Ever wonder how successful businesses get started? Do they start with a structured business plan and stick to it or do they evolve over time? BusinessNewsDaily asks small businesses to take us behind the scenes and reveal the truth about the struggles of starting and running a small business.
This week's Behind the Business Plan features Friendly Shower, an online registry service focused on making it super easy for people to create an online registry, send it to friends, and receive exactly the gifts they want. With Friendly Shower, friends can easily give you a gift with their credit card or Paypal anywhere in the word. Ihuoma Nwankpa, one of the company's founders tells us how the business got off the ground.
BusinessNewsDaily: How long have you been in business?
Ihuoma Nwankpa: We started the company in May, 2011. The product was launched in June 2011.
BND: Did you have a formal business plan or did your business just evolve naturally?
I.N.: When we started out we already knew what the business plan was going to be. The business plan is to charge a small fee when someone gives a gift. This allows us to cover the cost of processing the transaction while also making a model profit on each transaction.
BND: Either way, how close has your business stayed to what you originally envisioned it to be?
I.N.: The business plan has remained essentially the same with minor tweaks. We’ve decreased the fee amount over time in order to enable our customers get more gifts.
BND: How did you finance the business at the beginning or at any time you were in business?
I.N.: The business was financed from our personal savings and still is!
BND: How much did you invest?
I.N.: About quarter of my salary
BND: If you had it to do over again, what would you do differently when starting your business?
I.N.: I would be more aggressive in developing our product from the beginning, and in doing more research with our target market. We plan to do more of this in the next couple of months
BND: What's your best advice for someone with a great business ideawho wants to give it a shot?
I.N.: Decide ahead of time how much (or what) you are willing to risk in order to make your idea work. Then go all out until you reach your limit. It's almost like gambling. You can change your mind once you start, but it’s a good idea to know, before getting into it, how far you are willing to go. Because then you will know when to give up. Knowing when to give up allows you to give your all until you reach that limit.