So many people ask this question, that I have no clue what to say without being impolite!

Many people ask me ‘My brother (wife, sister, father, uncle, in law,….) wants to do some new business and wants me to invest Rs. 20L in that business (20% of your liquid networth) ….what should I do?

or the more simple one ‘should i leave my job and start a business?’.

Frankly this is not a Business Question. This is a psychological Question.

Are you disciplined enough to be in office EVERY DAY at 9am and leave at 7pm like an employee does?

Do you realize that the top 5 DEMANDING customers is like having 5 bosses?

Do you have enough cash in the savings account (or liquid fund) to meet the next 5 years expenses – if things were to go wrong?

Will your spouse support you through this? what about other immediate family?

Now come to supporting your brother (wife……etc.) while they do business:

apart from the top 4 questions that YOU need to ask them, look for answers for the following questions:

1. does he/she have a track record of doing something disciplined? – academic, sports or professional.

2. Assuming that not a rupee comes back how will it impact your relationship with the others?

3. Will a full loss change your life style?

4. Will a full loss wipe you out completely?

5. Do you have any business analysing skills?

6. If the business does really well, what upside are you expecting? Interest payment or equity participation?

7. At the gut does this person inspire you to invest?

8. If he/she was not related to you would you consider investing?

9. If the person asking for money is an in-law, is your spouse enthsiastic about this investing (for you) about doing business (for the businessman)

10. Would you put all this down in writing – AND WHY NOT?

– ASK these questions to start with…later on there will be more….

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  1. Very logical step by step way to think before jumping. Will one take the plunge or not, that would depend on the answers one derives for these and conclusions there on.

  2. Carl Mascarenhas

    A businessman is either born or he has got a running business thrust on him. In both cases there could be failures (sorry temporary setbacks are the better words.)
    Investing in a busines does not make you a business man.
    When investing in someone else’s business (relationships) should not be considered. The initial thought should be the integrety of the people involved. So, If you invest it should be equity. If you give up a job because you need to safeguard your invested money–its a waste of time
    Your business partner should be as close to you as your wife. If this is possible then its a good recipe for success.

  3. Future or current entreprenaurs are highly charged people and they don’t care what bean counters tell. Let’s encourage people who risks their own personal life or perhaps everything in trying out something new.

    If someone comes and tells me that they want to start a business, my appreciation of that person would jump multifold. I don’t discuss any negatives except offering possible assistance from my end. I don’t mind even if he fails after start-up. My respect would only grow because he tried atleast.

    Thrown in to the desperation and hopeless scenarios, humans would excel. One should not waste time in trying to analyse toomuch and end up with plan after plan only.

  4. Starting a business is excellent option to work for you and get fully benefited. Business is all about investing in right niche on ideal time. You need to invest in business niche based on your experience and passion. You can seek the guidance of experienced Business consultants in Chennai to make right decision.

  5. thenub,

    Yes i will give my money even if i dnont have the cash with me right now i don’t mind taking even personal loan to give my money.

  6. Seriously? You advise people to start business only if they have money for the next 5 years in your savings account? That’s the most absurd (and impractical thing I have ever heard).

    If you seriously don’t have the money, and you have a very good idea, try raising money through venture capital or at least angel funding. There are many people investing in businesses these days.

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