Perhaps you have reached a point in your professional career where you no longer feel interested in working for your large corporation for the next few years. In fact, you’re ready to resign despite being a senior manager. But, there’s a slight problem — you are still not yet ready to retire.
You have a dilemma. On one hand, since you have grown your personal wealth through careful financial stewardship, saving and investing wisely through the years, you don’t need to work another day to sustain your standard of living. On the other hand, you want to do something new, different, and refreshing with all the business knowledge and experience you’ve acquired over the decades.
One solution to your quandary is to start your own company. It will help you make the best use of your time, know-how, and talent. When you start your own company, stick to what you know and choose between following your passion and buying an existing business.
Stick to What You Know
When you start a new business, it’s important to understand the industry. If you pick a business you know little or nothing about because you’re enchanted by its potential upside, you’re setting yourself up to fail before you even start. While the business you choose may indeed have a chance of growing quickly because of the high demand for its products or services, it may not work for you.
For instance, if you raise enough funds to open a car dealership, you should be familiar with many aspects of the automobile industry, including its relationship to its primary regulatory agencies, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This intimate understanding will make it easy for you to answer customer’s questions on almost anything, ranging from simple questions like “What is vehicle registration?” to more complex questions like “What are the required emissions tests for the state?”
If you know little to nothing about your new business venture, you are unlikely to know how to do good market research to investigate the most promising market opportunities. You also won’t know how to make the detailed plans necessary to succeed in your new business. What’s more, since your naïveté will be obvious to financiers, you will probably not even attract sufficient capital to launch your business.
Follow Your Passion
You may have had a business idea stirring at the back of your mind for many years. Now is your chance to pick up your vision again and establish a plan to bring it to the world. Do your market research. Build your team. Develop infrastructure. Promote your business.
Buy an Existing Business
If you don’t have a burning business idea that you want to launch, but just want to be in business for yourself rather than working as an executive, then consider buying an existing business.
There are many advantages to buying an existing business rather than starting one from scratch. You won’t have to:
- introduce a new product or service because you will be offering consumers something they have been familiar with for years;
- structure the business but merely need to understand the existing business processes;
- spend years building a brand because you will continue to champion the values of the established brand;
- worry about ramping up sales when you start because you will have a large database of customers, or;
- struggle to get funding when you are ready to grow the business because your business will have a proven track record.
Deciding to become an entrepreneur may be one of the most significant decisions you ever made in your life.