While Randy Edme, who uses the name Jonez Bush, enjoys his job as a paraprofessional in a charter school in Harlem, he always had a dream to be in business for himself.
Edme, 25, is not alone. More than 627,000 new businesses are launched each year in the United States, according to the SBA. But it can be rough going for new businesses–nearly 595,000 businesses close each year, as of 2008.
In fact, Edme had been wanting to start a clothing business since 2004. He and a group of four friends decided to embark on the venture together–Aggressive Company. (Though the number is now just two partners total.) “We came up with the idea over the phone back in 2004. We were running through some names that year. We figured since we are a group of friends who work hard, and we are also very passionate when it comes down to hard work, Aggressive Company was perfect.”
Choosing the name for a new business is an important step. You want a name that will stand out. One that describes the company as well as one that will be easy to remember. For Edme, the name they chose had to reflect the company’s philosophy. “The reason for the name is to promote passion and inspiration of the working-class of America and all over the world. To succeed, you have to want to become more than just that (working class),” he says. “I want people to be inspired to know that they can be anything they want in this world … We just have to be aggressive to get what we deserve and desire.”
Another important step for new business is not to promise more than you can deliver. For Edme and company, due to limited time and capital, they had to start small. They have introduced a limited line. The line currently includes printed T-shirts and embroidered sweaters, ranging in price from $30 to $60, depending on custom design. “We will have more merchandise coming soon,” says Edme.
Obviously, funding is extremely vital when starting a new business, but for many entrepreneurs they decide to self fund, which is what Edme and company are doing. “We are funding the line out of pocket for starters, in other words from the ground up aka The Aggressive Company way,” says Edme.
Crowdfunding ia a great option for new businesses. Crowdfunding is raising small amounts of money from many people, usually on the Internet.
The Internet is vital today as a way to market your company and sell products. Aggressive is currently building their website and online store. “We will be an online store first, then venture into small retail outlets and then to major retailer chains. That’s the plan,” says Edme.
Starting a new business also means sacrifices. Make sure your families and friends are behind you and understand your new focus. “Time is everything, so you always have to create time for building your company even if it means not seeing family for a couple of days,” explains Edme.
And hold onto your dreams. Says Edme, “Everything is possible. My advice to others is not to take ‘no’ for an answer and think positive–that’s the Aggressive way.”