Meet Chinmay Ananda. Founder of Finance Academy Australia, which teaches small-business owners, start-ups and anyone with little or no financial background how to understand financial management in a simple, jargon-free way. This is his entrepreneurial story.
Where did you get the idea for your business?
I came to realise that many people in business lack financial acumen and that they end up making business decisions based on assumptions. This leads to financial mismanagement, which happens to be the main reason for business failure. So, I spent over 200 hours researching and discussing the subject of finance with a range of accountants, CFOs and financial experts. Then I started teaching it to my friends and colleagues who had little or no finance or accounting background. They liked my simplified approach towards finance, so they started referring me to contacts in their networks. After reading a testimonial from one of my early sessions – ‘I wish I’d learnt about finances from you 25 years ago when I was starting my business’ – I decided to start my business, Finance Academy Australia, offering financial training programs.
How did you get your business started?
I used to say that I would start a business when I had sufficient savings and when I was really ready. Then while I was at a seminar one day, the speaker asked: ‘How will you know when you’ll be ready?’ I didn’t have an answer to that question, simply because my thinking was an excuse not to step out of my comfort zone. That’s when I realised that there is no ideal situation: it was now or never! So, I took a leap of faith: I quit my job and started Finance Academy Australia. Even with my limited resources, I was able to register a business name, get my website ready and print business cards. Then, I went off networking to find clients.
What lessons have you learned so far on your business journey?
I’ll put it in seven words: ‘Never give up: never ever give up!’
How important for you has it been to have a mentor?
It’s been incredibly helpful for me with Finance Academy Australia to have a mentor. In business, we all need someone whom we can bounce ideas off, receive constructive criticism from and who challenges our limiting beliefs. Someone once eloquently said: ‘Have your goal in front of you, and have your guru at your back.’
What are your top 3 tips for starting a business?
- Start, even before you think you’re ready.
- Quickly become immune to rejection and failure.
- Constantly ask yourself: ‘How can I be more effective, and how can I better offer my product or service?’