Founders Yaneev Benami and Brandon Bowers
By Ed McLaughlin and Wyn Lydecker
Long before your business idea unfolds, and long before you set aside savings to bootstrap your business or make other funding arrangements, you can start nourishing your dream to start your own business. This is a two-part blog about two entrepreneurs who prepared to start up long before they launched. We cover how they did it and how you can too.
Yaneev Benami and Brandon Bowers, founders of the men’s custom clothing company Tessaro Custom, first felt the desire to own their own businesses in college. However, they didn’t meet each other until much later when they were both Regional Vice Presidents for a high profile custom clothing company. When they did meet, both of them had already set the process to become entrepreneurs into motion.
Each had previously taken ownership of their goals to become entrepreneurs, which meant they took their dreams off the shelf and self-endorsed them as viable options. Without a dime for starting up or any semblance of a value proposition, they entered into entrepreneurial mindsets. This set them up to know when the conditions would be right to start up.
“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you’d better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.” – Sarah Dessen, Just Listen
Give Yourself Permission
As we explain in our upcoming book, The Purpose is Profit, the pull to become an entrepreneur is an “overwhelming desire to realize your own business vision.” You know you want to create your own path, but you have to give yourself permission to commit to the pursuit of your dream and to the time investment it will require.
Brandon and Yaneev both felt the pull to become entrepreneurs because they knew that when you work for someone else, the parameters for all the work are established by others. Even visionary employees do not have the final say on how their ideas unfold. Whereas when you work for yourself, you have the option to form and execute your own plan according to your own values and vision.
Enter the Entrepreneurial Mindset
Like most people, Yaneev and Brandon launched their careers by working for someone else. They treated each job description as if it were a mission statement for their own company and tackled each day with the mindsets of entrepreneurs. Complacency was never an option, and they were always looking for pain points in their market and innovative solutions that would lay the foundation for their own business. They knew that a “change-the-world” business idea or innovation was not required. Rather, they just needed to find a niche with a real need and fill that need better than anyone else.
Fine-Tune Your Area of Opportunity
You don’t have to create something completely new to start your own business, but you do have to know what will set you apart from your competition. For Brandon and Yaneev, they found sales, service, and production aspects they believed would differentiate Tessaro Custom from the competition. With the eyes of entrepreneurs looking for the right conditions to start up, these are the areas Yaneev and Brandon identified:
- Brandon and Yaneev saw an opportunity to create the same buying experience for each customer whether that customer was buying a custom suit for $895 or $5000. They decided everyone would receive the same white-glove service, great fit and quality.
- They saw an opportunity to satisfy customers with promises they knew they could keep. They wanted to operate with the philosophy to under-promise and over-deliver. This simply meant they would promise the best service and aim even higher.
Vendors and Garment Production:
- They decided less is more. Yaneev and Brandon have chosen to be selective in their use of key vendors and producers of the custom garments. They wanted to develop long-term, sustainable relationships with people they could trust. They believed that when they could depend on the promise of quality and service from their vendors and producers, they could deliver on promises made to their customers.
- They wanted a Tessaro Custom website that could compete with the best websites out there, provide an easy online experience, feature ready-to-wear accessories, and serve as an e-commerce site. (The e-commerce aspect will be functional soon.)
- They also saw an opportunity to leverage their website as a recruiting tool to attract the best clothiers
By giving themselves permission to follow their startup dream and entering into the entrepreneurial mindset, Tessaro Custom founders developed the wisdom to know when the time was ripe for them to launch. Part II of this blog will explain the circumstances that indicated they would have firm footing for a venture of their own , and show how you, too, can know when to start up.
We invite you to stay tuned!
Ed McLaughlin is the author of The Purpose Is Profit: The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business, along with co-authors Wyn Lydecker and Paul McLaughlin. The Purpose Is Profit (Greenleaf Book Group) is available in bookstores now.