It is no secret that I have always been passionate about supporting start-up founders. I have been involved in plenty of campaigns to do so over the years.
But divested of businesses myself, I have been able to concentrate entirely on supporting other founders, and sharing both my own knowledge and the brilliance of the experience of others. Why do I think this is so important?
We all know that the last two years have seen massive shifts in the job market. We have seen the Great Resignation, the Quick Quitters – both rooted in people wanting “more”. They want control over how and when they work, and meaning and purpose in what they do.
But I think what we are already seeing is the Great Redundancy. The tech giants have already started. You don’t get much more brutal than what happened at Twitter when Elon Musk took over. But it is not confined to Twitter. Many of the giant names have hit headlines waving sabres through their staffing lists.
It isn’t only the tech giants. SME’s have struggled to survive the pandemic and huge numbers have gone to the wall, leaving owners and teams out of work.
So, on the one hand, you have a movement of people wanting more out of life and on the other side rapid increases in the numbers of people out of work.
This generates a perfect breeding ground for new businesses starting up. People have always equated starting a business to having more freedom and control over their lives. For those facing redundancy, it may both give them back some control but also, for many, it may appear to be the only option.
In between of that, you have spiralling inflation. A side hustle can make a huge difference when it comes to feeding your family.
But is it the Right Time to Start-up?
People talk about the timing of start-ups. It is certainly true that timing is crucial when it comes to market success. You wouldn’t have had much success in a business selling keyboards before there were computers. But otherwise, I am not convinced in the arguement of chosing the perfect time to start-up.
There are too many other factors that are much more important. How much people need or want your product; how strong your vision; just how detirmined you are – those three spring to mind immediately. Timing pales in comparison to those.
Many will argue that it is folly to start-up in a recession. Well, I did it back at the start of the 90s. Very grim times. I was supplying the showhouse market and large quantities of my potential market had no work on because they weren’t building showhouses or had no spare cash to furnish them.
But equally, the remaining customers were all desperate to furnish their homes. They wanted to sell the properties and have the cash in the bank to see them through the recession.
And as time went by, those customers had got rid of all their properties and had no more work. But the others, those who had not spent at the start, had new managers coming in with different approaches, could see the start of the market recovery and were starting to spend again.
You have to go where the work is – and if there is enough work, you will still be able to survive, and indeed thrive with your start-up.
Why most people don’t start-up
The biggest reason most people don’t start-up is fear. So, they keep on putting off the moment, calling “but if…” at regular intervals.
“But if..” is a the brute that stops us getting anything in life. Someone advised me to put an elastic band on my wrist and ping it when I go into “what if” mode. It is very good advice. The only problem at the time was that I couldn’t find an elastic band, so to this day I am given to wandering around saying “Ping”.
But it has the same result and I thoroughly recommend it. I am not suggesting getting out of your financial risk comfort zone and only you know what that is. But on fear of it all going wrong? Never a good reason not to start-up.
Carve out the business you want, from side hustle micro to unicorn, and create the life you want. Make 2023 your year.
I believe that 2023 is the year of the start-up so strongly, I wrote my latest book, Start for Success, to help.