In the United States, everyone with a dream and enough business sense can found his or her own business. Russell Sergent wanted to take full advantage of the opportunities granted him growing up in Rockford, Illinois. He graduated from Rockford High School and decided to start his own business with the experience and little education he had. Sergent believed he could help people throughout the region with his brand of products and excellent customer service.
Over 20 years later, Sergent runs several businesses in Illinois and Wisconsin. He has found great success with all of these companies because he started all of them with successful business practices and philosophies he picked up over the years.
If Russell Sergent ever wanted to teach business classes on how to start your own company, he would probably start with a lesson on how to secure funding for your venture. Sergent incorporates several crucial steps for starting your own business into the getting funding step for good reasons.
The first step that Sergent took when he started planning his first business, Pro-Source distributors, which over 20 years later, is still one of the top janitorial supply companies in Wisconsin and southern Illinois, was to draw up a business plan. Many business analysts and teachers separate this step from securing funding, but to Sergent and many others, writing a business plan is the best way to secure funding from many different sources. Before investors or loan officers can back a business proposal, they have to see that not only the business leader has the potential to use whatever resources the lender or investor can give them to their full advantage, but also that the business leader is organized and committed enough to spend time setting business goals and plans of action to achieve those goals.
Russell Sergent established Pro-Source Distributors as a small business with low overhead so that he could provide his clients throughout the region with excellent prices and customer service. He made an investment in the planning process early in the development of his business so that he could get the funding he needed to build on his dream.
Russell Sergent says that inspiration is another key ingredient of a successful business. No one can start a company without first getting the inspiration for an excellent idea that he or she can sell. Sergent knew that he could build a successful company by selling the supplies that janitorial staffs needed throughout the region at low prices. His idea was to eliminate unnecessary overhead and undercut other larger suppliers. Sergent knew his potential position in the market of janitorial supply companies and used it as an advantage. Sergent worked out his strategy for entering the market with a much-needed service as a way of securing funding and creating confidence from investors.