Starting a new business can be tough going, but if you want to succeed you can’t throw in the towel at the first hurdle. Be inspired by these stories of three Australian entrepreneurs who refused to give up when the going got tough.
No one is going to lie and tell you that starting a new business is a walk in the park. The learning curve is steep, unexpected problems tend to occur and new business owners often feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of responsibilities they face.
With so much to contend with, it’s completely normal to hit a low period and wonder whether you’re doing the right thing. This, however, is the exact moment when you need to banish your fears and hold tight to your dreams.
Just remember: you’re not alone. In fact, many successful entrepreneurs suffered from the same startup challenges. Find out how these success stories kept their forward momentum in the face of doubt.
Martin Halpen, Founder of The Fruit Box
It took seven years for The Fruit Box to generate a positive cash flow, and for a while, founder Martin Halphen had to work hard to maintain his faith. Luckily, his father passed on some sound advice: that building the business properly would take five to seven years, and that patience would be the key.
With these wise words in mind, Martin and his wife were able to ride out some very tough and stressful times – including a period when they were entirely dependent on credit.
By selling their home to buy some breathing space and keeping the focus on the positive future they envisaged for the business, they were able to move it forward and eventually achieve more success than they ever thought possible.
Now the company can focus on growth, diversification and strategy – all strands that will help it become even more robust in the future. But if Martin hadn’t kept his father’s warning in mind during the tough years, perhaps The Fruit Box would’ve had a premature ending.
Jessica Wilson, Founder and CEO of Stashd
When Jessica Wilson met Pete Neill, a side project of Neill became a passion for both of them. The result? Fashion app Stashd was born. But despite both putting their time and energy into the project, it took them a while to realise it might be a viable business project.
In wasn’t until they noticed there were people from all over the globe using the app that they knew it had a real future. But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the founders. Jessica explains that because she was very young (only 22) when the app launched, people at networking events would assume she was an intern rather than the CEO.
What’s more, the app was self-funded by the pair, making them feel as though they were at a disadvantage to other startups with deeper pockets. Happily, Jessica and Pete were persistent, and their tenacity paid off. Jessica believes that to succeed, startups must be able to ride the ups and downs while always pushing towards the next phase.
Daniel Flynn, Managing Director of Thankyou Group
The Thankyou Group was co-founded by Daniel and Justine Flynn in 2008. While it’s now a thriving social enterprise, that wasn’t always the case.
During its initial years, Thankyou endured more setbacks than successes, and Daniel says he honestly thought about quitting every week. However, the company’s vision and the group’s desire to have a positive impact on the world kept him motivated.
He also sought out mentors – people with more experience who were willing to share some of their wisdom and perspective – to help him stay the course. His advice to other business owners starting out is to remember that while there will always be people willing to criticise your idea, you must believe in your vision.
The going often gets tough for new business owners, but with perseverance, persistence and a clear vision, success is achievable. If you need a little more inspiration, check out 5 common mistakes businesses make and see if there’s an easy solution just around the corner.