So you think you can start a business?
By Fairy Dharawat
If you are thinking of starting a business, well you are a courageous person, yes really. There are many who ‘think’ and don’t go ahead with their idea. It is quite understandable, because the effort requiring for starting a business is not child’s play. Well known business people like Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg started young and looked at what opportunities there were and had to experiment a little before they hit on a winning formula for a good business.
It can be more difficult to start a new business when you’re older, but you do have some advantages. You have a wealth of experience and that idea that has lingered in your mind for many years has been well thought out. The guy who started the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise was 65 years old when he started that business. It is never too late, if you believe in yourself and your business idea.
Many famous business people have no formal degree. Prominent names in business world had gone through the turmoil we have gone through and more than that. Still they have turned out to be role models for many business people. So is a degree a necessity for carrying out a business plan? I have been fortunate to come across an article that dealt with the same topic. The writer said that doing studies in a college university is not only going to rob you of with your precious time, but also your hard earned money. Think college fees, tuitions and sometimes extracurricular activities that may require the extra funding for a minimum of two years. However, within the university there are opportunities to meet smart like-minded people.
Does university prepare students for the world of business? They learn many things if they study hard. They learn about brands, marketing and advertising and these days they learn about sustainability, but they tend to lack experience. Steve Jobs was successful largely because of experience gained from learning electronics from his father in the garage.
It is better to start a business when you are young. Well known entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and Steve Jobs have shown us that. It is better to start young, but you do need to recognise opportunities. In the 70’s and 80’s there were many opportunities in technology and those made people rich, but they were different times. In some ways, with the world economic problems, this might seem a difficult time to start a new business, but it just means there are new challenges. The new technological frontiers are still there, to succeed you need imagination and vision. What will come next? What will tomorrow’s technology be? We have many problems to solve as a society and a business idea that helps solve those problems and involves concepts such as sustainability could produce the wealth of the future.
There is never a good time or a bad time to start a business. You do need business skills and an understanding that creating wealth and preserving wealth isn’t just about money. You can make money by simply speculating, buying what is in short supply and selling it at a profit. That is exploitation, not wealth creation. Wealth creation is about providing goods or services. It doesn’t matter which it is, as long as people value what you have to offer enough to pay money for it. It could be good food, a smart technological product or a luxury item they want, but don’t really need. People create music, sing songs and play act, all this is wealth creation. We will pay money to hear people sing, we will pay money to watch people play act in a movie. We will pay money for the latest technology. To start a business you have to recognise what people will pay money for. People always want the new phone, the latest model; they want to hear new songs ands see new movies. What can you offer people, offer society; that is new?
You need good people and their support to thrive your business. For any business, good people are a must. We are forgetting the simple business rules. For a business to survive, one needs to have good relation with not only customers, but with people related to developing your business as well. I am not talking about cordial relations but a good, read solid relations. Trust is vital for any business to survive.
At the end of the day business is giving and taking. This can only happen if there is trust, because there is always someone better than you giving the same thing at a better price. The reason some one is buying from you or working for you or working with you is because of ‘You’. Don’t forget this fact; it is important for you and your business. Your business will be successful if people like what you are selling and if they like the person selling it; you.
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