June 27th 2013
By Priscilla Lombardi
Business expert and entrepreneur mentor met with local residents at the Stamford Innovation Center on Wednesday to share his advice of starting up a business.
As an owner, investor and turnaround specialist with 30 years of experience Lonnie Sciambi presented 10 keys to start up survival. Sciambi says it’s always been in his nature to coach and teach people.
“You’ve known folks that have been in a job for 10 years, same job,” said Sciambi. “Well they don’t have 10 years experience, they have one year’s experience 10 times.”
He says in the past few years he’s seen more people launching their own businesses, but not always for the right reasons. He says when people start businesses out of desperation instead of passion, it typically ends up backfiring.
“It’s hard to have passion when you have a gun at your head,” said Sciambi. “I’ve seen companies reach ceilings, revenue ceilings, but they can’t get through it. Because what got them from here to here won’t get them from here to here. Infrastructure, they have to plan differently, they have to sell differently, or sometimes it’s wingspan. I’ve seen companies that have done very well for three or four years, and in the last year, do a nose dive. That has all to do with how much can the entrepreneur handle.”
He says out of all of the 600,000 businesses that start up every year only half of them get funded by Venture Capital. He says those with the most experience in entrepreneurship are the most likely to succeed.
“They’ve seen things the way they should be or shouldn’t be,” said Sciambi. “They’ve got the experiences whereas a lot of the younger folks, they get knocked down and it’s sometimes hard for them to get back up.”
Despite failures, Sciambi says he’s seen a lot more boomers within the past few years. He says it’s best to launch a company in an economically sound environment like Fairfield County.
“This has always been a good environment up here and the economy has not hit this as badly as it’s hit other places for sure,” Sciambi said.