Why this ambition?
I think we jump into this type of project without really realizing there will be so much investment. We’re guided by our passion, our desire and we don’t realize how much personal investment we’ll have to put into the project for it to come to life and for it to just plain survive.
How to fund it?
As for the financial investment, you can determine and quantify it, with a business plan. And it always seems realistic. Entirely feasible, actually. My financing, I funded it in part with my own assets, but mostly with a bank that decided to back me after having assessed my business plan. But things aren’t as straightforward as what I’ve said. For instance, I had to mortgage my apartment, I got a loan from the bank that I started to use, and once my business was up and running, I needed a line of credit and the bank didn’t give me a line of credit to work. And that’s where things get tough. So the bank will back us, but only up to a certain point. That means they won’t take any risks. Beyond that… after that I had to manage on my own. To find funding, to have enough treasury to move comfortably forward with the launch that ended up taking longer than planned.
I prepared mine with the media, I used Essentiel, I did a big campaign in Luxembourg, I also used flyers and made posters. Flyers are old-fashioned but they work great. I handed them out to as many people as I could, in schools, in different neighborhoods near the club, near where it would be. And that’s how I handled the launch. With an Open House weekend to get the word out.
We tend to think we’ll start a business, and it’ll be a success story. Unfortunately, I’d put it this way: “We all have a story, but it’s not always of dazzling success.'” What you see, what you hear about is always entrepreneurs who have succeeded over a very short term. So everything went fast for them, they climbed very quickly. That’s not what entrepreneurship is. Entrepreneurship is a lot of work, a lot of adjustments, and success takes time.