The recent growth of online businesses has been both exciting to see and frustrating. The excitement is from the 'crazy' ideas young people are innovating, breaking the mold, crossing the boundaries, and doing things many would have thought of as impossible before now. However, these new businesses' frustration comes from their obsession – more like the founders' obsession – with looking excellent and profitable without making so much money.
Starting a business is good. Making money from that business is better. Avi Grondin, CEO of Variance Marketing, a fast-growing marketing agency in Canada, says the need to look good online is becoming increasingly important.
"The stats on how many businesses fail after the first year of starting is staggering. One can only but ask, 'what is wrong with these businesses? Why are they failing?' And the answers are not far-fetched. There are several answers to the question of failing businesses, especially with the number of young entrepreneurs. One of the reasons many young entrepreneurs pack up and leave after a short time is the lack of financial literacy and zeal to monetize their businesses.
"The glam social media gives can be deceptive. The news media have done some great level of a disservice to startups. There is this hype about 'investors' money' that I believe has clouded many young entrepreneurs from critically looking at the financial viability of their business.
It is one thing to get money from investors. Making business profitable is a different thing. A thriving business is one that is monetized. And I mean monetized," Avi Grondin advises.
Avi says that he is in no way saying that financial investments aren't crucial in business. Still, he wants young entrepreneurs to keep the main thing as the main thing: making profits.
"I know it can be hard in the first few years to make a profit. Breaking even financially can be quite a struggle. But it is foolhardy for entrepreneurs to celebrate 'being in the news' when the books aren't balanced," Avi continues.
Several startups have had media celebrations but closed up shop soon after. According to Avi Grondin, young entrepreneurs should not allow the media hype to sway them. They should keep their head focused on monetizing the values they give.
"I am not asking business people to become selfish. If you know me, you'll know I love to give the gift of my talent to my clients and random people I meet. And I think every business person should always give gifts to their customers and friends. I'm advocating for entrepreneurs never to allow the 'money-side' of their business to slip into 'chance avenue.' They should monetize their business; make money from your company. And do it as fast as you can. Don't delay!"