We’ve explored the options for earning income in this 7 part series, ranging from the world of employment to full entrepreneurial business ownership. We’ve covered some basic concepts of what it means to be in business, the personality types that do well in this arena, and how to gauge your tolerance for the risks involved.
If, after absorbing all this knowledge, you decide you’re still interested in business ownership, then you’ll want to know how you can stack the odds of being successful in your favor, and when in life or an economic cycle is the best time to start or buy one.
When Is the Best Time to Start or Buy a Business?
Frankly speaking, there’s never a best time in life to get into business. In fact, there’s almost never a “good” time to get into business at all, because there’s always a good reason not to.
Reasons not to include, “We just got married and we’re saving for a house.” “We’re expecting our first child and we’re saving for that event.” “We’ve just started a college savings account for the kids.” “We’re pregnant (again).” “We just bought a bigger house and it’s put a big strain on our budget.” “The economy is up, so my job is secure.” “The economy is down and we have to watch our expenses ‘just in case’.” “I just got laid off, so we’re really watching our budget.” “I just got hired, so we have to rebuild our savings.” “We have kids in college and tuition is due.” “Our parents are in failing health and we’re contributing to their financial upkeep.” “Retirement is just around the corner and we’re making maximum contributions to our.401(k).” And finally, “We’re retired.”
So, there’s never a best time in life to get into business for yourself. If you’ve decided that your risk temperament is right for some type of business ownership and you have the motivation to take the plunge, then at some point you just have to take the bull by the horns and do it.
Why Businesses Succeed
Remember that you must have the basic ingredients in place to be a successful owner, regardless of your degree of risk tolerance or the business model you operate; self-motivation, the willingness to ask for help, a clear understanding of what you want to achieve, and the emotional ability to change when the business or market needs require it.
Of all the attributes I’ve listed, the willingness to ask for help, insight, advice, and counsel at every opportunity is the single most important thing you can do. Don’t try to go it alone; there’s simply too much at stake.
Successful business owners have a drive to succeed, know that they don’t have to singlehandedly blaze their own trail, recognize what’s at stake if their business fails, and realize that every great team and performer has a skilled coach helping them.
Eric Schmidt shared in the July 6, 2009, issue of Fortune Magazine that the best piece of advice he ever received was to hire a coach. And frankly, if the chairman and CEO of Google needs a coach, then you need one, too.
Why? Good business coaches give a 3rd party look at an issue and how you’re handling it, they discuss alternative approaches or options with you that may be more effective, and they encourage you to change habits or take risks that you wouldn’t be prepared to do on your own. They are a sounding board; they become a trustworthy confidant who has your best interest at heart. Finally, a good business coach will help you break through to achieve what you couldn’t on your own.
Then, successful business owners will grab the bull by the horns and implement the advice they’ve received. And if execution is not their strong suit, they’ll ask for help in learning how.
Business ownership is a high risk venture that can have great rewards. I hope what I’ve shared here has given you some personal and professional insight as you explore the world of business ownership. I’d enjoy your feedback on whether this series has helped you in your decision making process. If you decide to go forward, I’ll look forward to hearing how you’re doing. I wish you the very best of success.