There is always a discussion around what age is the best for starting up a business, and a recent article shows that for some it might be around 40. Another article looks at the argument of whether there is a link between age and business success, which really shows it is a moving scorecard of pluses and minuses.
In some ways it is academic, you can be 15 or 51 (or 61 or more) and if you have a business in mind the opportunity is still there for you. Here in the UK we have specific business support for young people (equally useful for those more mature), as well as the older generation . While some businesses have self-defining age limits or restrictions, I agree with the view in the first entrepreneur article that suggests “timing is everything”.
Much like those romantics who wait for their “perfect partner” and have little success, there needs to be recognition that there never will be a perfect time to start your business. Just good opportunities. During a downturn finance may be hard to get and it may be tougher to get customers, but if you survive then your business will thrive in the good times, and you know you can ride out any future recession. In the good times finance may be easier to get and customers easier to find, so getting started may be easier.
While the market opportunity may dictate when you jump into running your own business, there are also personal and lifestyle criteria. Maybe you’ve always dreamt of running your own business and suddenly are made redundant, now could be the best time to start living that dream. Just be aware, as Charles Dickens described, “they were the best of times, they were the worst of times”. While a few may have flashes of inspiration that light up the path to entrepreneurship, the rest of us make do with the mist of indecision and uncertainty. There will be a time when your enthusiasm, your skills and experience all come together to make the opportunity happen. After that it’s hard work. So there is no right age, just the right time.