Is it in the first flush of youth or as you get older and wiser?
Hmm… Well lets have a look shall we?
There’s much to be said for starting a business when you are younger. You have the energy to be working 24/7 plus as well you may not yet have a family so your focus could easily be on longer working days. That said, would you have the necessary skills to set up your business? Probably not.
You may never have had to sack anyone before or hire anyone. You may not be particularly savvy as to what a bank looks for in a business proposal. The fact remains that you may have built up little personal security such as a property against which to secure a bank loan. Your network of contacts may not be very well developed.
Anyway, enough of the down cast talking! On the upside, you will have bags of enthusiasm. You will probably have that all important “can do” attitude. Your dreams will seem totally achievable. Small problems will be just that – small and you will be able to get over them. You may have more of a disposable income with little to tie you down if you need to move to a different part of the country (or even a different country!) to start up the business.
One thing is for sure too – you won’t have any of the “baggage” that comes with old age. You know the, “Well it didn’t work out for my mate Jim when he went into business for himself, so I don’t think I’ll succeed either. I’m not even going to try it!”
Of course, on the flip side, with age does come that experience. You know what you are letting yourself in for and will be prepared to go it alone. You’ll have a clearer understanding of life in general, knowing that life never works out as planned and therefore you’ll probably be more cautious in your attitude of going self employed. You will have a clearer understanding of how a business should and shouldn’t work – probably having worked in commerce for a number of years longer than your junior counterparts. Banks and other institutions are probably going to be more comfortable lending money to a more mature person, plus you will have had time to build up some savings to fund your venture.
So what’s the perfect age to go it alone in business? Well there’s certainly advantages to both being young and old when you start up, but my money would be on being young enough to have the fire in your belly to do it, but old enough to know better whilst still being prepared to do it anyway!
Written by Freya Sykes