I like to think there are 2 prerequisites that are no brainers when it comes to deciding whether or not you take the leap from that cozy, no-end in sight, badly managed, dead-end job to your new business endeavour. Sure you’ll be soon wondering where your next contract will come from or when your next customer will walk through the door of your shop but you will be self employed.
The 2 considerations are Passion and Timing!
Ahh a mouthful and a lot of considerations. Ok, I’ll get to Passion and Timing in a minute. Realistically do you have the knowledge to start your own business, the finances, a USP (unique selling point), the necessary skill sets? These are the basics but you still need passion and timing.
When I was a kid of 10 I fell in love with cameras and photography. As I matured into adulthood I kept my passion for photography alive as a hobby and even made some money at it. When I turned 30, circumstances (timing) allowed me to take the big plunge, the risk, the black hole, the abyss – self employment. On a wing and a prayer, I started my photography business.
Boy, my first studio was $150 a month close to home. All I had in this 3000 sq. ft. space was a backdrop, a desk, a tripod and a light – I had it made in the shade. Independence!
It was a disaster and a total waste of money but insights from friends, self-realization and diminishing money had me realize after a year I needed a game plan. With a plan in place, I eventually had a successful photography business which evolved into an ad agency including web and print media production.
The thing that kept me going was the Passion I felt for what I did. I loved photography and was sure I couldn’t do it anymore if I lost the passion. I eventually came to that place many years later when I realized I didn’t want to go into the digital age and closed my high-end studio in the center of Vancouver.
Timing is the second consideration. Call it luck, call it karma but timing comes for some easily and others evades us like water in a desert. A young man came to my office a couple of months ago and proudly said he wanted to import ‘Razor scooters’ that had 2 neat little wheels and folded up to fit into your trunk or backpack. I reminded him that they were in fashion 12 years ago and his timing was off. It had come and unfortunately gone. Besides when it first came to Canada it was $200 in the store but quickly went to $29.95 when the Chinese copied and mass produced them. The market as a phenomenon died!
I tell my new entrepreneur clients it’s about their personal timing too.
If your friends and family tell you that you are crazy for wanting to be ‘your own boss’ maybe they know something about you that you’re neglecting to consider. You really must want to be self-employed and your family and friends MUST support your decision. In those dark days ahead you’re going to need friends who are supportive and family who can handle an extra bill here and there while your business is struggling and growing.
Timing is also measured by the economy. Your product or service must be in demand so timing is a credible determinant whether you should be in business. Selling beer in a recession/depression may be a good idea with good timing because people drink at home during a recession therefore it’s recession-proof. Selling luxury autos during a recession is a good idea but selling mid prices vehicles like Mustangs or Acura’s fall flat because people with money still have money but people on the edge buy cheap.
And you thought it was just about opening a shop and they will come – ha!!
Want some help? Ask!