Is starting a new business realistic right now? Tips for success

Posted at 6:04 AM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 08:08:30-05

A record number of people are leaving their jobs, and many are hoping to work for themselves. Combine the fact that 20% of businesses fail in the first year with the struggles of the pandemic and it's a careful dance to open a new venture and keep the lights on.

The owner of Mahalo Made, La Eidson, says she had to shut down her shave ice food truck during the pandemic and lost all of her employees. She learned some valuable lessons and has now relaunched her business as a storefront in central Phoenix.

"I can't say it enough, being creative and more resourceful is critical as an owner," said Eidson, also known around the Valley as radio host Lady La.

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She says building a following on social media served them well as a food truck and now she's gotten more creative with videos from her store. She also regularly changes the theme inside her shop and is starting to showcase art.

This time around, her budget also makes room for the unexpected and that's been important with inflation and supply chain issues that, at times, have held up orders of the cups she uses to hold the shave ice, a sweet dessert made of shaved ice, flavored syrup, and ice cream.

Retail specialist Chip Griffith from One AZ Credit Union says having both a "Plan A" and "Plan B" is important. His second tip for a successful startup is to make sure you get the right loan.

"Forecast out, not just as a startup but looking out a year, two years, five years and really understand what those financial needs are going to be," said Griffith.

His third tip is timing — know when to wait, whether that's starting or expanding, and when to take a risk.

Finally, picking your lender can be as important as picking a location. He says to make sure they know the area and the market and have worked with small businesses like yours so they understand the challenges you may face.