With so many people taking the plunge towards starting their own business, it is a good time to ask yourself; are you suitable for business? Or will starting a business suit you? It may not for the following reasons.
Just walk around and meet a few friends you haven’t been in touch with for a while or meet random group of youngsters and ask what you plan to do for future, and out comes the reply; “start my own business“. It is a great trend that goes to show the confidence they have in themselves and also the lack of really good jobs. Corporate jobs are monotonous and any other job apart from that and the society thinks you are just not good enough. Also the current state of economy has contributed to job losses and hence people feel the need to do something wherein they are dependent on themselves rather than jobs. Whatever your reason, you need to ask yourself whether starting a business will suits you?
The reason why I am posting this here is because, ultimately job or business will be the source of your income to meet all your goals in life, and hence this decision becomes vital from the financial perspective.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for independent, out-of-the-box thinking or at least a venture wherein you are your own boss. I mean come on, you have one life to live, and how long will you keep listening to your boss and take orders! But just let me warn you that maybe, just maybe starting a business may not suit you, and hence if you take the plunge, consider the following factors:
1. It will take most of your time:
When your business is new it will need your time and attention and hence will leave you very little time for yourself in the initial years. While you can afford to not give time to yourself, if you have commitments or relationships to take care of, then starting a business may not suit you unless you make some major changes to your schedule.
2. It can be lonely:
If you are on the entrepreneurial route chances are you will get in touch with people who are sailing in the same boat and discuss the pros and cons, exchange tips, and learn a lot in the process. However that can be just superficial and the actual bond you had with your work colleagues or friends, when you had the time to meet up and hang out will be gone. Also the other factor is you are the one responsible for what you are doing and hence at times it is just you with a set of problems, you can’t put the blame on anyone else. Agreed the challenges can definitely get the best out of you, but it can be pretty lonely too.
3. You will NOT get rich quickly:
If you think that taking the plunge to be an entrepreneur is purely because you think you will mint money, let me tell you, not everyone is a Mark Zuckerberg or Sabeer Bhatia to make a product and get set for life. Again in their case, their initial dedication and hard work did play a big role. The other thing was Facebook and Hotmail had something new and revolutionary in it that clicked. You need to keep this in mind before wanting to start your own business. Your income will take time and you will need a lot of patience.
4. Your finances will take a beating:
While in a job you would have been used to the monthly SMS from your bank stating ‘your salary has been credited to your account’. This will go away for a long time once you start your own venture. Businesses take time to settle and hence the flow of money will be disturbed. Be prepared to cut down costs and manage money better, since your finances will be in a tizzy. If you have a sound family financial backup wherein at least your kitchen keeps running irrespective of your income, then maybe it won’t matter to you, but if you are the only one earning and without any substantial savings to sustain your family needs, you may feel that starting a business may not suit you.
5. Family and friends may not be that understanding:
As mentioned above, starting a business will take most of your time and energy and at the same time may not show any returns for quite some time. All this may not go down well with family or friends and they may think it is a wrong decision you took. You need to be able to convince them in such a case and show why you have so much faith in your venture. If you can do so then things can be a lot smoother, if not then you may just feel that entrepreneurial fad is not for you.
6. You may not be able to sustain by following your passion:
At times people often think of entrepreneurship mainly because they wish to follow their passion. However they should understand one thing that the success of a business is ultimately based on demand and supply and if you cannot create enough demand for the service or product you are supplying, you may not sustain. Hence, while following a passion is good, think over it, whether the kind of venture you are getting into will generate enough demand for you to justify taking this step or will it just backfire.
7. You may still not be your own boss:
The most common reasoning to be an entrepreneur is the theory that “I am my own Boss”, actually you are not. Your customers will become your new boss over time and while you are the decision maker on how to serve your customers, still you are not entirely your own boss. Yes of course at times it is much easier to plan holidays or take the day off or plan your schedule accordingly, but then again you cannot keep doing it all the time.
8. You compete globally:
Today you are in a global era. You are not just in your own country. A new idea that you may come up with, would already be there in the foreign countries and they may slowly expand and enter your markets and increase competition. In certain sectors there is already overflowing competition, and hence if you cannot find that particular niche that may work for you, you may soon find yourself back in the same rat-race that you thought of escaping by giving up your job.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for entrepreneurship, however at times you need to remember certain factors and sometimes you need to understand why starting a business may not work for you, in order to avoid hassles and stress later or letting the thought crop in that you took a wrong decision. Keep the above factors in mind and work to eliminate those deterrents and then by all means take plunge.