BIO: Jose Salazar is a B2B influencer marketing consultant specializing in optimizing industry and thought leadership marketing through influencer and employee advocacy strategy.
STORY: Jose’s twin brother looped him into a brilliant business idea, but due to their lack of startup experience, the business never took off. They were left paying off a loan that brought no return on their investment.
LEARNING: Do your research before investing in an idea, even from family or friends. Be mentally ready before investing in a startup and make sure you are not the only or major shareholder.
“Don’t spend money unless you’ve got people supporting your business.”
Jose Salazar is a B2B influencer marketing consultant specializing in optimizing industry and thought leadership marketing through influencer and employee advocacy strategy. He is currently responsible for growing the US business at Onalytica with a mission to help businesses drive awareness, credibility, and trust across the globe.
Jose’s worst investment ever started four years ago. He was having a chat with some friends about investing. He gathered a lot of information from different friends, and this piqued his interest in investing. So when his brother talked to him about this business idea he had, he was all ears.
Jose’s brother’s idea was to start an online recruitment platform for the hospitality industry. He had looped in 25 people who were also interested in the concept. They had rounds of meetings for a year but were yet to get started.
After a year, they decided that it was time to put money where their mouths were. At this point, everyone left apart from Jose, his brother, and one other friend.
The three decided to form a partnership, contributed about $2,000 each, and got the ball rolling. They paid a designer to create a website and put money into social media advertising.
After a while, they realized that they needed more money, and so the partners went to a startup-loan company for a loan. So unlike a typical business loan where all shareholders bear the loan burden, a startup-loan business means owners pay from their personal finances.
The three partners continued to build upon their business idea. None of the three had any experience running a startup, and even though they had managed to get several clients to sign up, they were putting in more of their money than they were making. Eventually, Jose spoke to his business partners, and none of them was very keen on running the business, so they folded it.
When someone comes to you with an investment idea, whether a friend or family member, do your research before putting in your money. Find out the returns and business forecast. Do everything you need to do to make sure the business is efficient.
Make sure that you are mentally ready to run a startup. Also, you need to make sure that you have the time, put up with the stress, disagreements with partners, and other challenges of running a startup.
When investing in a startup, you want to make sure there are other sizable shareholders. Don’t be the only or major shareholder; otherwise, it all comes back to you, which can be very tough on you.
You need to sell to validate your business. Selling is proof that your business idea is working.
You need to put time and passion into your business. This means you can’t get distracted; you need to focus on your business.
Jose’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to get back on track with his fitness. On a professional level, his goal is to continue growing his career within the marketing industry.
“Just keep following your passions.”