Written by Christian Speaker Network Member, Robert V. Fullerton, CPA, MBA

“One blow struck when God’s time is fulfilled is worth a thousand struck in premature eagerness.” (F.B. Mayer)

I am often asked to advise Christian entrepreneurs on what it takes to start and develop a successful business. Here are 3 things to consider:

1) It takes Faith.
The first ingredient in a faith based business is of course faith, and you need two types: Faith that God is leading you down this path, and faith (confidence) that your business model is sound. Faith in God’s leading comes by hearing from Him as to this particular venture (“faith comes by hearing” Romans 10:17). Faith in your business model comes from doing a proper assessment of the financial fundamentals of your start-up plan (due diligence) to ensure that it is sound.

These two, the leading of the Lord and proper due diligence, are the critical foundations for any new Christian business. There is often another voice speaking to us about our venture; our own passions and desires. Take the case of the person who is motivated by a love of cooking to open a restaurant. As many have found out the hard way, having a passion for cooking does not necessarily mean that you have the expertise and resources to manage a restaurant business. Many new businesses crash and burn because the owner blindly followed their “dream” rather the voice of financial reason (due diligence) or the caution of the Spirit.

2) It takes Capital
While you are seeking God and doing your financial due diligence, remember that you will get nowhere unless you have access to sufficient capital to start the business and to take it to the point of sustainability. There are two major questions:

1. How much capital do you really need? (a very specific calculation)

2. Where do you get this capital and what will it cost you?

Many great business ideas never see the light of day simply because the would-be entrepreneur could not find the capital to convert the idea into a business. Access to capital is probably the biggest challenge that small business owners face and unless your business makes a compelling case for success, you probably won’t find too many investors or lenders lining up to back it.

3 It takes Time
We live in an instant gratification world where we are conditioned to expect immediate results. Starting a business is not like sticking your bank card into an ATM machine and pulling cash out. It is more like planting a tree which must be nurtured for it to survive and grow. Inexperienced entrepreneurs often underestimate the time it takes to get the business operational and to develop a stable customer base to generate sustainable income. As a result, they run out of time, which means they run out of money.

As entrepreneurs we need to estimate our operating timelines properly as well as take time to make proper assessments of business risk and reward (and to pray), before we act.

“One blow struck when God’s time is fulfilled is worth a thousand struck in premature eagerness.” (F.B. Mayer)