This week on Cheques and Balances, we're joined by Jason Gerken who shares his inspirational story about starting a business at 50.
How did you get into hairdressing Jason?
“I was 15, I had a motorbike and I had a girlfriend and I needed fuel. That was it, really.
It was great, it was rewarding. I’ve had a series of good bosses and all the way through I’ve felt quite content. I was a commission based worker. Felt like I met all my needs but I always felt like something more.”
What was the deciding factor where you thought “I’m going to do this”?
“Well I turned 50 and I thought if I don’t do it now, maybe I’m never going to do it. I can’t go through life not being my own boss, so I decided I’m gonna take the plunge because no matter what age you are – I don’t think it’s too late. Also, my daughter works with me as well and I wanted to help provide her and set her up for a head start in business.”
What was the process you went through to start up your own place?
“Find a good accountant first. I think that’s the most important thing – work the numbers. I had a very good client who was an accountant and we crunched numbers to see if we can make this financially work.”
In terms of starting, did it take off as quickly as you thought?
“We had a 4 week hiatus where it was quiet and then bang, away it went and it was just phenomenal. It hasn’t stopped since, It just kept growing and growing. We did some Facebook marketing but didn’t have to spend a fortune on advertising. Actually, we were very lucky, very blessed.”
Has it been financially rewarding?
“Oh, it’s been amazing. I have literally tripled my income in 12 months.”
Where’s the business at in terms of like capacity?
“We are now turning away on average 8 clients a week. Which is a lot and that is a bit gut wrenching. I’ve thought about expanding but just decided at this point it’s not the right time for us.”
What advice would you have for somebody who is thinking about where you were two years ago?
“Do it. You get to wake up and you don’t have to answer to anyone. You make your own decisions, it’s liberating, it’s freedom.”
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