23 April 2020
Is it the right time to become an Entrepreneur?
Posted at 4:00h
Entrepreneurship is a very personal decision, and when I get asked this question by aspiring entrepreneurs, who have a potential business idea and are exploring launching a business, my advice to them usually centers around 4 key points.
1. There is no right time to become an Entrepreneur. While it may be easier to raise initial funding during a time when the economy is growing well, than when we are seeing an oncoming recession, the fact is that if we study history, entrepreneurs have succeeded in times of both growth and recession, so you really need to then think about the second point, which is,
2. Why do you want to be an Entrepreneur? Is there a market gap or customer need that you see not getting fulfilled by an existing set of companies, that you can solve better? Why are you the best person to provide that service or product? Do you have a know how or understanding of how to do it better, cheaper or provide it more efficiently than others? Do you have the drive to figure it out and learn on the job and not lose heart midway? These are some important questions to ask yourself before you embark on an entrepreneurial journey.
3. What are your financials like? I usually mention to students that it’s easier to take the entrepreneurial plunge when your young and have lesser financial commitments than when your older. However, that is not to say that we don’t see many mid-career professionals leave their cushy jobs to become entrepreneurs. The question around finances in my mind, revolves around your own ability to be comfortable with the financial uncertainty a business venture brings especially till your earnings are steady.
There was a mid-career professional whom I knew, doing very well in his job when he decided to start his own venture, got the buy in from his family and decided that he would take the plunge at the age of 40 to start afresh. He quit his job and started his own niche financial services venture. It took him a few years of uncertainty, sacrifices by him and the family and a lot of hard work before his business model saw some traction and investors, but today he is happier and more fulfilled than ever before. So, it really comes down to your own individual choices.
4. What is the worse-case scenario? Many people are afraid of taking the risk because they don’t want to face failure. My approach to taking risk is to mentally look at the worst-case scenario if I take the risker decision, and compare it to what would happen if I don’t take it? We usually imagine any risky decision to be risker than it actually is.
So, if you get comfortable with the worst-case scenario and would prefer going through that, than being stuck where you are - with a business plan in your mind rather than implementing it in reality, then go ahead and start your venture. Because there isn’t a right time to be an Entrepreneur.