No matter what your entourage may tell you or the obstacles you may encounter on your way, believe in yourself. Believe in yourself because no one is going to do it for you!
• From a 14-year-old kid in hairdressing studies…
Freshly joining the hairdressing world at the age of 14, I obtained my ‘CAP’ degree in two years learning at the « Chambre des Métiers » before moving on to the Professional Patent (BP), essential to open your own salon.
During my four years of apprenticeship, I had the opportunity to discover and learn in a practical way the profession of barber with a master barber located in my hometown, Albi. I learned alongside him how to cut hair, shave, trim beards but also and above all mastery and thoroughness.
• … to the future boss aged 19
After obtaining my diplomas, my boss and master barber at the time placed me in replacement in one of his hair salons, with a mixed start, located in Saint-Juéry. A replacement during which I had the opportunity to realize that the clientele that I had made during the apprenticeship followed me. This is where the idea of buying this show came to mind. Why not ? Why not me ? The challenge was still risky, before that I had never set foot in Saint-Juéry, I knew no one and my native land was 35 km away. So I was not sure if my friends and family would follow me and make the trip. I still felt the need to take the risk, to fight to seize this opportunity.
After this click, I decided to talk to my parents about it to get their opinion. I was not disappointed with the trip. My parents were strongly opposed to this project. In hindsight, it was justified and I understand them. I was 18 years old and they didn’t feel me able to run a business or have the shoulders for it. Normal could you say. But I never gave up on anything. Of a stubborn nature, I never stopped having beliefs and believing in them.
So I took my courage in both hands and I went to my boss to offer him the takeover of his business. Second refusal. During negotiations, and announcing to him that if I could not create my business here I would go to create it elsewhere, he finally agreed.
So I started the process by recovering the balance sheet of the show and going to my bank to see the borrowing possibilities. Third refusal. Why? Because I had neither contributions nor guarantors. The only solution for the bank to agree to lend me money was to go through an intermediary, a structure that helped young people like me to carry out their projects. This structure is Initiative France and in my case, Initiative Tarn. (This initiative is deployed in each department since it is national and constitutes the 1st associative network for financing business creators. You will find all the information here: http://www.initiative-france.fr).
The assembly of the file was done at the Chamber of Trades. It consisted of the turnover of the show before my arrival, since my arrival, the forecast which showed that for the company to be profitable the first year it was necessary to make 7 customers per day as well as my long term vision to make operate the salon and fulfill my goals. Once the file was well put together, I only had to defend my project.
I thus defended it before a jury made up of bankers, accountants, business leaders, investors, etc … If I was in a panic before presenting myself before them, once faced with these people, the stage fright to give way to a self-confident youngster. I knew what I wanted and what I was capable of. I answered all their questions, even their « attacks » compared to my age. I preferred to fail by trying everything rather than stopping at the first obstacle. Who can say for you that you are not yet ready to run a business? Age has nothing to do with ambition, it’s something that you have to feel and that you feel deep inside.
The verdict, or rather the deliverance, happens a week later. The validation. After evaluating the feasibility of the project and validating the file, this structure would lend me half the amount necessary for the realization of my project, all at rate 0, which would inflate the personal contribution or in my case, to create it. The bank, therefore, had no reason to refuse the granting of the loan since the missing contribution was now solid and very real. So I resumed an appointment at the bank to go to the next step. (I let you imagine my joy at that time). So the bank finally agreed to let me borrow the missing half and the adventure began!
It was precisely at that moment that my parents realized that my project was really coming to fruition, that it was not a whim. I was slowly starting to feel their support. The support that deeply reassured me. Indeed, even if I had this need to assume everything alone, having the shoulder of my loved ones made me feel even more proud.
It all went on very quickly. The notary’s appointment was made and on January 2, 2015, I was officially PATRON (WHAT IS THE BOOOOOOOOSS?), Only 2 months after celebrating my 19 years.
If I were to conclude this article with some advice, I would tell you to always believe in yourself. Don’t be shy, don’t brace yourself, and don’t be afraid to think too big. Listen to yourself and listen to this little voice inside you. Being passionate and having a passion that drives you is a chance and is not given to everyone. You have to maintain it and do everything to be able to live on it.
Écris par Benoit Boyer le Wednesday, June 24, 2020