Watch “8 Things to Consider Before Starting a Business” ft. Tim Mercer

Are you thinking of starting a business? Have you considered what it takes to build and sustain a business? We welcomed Tim Mercer,  CFO, Private Lender, and Published Forbes Author, who shared 8 insights he learned from starting multiple businesses. Today he is the CFO and Managing Partner of a business consulting firm that in 2019 ranked #357 on Inc 500’s annual list of the Fastest Growing Companies with a growth rate of 1,412% and has accrued over $70 million dollars in revenues since its inception 2008.  Watch the interview for Tim’s 8 tips.


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Starting a business is an exciting and challenging endeavor. To help you navigate this journey successfully, we recently had the opportunity to hear from Tim Mercer, the CFO and managing partner of a business consulting firm with impressive growth and a wealth of entrepreneurial experience. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the valuable insights Tim shared on the “8 Things to Consider Before Starting a Business.”

1. Background and the Path to Entrepreneurship

Tim Mercer’s entrepreneurial journey began in a small town in South Carolina, where he grew up with modest means. He started his path by joining the military and eventually pursued a college education in technology. The tech boom of the ’90s shaped his career, leading him to independent contracting, his first taste of entrepreneurship. Tim’s story highlights that your background doesn’t define your future; determination and hard work can open doors to entrepreneurship.

2. Embracing Risk

Tim emphasized that risk is an inherent part of entrepreneurship. It’s essential to understand that you will encounter failures along the way. The key is to fail fast and learn from your mistakes, using each setback as an opportunity to grow. Tim’s perspective encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to overcome their fear of risk.

3. Sales Skills Development

Entrepreneurs often need to wear multiple hats, including that of a salesperson. Tim’s advice is to dive into sales, even if it’s not your forte. The initial struggles can help you develop critical skills, such as dealing with rejection, forward thinking, and managing customer expectations. Building these soft skills can be invaluable for your business.

4. Market Research and Competition

Tim stresses the importance of thorough market research. In most cases, your product or service won’t be entirely unique. The key is to find a niche within the market where you can position your offering effectively. Remember, “the riches are in the niches,” and identifying a specific customer segment can lead to success.

5. Buy vs. Start a Business

While starting a business is a common choice, Tim suggests that if you have the means, consider buying an existing business. This option often allows you to skip the challenging early stages and tap into an established customer base. However, it’s not always feasible for everyone.

6. Financial Preparation

One of Tim’s most crucial pieces of advice is to have enough funding set aside to support yourself while your business takes off. You should aim for at least two years’ worth of living expenses. By being your first investor, you show potential backers that you have faith in your venture.

7. Exit Strategy

Starting a business with the end in mind means considering how you plan to exit the business eventually. This could involve selling it, passing it on to family, or using it as a legacy asset. By thinking about your exit strategy from the beginning, you can make informed decisions throughout your entrepreneurial journey.

8. Fear Management

Tim believes that fear can be a driving force if managed properly. It often stems from the unknown, so gaining knowledge and maintaining personal balance can help alleviate these fears. Embracing and managing fear can keep you alert and motivated to overcome challenges.

In conclusion, entrepreneurship is a path filled with ups and downs. Tim Mercer’s insights provide valuable guidance for anyone considering starting a business. By understanding the risks, developing essential skills, and being financially prepared, you can increase your chances of success. Remember that every entrepreneur’s journey is unique, and learning from both failures and successes is part of the adventure.


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Purchase Tim’s Amazon #1 best-selling book Bootstrapped Millionaire: Defying The Odds Of Business.

About Kait Lance

Kait has been writing for The Creative Coast since 2014. A self-proclaimed "startup hype-woman," she is passionate about storytelling that shines a light on new ideas, innovation, and entrepreneurial opportunities in the southeastern Georgia region.