember that in my second year with Haidak I made a huge mistake on my IRS forms and they were going to give me a fine big enough to cripple the business. Thankfully, and only by some fluke, Dad’s colleague was a financial advisor and he was able to help me rectify the mess, but for me I’d have been toast.
What Customers Want
I had to learn about what customers wanted and I have no doubt about the fact that whilst I was learning what to put in the window, what type of stock to buy and how to pitch the products, that I was hemorrhaging customers which could have been putting money into the register. Business education 101 is about understanding what the customers want, not doing what I did and giving them what I felt they needed.
Haidak is 10 years old now and we have only survived by the skin of our teeth, in fact last year was the first year that I actually made a substantial profit in the business. Ultimately the reason why it is so important that you get something of an education prior to opening your own business, is because in doing things this way you are going to massively increase your chances of finding success, which is of course, what we are all after.