small business

let me share the story of a PR Agency which shut down in 18 months.I used to work in a local newspaper in my city. Took 3 promotions in 3 years, doubled my salary. Reason? I was bringing very good business with local ads. I was on the top within local media related business circuit. Had local contacts, good relations, knew the market & I was trustworthy. That’s when I decided to open my own advertising and PR agency. PR looked like an interesting opportunity. i believed in PR. I knew I would survive within the market. Without any backup plan , I started.

Mercury PR.  Mercury, because it is the planet of communication. I got a press conference of chick shampoo in Nagpur and I started. My Business plan was to survive on ads and grow in PR. It was one of the best times of my life. Meeting people, Writing news and ads. Everything was going well.

Till, things which I didn’t account for, which I couldn’t forecast, happened. First, my major revenue source came from a single client, She left my city. I was not prepared for this. It brought me under pressure for time , money and provision for my business.

Second, competition. You can never have a plan for competition in your project report.  Due to my certain newspaper background, I was refused entry into a certain local media property. For which again I was unprepared for. This clearly meant out of business, out of the field.

Third, suddenly newsprint prices went up dramatically, so went the advertising rates. My major strength was retail. Especially clothing & garment sector. They all went out of advertising scene. Major contacts wound up their business.

entrepreneur failing.

What did I do? I tried knocking new doors, newer segments. But I could not bridge the gap between earning and expenses to run the day. The moment you kick the bike your meter starts. Everything inside the home, and outside the home needs money. That’s the truth.

I was loosing the grip and  day by day the pressure to earn to pay the bills was rising. With, rising pressure things started to crumble. I had no mentor, no one to ask for money  or advice. I was cornered. Shyly depressed to ask for help, i didn’t know what to do next.

Simply I shut the doors of my agency, folded my dream and before it could create more damage, my entrepreneurship days were over. I was my own boss for 18 months. In 18 months I could survive, didn’t create any debt, also on the negative part couldn’t create any capital.

It I would have had  additional capital to survive in my lean period, then things would have been different today.

In an effort to share this, I want to tell you that there are market conditions, competitors, and several unseen factors . When they appear on the scene they have the power to shift your focus. So you need to prepare for the unseen and un-forecasted the also. That can amount to much sometimes.

What happened to me?

I was broken, felt like a failure. I could start without capital. Luckily could earn from the very first week, and survived 18 months. Some good, some bad. It has been some 10 – 12 years now, but the lessons I learnt are strong. Business needs Money. And market favors none. If you are ready to stand, the success is yours. There are no shortcuts.

Well, I took up a job after that and started freelancing. That’s how I still enjoy what I do with the only thing I know to do. Did this bring me down? Oh,yes. It took me some  time to get over it. I was blessed to be without debt, and that is what i earned in 18 months.

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Pictures courtsey

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