Is There A Perfect Time To Start Your Business?

wp-1457370847012.pngIt’s never too early to plan so the time to start your entrepreneurial dream is always now, or even yesterday.  Most people inevitably accept that working for themselves and calling their own shots is the only way to true career satisfaction and security.  Foodservice is one of the few options that offers a variety of entry points and doesn’t care about your age, race, sex or lifestyle. You don’t have to be professionally trained in the culinary arts or necessarily even know how to cook.  All that matters is your participation and the commitment to making it work.

Starting up your foodservice business will require enormous amounts of your time, time you won’t get back so our advice is to live a little first.

If you’re in your twenties and you’re broke it’s ok.  Most of us are broke in our twenties. If you’re single you should spend this time dating, traveling, and living in the cities you want to live in.  If you have a job you don’t want forever and know someday you’ll leave, give it your best while you’re there.  Chip away at debt and save as much as you can but still take the time to live! There will be plenty of time to pay off credit cards, student loans and/or fall in love. Learn about yourself and learn about people’s behavior.  Having success in the restaurant business is as much about people as it is the food.

In my opinion a good time to start your business is in your thirties.  You’ve had a chance to live a bit and gotten your head knocked around a few times. You’ve matured and should be confident enough to speak up for yourself and ask for what you want without reservation. You’ve also seen enough to be comfortable testing your leadership skills.  By your thirties you’ve hopefully gained some control with respect to spending habits and gotten a handle on personal debt.  Starting a foodservice business in your thirties gives you plenty of time to get it up and running, giving it the attention it deserves. That’s a good window to determine if this is indeed something for you, while still leaving enough room and time for another career if it isn’t.  I can say abandoning the comfort of my corporate job at 33 while risky, provided the best return over the subsequent five years than that job ever would have.  I was  averaging 3% – 5% raises annually and would have only increased my (taxed) salary about 10k during that timespan. Within five years of leaving, I had purchased the commercial real estate that housed our catering business, paid off student loans for my wife and myself, eliminated all credit card debt, and learned more about “for real” business and sales than I would have anywhere.

After those five years we sold the business and I went back to corporate America for a short time -and then left again.  It’s ok to go back to a job and many entrepreneurs do. The primary goal is getting a taste of leaving in the first place, in my opinion.  Once that happens and after seeing what’s possible, you’ll never run out of ideas and plans. The fear of starting your own business is gone. Forever.

If you wait until your forties or beyond to start a business that’s perfectly fine also.  You’ve definitely gained enough life experience and  handled a variety of personal and financial storms.  Your appetite for risk may or may not be as strong as someone younger and that’s understandable.  But what you’ve gained in knowledge, patience, and planning should make your decision to cut the cord a well thought out one, hopefully avoiding some of the mistakes associated with youthful exuberance. Still, you should approach your new life boldly and full of energy. I think it’s safe to say what none of us want to live with is regret.

Here’s the beautiful thing about being a food entrepreneur and what makes it so attractive no matter when you start: Your customer is literally everybody, everywhere, and they’re available immediately. Think about it.  What other profession comes with a client base intact, ready to spend and is as numerous and diverse as the stars in the sky. All you have to do is decide the how, when, where and what you want to sell to them.

Cheers

Pineapple Shake

1C Skim milk

1 Egg white

2ozs Frozen pineapple juice concentrate

1/4C Crushed pineapple (unsweetened)

Place all ingredients in blender.  Blend until smooth.

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