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Why do you want to start a business

Reasons to become an entrepreneur

Research has shown that personality traits are not the only factors that make you want to start a business, there are also situational and environmental factors.

The following is a model I derived from research and observation:

Why start a business

Personal Factors

Personality
If you were given independence and leadership opportunities as a child and you love to solve problems, you have already started your training as an entrepreneur from a young age. You'll love the challenges of starting a business.

As your own boss, you will have control of every single detail in the company, and everyone looks up to you for decision. No matter how old you are.

People who are control oriented find it especially hard to work in a large organization. These people will find immense joy in the freedom of entrepreneurship.

Family Situation
Some people can never be full-time entrepreneurs. I am one of them. Simply because my family situation does not permit that any more. I have five young children and I have no reliable help. I know that I will not be able give my business enough attention if I were to start something big for now. Having said that, I satisfy my entrepreneurial interests through small ventures and giving advices.

What is your family situation? If you have parents, a spouse or friends who can give you financial, moral or emotional support, or you are not the bread winner of the family, then you are well placed to start a business.

Situational Factors

Career Situation
Are you frustrated with your current job? I know many who are.

When I first started work in IBM, Mr Koh was already a second line manager. A decade on, after working for another 2 multi-national companies, he got fed-up with it all and called it quits. At 45, despite having been a Vice President of many large companies, he decided to leave and set up a coffee shop. Today, he is a very happy man frying noodles every day.

Perhaps you were caught in a downturn or just made redundant, or you could be fresh out of college, banker-trained and cannot find a job in the bank. Think you should start a business?

These are common situations that led people to entrepreneurship. If you can identify yourself being in any of these situations, this is a perfect time to try your hands on entrepreneurship. Your opportunity costs are low.Access to Funds
To start a business you must raise enough money as startup capital costs. Above that, you must have enough in the war chest to sustain your lifestyle.

If you have access to funds from the government, wealthy parents or friends, or if you have saved enough to not worry about money during your startup years, you are in a good position to start a business.

Environment Factors

Market Changes
What about the market changes? With the current financial crisis, do you see new opportunities? A new way to do banking? A better way to handle credit and fraud?

In any economic situation, there will goods and services that will be in demand. During this downturn, with time at hand, people are getting hitched and spending more time in the gym.

Consumers now have more time for themselves and their families.

During the 1929 depression, people continued to buy lip sticks to enhance their looks to boost their self-esteem. A few cosmetics houses never felt the effect of depression.

Do all these give you ideas for new products or services?

Technological Change
Some academics believe that the only way out of a depression is through a technological change. (Check out Kondratiev wave.) What's happening with nano-technology, WIFI and green technology, alternative fuels?

If you have access to these technologies, or you simply have a passion in certain technologies, you can start a business to explore the possibilities.

The opportunities are endless.



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Guest Speaker Norma Sit

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