Grizzled entrepreneur: Pounce now

August 11, 2009
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Dave Becker has made a lot of money on ventures including First Internet Bank and a banking software firm called re:Member Data Services, so his thoughts about the right time to launch a business are not exactly uninformed.

When is the best point in this economic cycle for an entrepreneur to trust his or her gut and go for it? Actually, Becker says, conditions are â??perfectâ?? right now.

Think about it: Finance and all manner of other industries are beaten to a pulp. That means there are opportunities for people who can think of a better, cheaper way to get the job done and undercut the dinosaurs.

In addition to finance, Becker adds, some of the best openings locally are in green energy, life sciences and finding ways to do things with information. The health care sector knows virtually nothing about its patients compared to what the mortgage industry knows about its borrowers, he notes.

â??This is the opportune time for entrepreneurs,â?? he says. â??Rethink old practices that have been cast in stone for years and years.â??

The timing is also right because money will begin flowing soon. Maybe not much at first, but bottlenecks will open as the economy improves.

If a would-be entrepreneur hasnâ??t refined a concept for a business, nowâ??s the time to do so and get established, he says. That way the business will be ready when the economy comes back.

How do you feel about Beckerâ??s optimism?
  • David has been a mentor of mine for many years, and I always appreciate his perspective.

    If you look at the history of success of Venture funds, the best ones are those started when the economy is down. I would agree with David, now is a great time, and there is funding around, for example Halo Capital Group has invested almost $10m in the last 18 months and is looking for more early stage opportunities.
  • I just started an IT Consulting firm in January and have seen explosive growth due to the market demanding lower cost solutions such as ours. Many of our competitors are raising their hourly rates from into the $125 - $175 range and we have a lower cost alternative of $100 per hour with the same, or often times, more experience than these other firms. Additionally, we are able to offer companies who can't afford large solutions an alternative, such as off-lease equipment, and software solutions with the same or similar functionality for less.

    Being able offer companies a lower cost alternative in the tough economic times has given our clients the productivity they demand and has provided Indy IT Professionals with excellent growth in the market. I would say that this year has been a great time to start our business!
  • I couldn't agree more with David and Mark Hill's perspectives. Indeed, I'm in the thick of it, having recently launched my digital communications firm, Neal Moore Communications. I'm finding significant interest in job outsourcing by companies needing professional services who are disinclined to hire new employees. Repeatedly I've been advised by trusted colleagues who know what they're talking about that, as David suggests, this is exactly the right time for business creation.
  • David's experience speaks volumes when it comes to starting businesses. Innovation has been key to his many successful businesses and is key to anyone starting a business focused on growth and capturing market share. The success factors David mentions apply to all business whether new or more mature. Business leaders cannot do business the way they once did - they must continue to innovate and reinvent their businesses.

    Innovation is such an important theme for our economy right now, TechPoint has choosen to focus its summit on it - Innovation Summit '09.

    Thanks David for your support, leadership and mentorship to many!
  • I started my consulting business in February 2001, at the height or perhaps the depth of the dot com crash. A fellow consultant, who was much older and wiser than me told me that I could not have picked a worse time to start a new business. I knew he was right, but I figured if I could survive bad times, I would be OK. Now 8.5 years later I am still surviving. Now might be a worse time than 2001, but for someone with a good idea and some business sense, bad economic times can be a good time to start a business.
  • Best quotes of the year, “This is the opportune time for entrepreneurs. Rethink old practices that have been cast in stone for years and years.” But, lets not forget a key word in his quote, Entrepreneur. A lot of people long for the independence and freedom that owning a business represents. They forget that the rewards of owning a business are accompanied by the risks and uncertainty their present employer is assuming for them. They want the glory, but they may not have what it takes to tough it out on their own. So a quick suggestion. Before peeps start rethinking old practices. Ask yourself are you ready? True the time is right. The economy is down and their are many examples of companies that were started in down times. But are you ready to play the game?

    Are you willing to make great sacrifices to achieve success? Mortgage your house, leave the security and comfort of a paycheck? Turn in that Audi? Jokes aside.

    Can you strive against all odds to make your vision a reality? Because remember. If it were easy. Everyone would do it.
  • The economy isn't kicking the snot out of every business or business type. [1]

    I can make a case for one; and part of a second, via the same architecture/engine.

    If flexibility is incorporated from the beginning, a lot of features can be added or modified, and not (fingers crossed) break anything in the process.

    I have a long-term vision plus a specific set of features for each tier. This will ensure it's easy to take it to the next level when desired.

    And finally, I can present three revenue streams.

    Now what?

    Nearly all of my friends have suggested I go ahead (alone), attempting to defy what borders upon lunacy, even by those with startup experience; bootstrapping up to a point where things can stabilize. The typical garage startup. (Except mine is at the couch & coffee table.)

    The remaining have suggested (in their words), selling my soul and move forward as a group.


    [1] I also have ideas for four other businesses, but they would (likely) be victims of the economy.

    Care to chat?

    Yes, that's a real email address.

    Were you expecting something spammers would choose?

    ( ) ???

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