Should you start your own business in 2020?

April 15, 2020

As I sit here and write my first blog post I am currently quarantined and in lockdown, as I guess you are.  

Covid-19 has taken over our lives on both a professional and personal level and unfortunately, there is just no getting away from it. We are here for the long-haul.

And most of the things that we hear on social media, in the press, in financial markets or on the TV tend to project a negative outlook, at least for the foreseeable future.

So, I’m going to take this opportunity to project a more optimistic, opportunistic and positive view.

In my opinion, this especially needs to be the case when we talk about business, wealth and self-betterment. In fact, if you’re considering starting a new venture or business, then this type of mindset is completely necessary.

Review your options and risks, but don’t take too long

For the majority of people, starting a business is not easy. And it can take time. And there are several unique risks that need consideration as well as those that may affect both your professional and personal lives.

But sometimes, you can think about it too much; it took me nearly two years to turn my ideas and my experience into a working operation.

In hindsight, that was way too long. I thought I needed to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’. I didn’t. As Winston Churchill once said:

“Perfection is the enemy of progress”.

That resulted in lost time, lost revenue and increased competition.

With over 20 years of experience working in the financial arena, I believed in myself and I believed that people would want what I had to provide for them but taking that leap was difficult. In hindsight, I should have moved much quicker. Starting my own business, though, was for me a positive experience.

Here comes the reality check. Positives and negatives of starting up on your own

The Upside: Reasons why you should take that leap.

  1. Independence.
  2. Control of your own destiny.
  3. The ability to choose who to work with, whether it be colleagues or clients.
  4. The capacity to have a better work/ life balance.
  5. No office politics!
  6. The ability to get things done faster and more efficiently.
  7. A stronger sense of achievement.
  8. The potential of greater financial rewards.

And the challenges you will encounter and need to overcome:

  1. It may take some time to start earning.
  2. Especially in the early stages, cash flow is likely to be uncertain or at least volatile.
  3. You will have to deal and understand your tax position better; taxation laws are very different for the self employed or if you were to start a Limited company.
  4. Banks will scrutinise your finances more rigorously and approach your financial position differently should you require credit or need a loan. The bar for getting one will probably be higher.
  5. You need to wear many ‘hats’. Unless you outsource, which of course will cost you money, you need to be the thinker, the doer, the writer, the marketer, the accountant, the compliance manager, the salesman, the PA, the motivator and the list goes on.
  6. You’re not going to get any of the benefits you may have received in your previous employment. E.g. pension, health insurance, holidays.
  7. You’re on your own. No office banter and no after work drinks. It is a lonelier existence.
  8. And because of the above, the pressure to achieve and continue to push through, particularly when things are not going so well, can often result in increased levels of stress.

Don’t run for the hills just yet. Yes, there are negatives, risks and increased levels of pressure. But if you organise your work and personal life effectively, put in the hard work and have the drive to make your business a success, then many, if not all of these negatives can be eliminated.

Do what you love

I always wanted to work in the financial field. I love thinking, talking and immersing myself in finance, investment and how that affects me and you. That’s where my career took me and I truly believe a key reason for my success.

If you enjoy doing something, you will almost always be better at it. And if you are good at something, you will likely enjoy it more.

So, think about what you are most interested in and therefore love to do. Whether it be in sports, finance, cooking, reading or anything else.

What are your skills? What’s your passion? Do you already have an area of expertise?

If you love what you are good at, you’re already an authority on it. And that’s what people will seek you out for.

Do your research

You need a good idea. You need to find a niche.

It doesn’t need to be something that’s totally revolutionary or the best idea on the planet. It just needs to be something that you can build your business around.

Once you have come up with your idea for a product or service, don’t keep it a secret. Remember, you are the key to making your business a success. People will be investing in you. And you can’t be copied.

So share.

Share the basis of your idea with those around you who you can trust to give you honest feedback. Explore your idea with those in your network, whether it be socially or professionally.

And while the positive feedback will tell you if you’re on the right track, it is the negative feedback that will be the most important.

It will mean you will understand your idea better and can adjust your product or service to give people more of what they want and not what you think they need.

After all, if there isn’t a large enough market for your idea, perhaps you need to go back to the drawing board. Whilst undertaking my research for my business, I changed my idea and focus three times before I settled on the right path.

Seek out the competition. What do you think they are doing wrong? What would you do differently?

Try to also reach your target market in your research and place a higher value on these views. If your target market is men in the 20-40 year-old age bracket, your mother and girlfriend telling you it is a brilliant idea may not be such high-value opinions.

Ultimately, you want to know if people will buy your product. Seek out 10 potential consumers, whether they be individuals or companies and ask them directly if they would buy from you. To those who say that they wouldn’t, get them to tell you what would make them change their minds.

Do you have the drive and desire to make it work?

In my opinion, if you have the desire, determination and belief in yourself and your product or service, then you’ve already got the right mindset to become an entrepreneur.

Be self-confident. Understand that you will come up against several challenges along the way but know that there are ways to avoid or overcome these hurdles.

Be realistic and be upfront with yourself about all the risks and negative aspects of going it alone.

And if you’re still energised to push ahead, then you have every chance of success.

As Covid-19 continues to take over our lives and we remain housebound, perhaps this is the ideal opportunity to consider your options from a business perspective and maybe even take that leap of faith and turn your business dreams into reality.

Over the coming posts, I’ll be talking more about how to start your own business what risks you need to take into account how to get that ball rolling.

So stay tuned!

This document is Marketing Material for a retail audience and does not constitute advice or recommendations. All content and views are solely those of the author and are for informational purposes only. Past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.