Posted by: Mark Tayar | August 11, 2009

Grad Career or Start-Up

Today I was asked by a young entrepreneur whether I regret taking on a role in a small entrepreneurial business.  This young entrepreneur wants to know whether he should take on a role with a start-up and these are the questions I asked him. If you are tossing up between a conventional grad program versus a start-up leadership role, ask yourself:

  • Is the business idea really viable?
  • Is the business treading new ground or is the concept proven (even though innovation seems more diserable, proven concepts are much more successful)?
  • How fierce is the competition in the industry and can you avoid a price war by differentiating on more than just price?
  • Do you want a big name company behind you or is that insignificant?
  • Do you want to specialise in one small area of business or do you want broader but less specialised business experience?
  • Can you survive pay cuts and potential redundancy without much notice?
  • Do you have a contingency plan if the company goes bankrupt?
  • Will your reputation be severely harmed if this business fails?
  • Is the team the kind of people who always want to win, never procrastinate and are fun to work with?
  • Are you running the business for ego, to make money or because you love business? (guess which motivating force is most successful)
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