Have you ever dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur or small business owner?
If you feel this is an endeavor you want to pursue, the key to this accomplishment is passion, discipline, and your internal drive. How badly you want to succeed is paramount to becoming a successful entrepreneur or business owner.
In this article, I will highlight some of my accomplishments and some of the hardships I endured throughout my journey. It’s important to remember that no two people will have the same experiences.
The fundamental question I often get asked is “how did you get into this business”? To begin, having start-up money to purchase an already existing business would be the first step. Next, finding the right business that suits your skills and passion is also a great starting point.
In my case, I was fortunate enough to have the capital to start and purchase a business. This made it easier for me to take the first step in my journey. I was then able to hire an accountant who helped me register my corporation, apply for an HST (harmonize sale tax) account number and assist me with the buying process.
In 2017, I incorporated Asher Industries Inc. With a little bit of luck and a lot of convincing, I was able to acquire Colt Paper. At the time, I knew I wanted to have more than one company, so I obtained a master business license for each operating name. The two originating companies were Colt Paper (custom box & packaging supplies) and Antoine Fulfillment (warehousing & fulfillment).
Purchasing a business and starting its daily operations is the most stressful event in one’s life because there are so many moving parts that you’re not aware of as a new business owner.
You have to deal with opening a payroll account with the government, getting your payroll processing software set up, adding accounting software that targets your specific needs, filing quarterly or yearly HST reports, filing yearly corporate taxes, opening a corporate bank account, and ordering cheques to pay suppliers.
The next hurdle to overcome is the location to set up your business, investigate potential suppliers, and market the business to prospective new customers.
In the beginning, I came close to giving up. As you embark on this journey there are going to be days when you want to throw in the towel. The trick is to look at the bigger picture and solve one problem at a time. I’ve learned that you should never be afraid to ask for help, and whenever help is offered, don’t let your pride stand in your way.
The hardships I faced did not occur from securing credit with current suppliers for Colt Paper. Rather, the bigger obstacle I faced was being the only black female CEO in a white male-dominated business. I became the laughingstock of the industry and shortly after acquiring the company, bets were being placed on how long I would last in the business.
That is a lot of pressure for any new business owner. However, even with the daily challenges, some of my major accomplishments included being asked to become one of the faces of the new American Express business card (Colt Paper) and becoming the official fulfillment for the Toronto Blue Jays Care Foundation (Antoine Fulfillment).
Today, I truly believe I am living the life I dreamed of when I first thought of becoming a business owner. Whatever your dream is, keep pursuing it because even though it’s not an easy road, your success will be the sweetest moment after taking on this hard journey.