Starting a business just like other events in a person’s life must be well planned and timed and a number of factors must be taken into consideration before launching out the new venture. Before I delve into those factors and my opinion of what time is right to start your business, I would like to draw your attention to times that people commonly start businesses.
Most people commonly start their businesses about these times;
- School Years
This is period/length of time during which you are studying for expertise in a chosen field. It maybe during secondary school or university (BSc or MSc) you may suddenly come into a nice idea and you decide to try your hands out on it. You may decide to partner with someone else maybe your school mate, friend or family member. Starting a business during this time is usually with low risk as you have almost nothing to lose; your parents probably fund your studies and associated costs and you are not at risk to lose any essentials aside from the money, time and effort put into starting the business. Starting a business during this time can be risky, in the sense that you might get so involved with the idea and begin to neglect school work, it might affect your studies and lead you to drop out. Ironically, a lot of celebrated entrepreneurs started their business during this times e.g. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and many others.
- Post School Years
This is the period when you have finished your education (at least to a certain level, usually BSc) and you are waiting at home hoping to get a good job soon. Most times, the people who start businesses at this time have been waiting for about 2-3 years, and have gotten tired of hearing the popular “start your own business, be your own boss” song. They usually start out as a freelancers or part time businesses because they are still looking out for jobs and aren’t fully committed to the business yet. They start the business primarily to provide themselves with a source of income and to preserve their dignity as they can say they started their own businesses. They usually go for low cost ideas, as they may not have access to substantial funding and don’t want to gamble too much with other people’s money. Example of businesses that are started at this time are sales of bags and shoes, catering businesses, soap/cream making, home tutoring, poultry farms etc.
- Job Loss
This is the period when you have been laid off or retired from your job. Most times, the push for entrepreneurship maybe for reasons such as putting their gratuity to good use, creating a source of stable income and preserving their dignity among others. Depending on the jobs they just lost and their financial intelligence, they usually go into business with a lot of money. They are already used to having an office, a secretary, an official car and an organized and structured environment therefore, they start out in business by getting a shiny business card, renting a lovely office, employing 10 people and starting big (all this is good). Unfortunately they usually run out of money after a few months and their business might fail because it wasn’t properly planned and it started in a craze at the impulse of the moment. Example of businesses that are started at this time are consulting firms, farms, manufacturing companies etc.
This will commonly apply to women and is usually the time period starting from when they get married. Some women may become housewives after marriage or giving birth so they can have more time to take care of their family and new babies. And when the babies starts rolling in year after year, getting a job may not be feasible and so they are thrust into entrepreneurship. These are usually home based businesses, with offices not far from home. They are usually started with capital from their husbands in an attempt to set his wife up and eliminate her boredom and loneliness while he is at the office. Example of businesses that are started at this time are retail shops (where things like shoes, bags, baby things, food stuff, home supplies etc. are sold), schools, salons, bars and restaurants, recreational centers and gyms, pharmacies etc.
While there are many paths to entrepreneurship, I chose to highlight the above. What stage are you at right now and when do you think is appropriate for you to start your own business? Click To Tweet Now, when the risk is minimal? After you are laid off from the job you probably hate? When you get married and find it hard to keep up with job responsibilities and family pressures? Or when you spent your active years and are retired?
Of course, there are also those who decide that NOW is the time to change the direction of things and take charge of their time, effort and financial futures. Yes, there are many factors that can determine when a person starts a business such as availability of funds, support from family and friends, acquisition of relevant skills and education amongst others; but true entrepreneurs know that they can’t be satisfied with the status quo and need to start NOW. This doesn’t mean they quit school and their jobs or rush into it without planning; it means they don’t wait for life to present them with opportunities, they go out, look for it and make it happen.