Many times mid-age managers have enough of the corporate world and play with the idea of leaving the established business to run their own piece of cake. Many times they are surprised this piece of cake is too small to provide them public exposure and the living standard they were used to. They struggle. At least at the beginning. But it does not always have to be that way.
Most of the time there IS NOT THE right time to start your own business. Most of the time there IS THE right time to start it. The answer depends on your attitude and expectations. It also goes deep down to the market opportunity and your level of understanding how to seize it better than anybody else. It all depends on your passion, perseverance and drive to put things through towards prosperous end.
Thoughtful preparation and planning are key. Using your existing area of experience and expertise puts you on the faster track for success. Because you understand your customers´ needs. You understand the rules of the game. You have built your reputation. You can exploit much more the network you have been connected throughout years. You can collect valuable advices as well as get the right doors to be opened for you.
You can pair up with a network buddy, who you already know well in terms of his/her visions, values, strengths and weaknesses as well as his/her response to crisis situations. Solo entrepreneurs do not get such a jump start and such a high level of final results as pairs or triplets. Most of the time it is about teamwork, challenging one another, pushing each other to the limit, covering each others gaps. But in the same time it is as well about clarity in roles and responsibilities and keeping things simple and agreeable.
Planning for the start-up costs ahead is crucial point in the hesitation period. You need to build your financial reserves already during the corporate tenure. As it can anyhow happen, that your job will be made redundant and you will be suddenly forced to find the idea, energy and money for your start-up, under pressure, immediately.
Be ready to take your time at the thinking, conceptual phase, but drive things through full speed afterwards, working long hours at the beginning and taking on your shoulders more work - even such you were used to delegate before. The initial energy and passion are critical for total success of your project. They bring you the critical momentum in the months to come.
The investment budget should be prioritized towards critical business enablers. There may be even options to get some external funding of your idea from state grants, EU funds or private investors. But nothing like that is possible without properly developed business plan, including 3-5 years strategic plan, realistically evaluated new business opportunity, key drivers of growth and an outlook for a one-year cash flow. The cash flow calculation will already reveal the need to keep start-up costs on low level. No fancy offices, cars or secretaries. Just a common sense as well as a back-up plan for financing the initial costs if the business plan proves to be unrealistic and needs to be twisted afterwards.
Learning quickly, also from mistakes, self discipline to keep yourself on the right track and focused on the target, operating effectively and efficiently, wearing multiple hats, surrounding yourself with great talent and leveraging efforts of others - all these points are critical, if you want to run highly successful business.
Becoming entrepreneur can be one of the most rewarding decisions of your life. Understanding how to separate yourself from the rest in competition race, how to put yourself in control of your own life can be incredibly empowering. In the same time there is no one else to blame if things go down the road and failure is on the horizon.
Successful entrepreneurs all confirm that their perseverance in the time of obstacles, their ability to put things through to the end enabled them to bring something new and exciting to the world.
You can get the rewards Chris Zane obtained - see more in the other blog (double click on the link).
Stop being worried about age - see more in the other blog (double click on the link)
Most Important Success Factors (double click)