“Not to be rude, but how can you afford to start a business…?”
Well, that was rude and to answer your question, we can’t. LOL
No, that’s not a joke. Kailey and I furreal cannot afford it; we have like a combined $50 to our names on a good day. Now I know what you’re thinking, “so then what are you doing?”
When we hit the drawing board to start this business we had tons of great ideas and no money to make them happen. *insert sad face* We quickly had to face reality and figure out how to make our dreams come true.
If you know Kailey and I, you know that neither of us are business majors; but what we lack in education we make up for in drive and dedication. We knew we couldn’t make this happen on our own, so we sought out help.
What we didn’t realize was that there are SO MANY resources that are FREE in our community, and being the broke college kids we are, we JUMPED on it.
Pittsburg State University has a division called University Strategic Initiatives, and within this division is the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC specializes in small business consultation and helps community members develop business plans, find financing, and learn management techniques.
It was in this office that we connected ourselves with Sydney Anselmi (the angel in our dreams) who helped bring life to our ideas for Sonder. She worked with us to develop our ideas, set rates, and create a plan that would allow our business to prosper.
Due to our structuring, we needed minimal capital to start our business. But we weren’t sure how to still get this capital. We obviously could have sought out investors or taken out a loan, but we wanted to do it ourselves, or at least try. It was through these discussions that Sydney told us about the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge and that we could win up to $10,000 at this challenge. Kailey and I knew this was it.
THE KEC CHALLENGE
Now, Kailey and I have NEVER done anything like this. We were going up against students who were the crown jewels of their business schools and who were seasoned professionals when it came to business pitches.
But nevertheless, we practiced and practiced and by the morning of the competition we were ready to go. We presented and made it finals, presented again, and got 4th place and a pretty sizable reward. Sizable enough to pay our bills for the year and kick start this business.
I’M TALKING TO YOU
Now, I don’t say all that to brag about Kailey and I. I hope it doesn’t come off like that. I say it all to point out that we aren’t trained for this. We knew nothing about business and were never “supposed” to open a business. But we want this and know that we can make it happen, and you can to.
If you are interested in starting a business, know that you can do it. The odds are often stacked against you, but it adds to the satisfaction of overcoming and succeeding.
Opening a business can be scary and intimidating, but know that you have people rooting for you. We are here to answer questions, we are here to listen, and we are here to support. Because Sonder is about more than the items we sell in our store, it’s about supporting every person who walks through our door and broadcasting the stories that make life worth living.