It’s beyond redundant at this point to inform you that the economy is not doing as well as we would hope. You know it, I know it. A more interesting area to explore in there is, well, if you’re an entrepreneur, what do you do? How do you start a new business in a down economy without sinking yourself?
Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal, CEO and founder of SKA MANAGEMENT, knows all about this. Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal has found a way to create and maintain striving businesses in this down economy. SKA MANAGEMENT opened its doors in the summer of 2005 and has been going strong since. To figure out how he’s done it, I gave him a call, here’s the interview…
Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal: “Business has its ups and down but I cannot complain. SKA MANAGEMENT is very good business; it’s still a growing business even in a down economy. Starting a business can be scary. But great rewards await entrepreneurs lucky enough to create successful small businesses — benefits you may miss out on if you remain a wage earner for the rest of your life. Although only you can decide if you’re ready to quit your job and plunge into running your own business”
As a former member of the corporate world, I wanted insight on what’s the reasoning of starting your own business instead of working for someone.
“Independence and flexibility, is really important because you’ll have more freedom and independence working for yourself. And once your business is firmly established, you’ll probably have the flexibility to make sure you don’t miss the moments and events that matter most to you in life. Another reason would be Personal fulfillment, Owning and running your own business can be more satisfying and fulfilling than working for someone else. Many successful small business owners find they enjoy the respect they earn from their peers for having the courage to go out on their own. Additionally, in your own business you have Power. Don’t be surprised if power is one of your goals. When it’s your business, you can have your employees do it your way. If power is important to you, think about how to use it in a constructive way. One of the most important reasons he said is definitely Money. With money, the risks of forgoing a steady paycheck can pay off when you own your own business. You can get rich in a small business, or at least do very well financially. Although most entrepreneurs don’t get wealthy, some do.” (Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal)
What are the risks of starting my own business?
“Losing money, is a big part of your own business, You’re going to need money to get your small business started. Whether you raid your savings account, hit up friends and relatives, or borrow from a bank, there’s a very real possibility that your business won’t succeed and that you, your friends, or the bank will never see that money again. If your business idea is risky, ask yourself whether you’re willing to gamble your retirement, your friendships, and even your good credit on your business idea. Another possibility from having your own business is the Personal sacrifice. Business success can come at a high personal cost. Getting your business up and running may consume most of your time and energy, including your precious evenings and weekends. You may not have much time for family or friends or the extra cash to take a second honeymoon with your spouse. Before you quit your job, decide whether you (and your family) are ready to make some of the personal sacrifices necessary for you to create a successful small business.” (Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal)
Mr. Aggarwal explained being self-employed is great because “it allows for self to express expression more freely. At the end of the day, I believe this is the real pay-off for most business owners who love what they do. I love what I do, I don’t call it a job, I call it my hobby. I left the corporate world in 2004 because I was tired of my boss making arbitrary decisions about what was good for my clients. I was tired of my life being subjected to the whims of some corporate executive who didn’t even know my name. As an employee, I couldn’t do what I really felt was right either for my clients or for myself – so I left.” (Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal)
“Why am I sharing this with you? Because I believe a great way for you to express your true self is to open your own business too – even if it’s not full-time.” (Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal)
“Again, even if you don’t need the money, you should consider doing this. Having your own business will give you a new vantage point from which to live.
Sure you’ll have less free time. But if my experience is typical – and I believe it is – you’ll still have a lot more life.” (Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal)
What steps should you take if you want to open a business?
“Decide what business you want to start by finding your passion. I started my career in 2005 for the money. But over time I grew to love it. I love getting to know people, hearing their stories and trying to help.
What is it that you love about what you do now? (Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal)
Can you express that in a side business?
“My advice is to start by looking in your heart. What are you passionate about? Do you love photography? Is it music? Art? Dance? Cooking? Helping kids with autism? Golfing? Blogging? What work would be the best expression of who you really are? Get help. It might be that your passion provides clarity about what kind of business to open. In my example, I couldn’t keep my job at the bank and have a side consulting business at the same time so the decision was made for me. If you don’t have any legal or moral conflicts, you can open up a side business without burning any bridges.” (Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal)
“If you are clear about what field you are passionate about but don’t know how to turn that into a business, I have two suggestions for you:
Connect with mentors. Identify people who are working in the field and ask them for help. Most people are only too happy to help – especially successful people. (That’s why they are successful by the way.) Don’t be deterred.” (Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal)
“Let’s say you want to get involved in the dance field but don’t have the money to open your own studio. Who cares? Call up a successful studio owner. Tell them you are passionate about dance, you want to open a side business in the field and have no idea what to do. Just because you don’t have the resources they do doesn’t mean they can’t be helpful.
You may not be able to open a dance studio… but by meeting with these people, you might get fantastic ideas on what dance studios need. You might be able to open a business to service those studios.” (Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal)
“Moonlight at a business that is in your “passion field”. The best way to learn is to do. Go to work a few hours each week and don’t worry about how much you get paid. You are there for the experience. You might learn that you don’t have the passion you thought you did for the business. On the other hand, you might uncover ways to get involved with the industry in ways you never thought of before.” (Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal)
Towards the end of the interview he left me with one of the most important and shocking facts behind business ownership and approach to the entrepreneurship world.
“Even if you don’t have any money, you can start a business.”(Sandeep Kumar Aggarwal)
“You’ll have to invest time. Everything has a price. If you can’t devote time to this, don’t start. But personally, I hope you do it. It’s the best investment you’ll ever make because it’s an investment in yourself. While involuntary job changes can be difficult, most people who undertake them do so successfully. Keep a positive attitude and try to focus on the things in life that mean the most-your family, friends, and place within the community.”