Balance Sheets Don’t Lie


Nathan Masters, owner of SimpleShot Shooting Sports in Asheville, talks about why the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Small Business Incubator is such a valuable resource, his best advice for new entrepreneurs, and a few tips on owning your business' financial well-being.

Oh, the most valuable lesson by far, being an entrepreneur is: balance sheets and P and L statements don't lie. It is what it is, it is what it is. There's just, you can't wish your way out of it. It's real, learn it. Learn it, get to know it, and I am the founder and owner of Simple Shot Shooting Sports. And we are a manufacturer of adult slingshots and slingshot equipment. So Simple Shots Shooting Sports, our goal is to provide the top quality slingshots and slingshot equipment. Now, the reason we've chosen slingshots is because slingshots are very relatable. I imagine you're probably smiling just thinking about slingshots. One, because you're like, that's absurd. How can a guy actually make slingshots? But two, you've probably got a memory of a slingshot and more than likely that memory came with a smile. So when I started simple shot, I wanted to make a business that provided fun, provided joy, provided down-range value in the form of positivity, and slingshots were able to do that. We've created a great business to provide people of a top quality tool for our marksmanship discipline that's readily known and available to just about everyone. my business had outgrown its basement and a friend told me, he said, "You need to check out the AB tech small business incubator." I did, I came in and instantly knew this is where the business needed to be. There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to be a part of this program. And the reason being is that when I came in I recognized in all the other businesses and the owners that I met, something similar it was a reflection that, "Hey, I'm in the trenches with you. I understand where you're coming from, and we're going to get through this together." And that was just the thing I needed at the time to like make me feel like I was wearing big boy pants. Take it out of the basement, put it in an incubator, be able to say, "Hey the business is not only basement business anymore, we've moved to the next level." It gave us confidence. It gave us resources. And most importantly, it gave us a community. And that's probably one of the most important things I took away from the incubator. I believe in keeping a war chest, keep savings just because you have money doesn't mean you need to spend it. Make sure you've always got money for a rainy day, money to make a move. The worst thing, position that I've ever found myself in as a business is being placed into a situation that I could remove myself from with the right amount of capital. And then not having the ability to either borrow it, or not have it available. So we had never gone out to seek capital. Rather, we put the money in a war chest, a rainy day chest, and make sure we keep ourselves in a position to where we can react to situations independently and not rely on outside force sources.

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