Company creators: overcoming the fear of financial risk

8 mins

September 19, 2022

By Mark Davis

“To reduce the mental load, I built up a ‘rainy day’ fund, some savings to get me through the weeks when less money would come in. But looking back, I could have started my business project in parallel with my full-time salaried position.

“Even today, four years after launching my business, I continue to invest in myself!”

- Emmanuelle Chegrane, HR consultant, founder of Ma Future Recrue & Qonto user

“What we did at the beginning of Cleaq was use it as a side project alongside our full time jobs, working evenings and weekends until we were convinced that it would work.

”Many people see viral posts on Linked In every day, saying ‘Hey we’ve raised billions of euros!’ so they're under the impression you need a lot of money. But often this is false. You need courage and you have to build a business model that works without needing too much cash. We looked for the most cash-efficient model and we built around that.”

- Victor Thion, CEO and co-founder of Cleaq & Qonto user

"The key is to structure and anticipate the needs of your startup to avoid finding yourself backs-to-the-wall at the last minute. With a solid business plan, it’s much easier to know whether your expectations and the reality are coherent by basing your calculations on objective data.

"To have more peace of mind over your financial needs, you need to project future needs at least 6 months into the future. Fundraising, bank loans and recruitment generally take a few months to materialize.”

- Maxime Montaclair, Co-founder of Ideel Garden & Qonto user

Key learnings
  • Fears over funding and financial insecurity are at the front of the minds of new entrepreneurs.
  • Research and concrete information can help counter this fear, so seek the advice of those around you when preparing your project.
  • If there are areas of expertise that are outside your skillset, such as the legal or accounting aspects of creating and running your business, invest in professional help that will save you money further down the line.
  • Consider starting your business while remaining in full-time employment. This can help you refine your business plan while retaining the safety net of a salary.
  • There are plenty of channels of funding you can access. Apply for as many grants as possible on a local, regional, national and even European level.
  • Create the most solid business plan possible to maximize your chance of accessing outside funding. It will also serve as your road map throughout the initial stages of your entrepreneurial journey.
Mark worked for 12 years in broadcast journalism before making the switch to business audiences. A Qontoer since 2021, his focus is on writing copy that speaks frankly and directly to customers.