From Concept to Completion
-Jerritt Gluck, CEO, Bonded Energy
The Entrepreneur Experience: The Importance of Having a Support Team
It is interesting to contemplate what drives people to start a business. For many, the prospect of being your own boss can be attractive while for others, the idea of turning an enjoyable hobby or pastime into a profitable operation sounds like a win-win decision.
But starting a business requires money, hard work, patience and the recognition of the potential for failure. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), approximately 30% of small businesses fail within the first two years. Yet people still start their own businesses on a regular basis.
It doesn’t matter if the company is a high tech operation, a service business or a pizza place—all new business owners face the same challenges to one degree or another:
Finances and Marketing
⦁ Cash flow, unforeseen expenses and financing
Management and Operations
⦁ Logistic consistency
⦁ Team building
⦁ Business vision and goals
• Balance of work and life
• Burnout from overwork
• Fear of the unknown
⦁ Abandonment of another career
I know this from my own experience as a serial entrepreneur. I’ve had a vending business, a construction company, a real estate investment company, an engineering consulting business and now am CEO of Bonded Energy, an embedded systems tech business. In each of my other ventures, I looked at the world only as an engineer. It wasn’t until I received an invitation to enroll in a NYSERDA-sponsored class for entrepreneurs in the clean energy sector that I truly realized the importance of the team. The class was given at Stony Brook University and David Hamilton was the facilitator, which was how I was introduced to CEBIP
CEBIP gave me a new, fresh view on business that I had not experienced before and included many workshops and semianrs. But none were more educational or challenging than the Cleantech Open. The Cleantech Open is a national accelerator developed for entrepreneurs who think that they have a great idea that will change the world.
I viewed it as a great networking opportunity but my participation also earned me my MBA from the school of “Hard Knocks.” Basically, I was put into an area where I was weakest and then pushed to learn new concepts in order to succeed. The process is easier to go from tech to MBA than it is to go from MBA to engineering.
I’m still looking to build the “dream team” and while the challenges I have to face can at times be almost overwhelming, I find comfort knowing that I am not alone. Being one of CEBIP’s clients provides me with an extensive list of resources and support services that can be missing in many solo entrepreneur operations. Execution is the tough part, and entrepreneurs who build great companies don’t do it alone. It’s really all about the team, and in my case, CEBIP is an integral part of that team.
I’ve also learned that it’s important to take time to realize the resources right in your own backyard and learn how to leverage them. And remember that great things often start from humble beginnings.
The author is Jerritt Gluck – Chief Technology Officer; CEO of Bonded Energy Solutions. A Materials Engineer specializing in building science. His project experience includes MRI receiver coil design with Nobel laureate Paul Lautebur, thermally sprayed coating development, along with countless energy conservation projects in NYS. BS degrees in Biology and Engineering, MS degrees in Industrial Management and Materials Engineering from Stony Brook University. A member of the Building Performance Institute’s Multifamily Standards Technical Committee AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, A RECENT GRADUATE OF THE BOTH THE SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS AND THE SCHOOL OF LIFE.