A moment too soon or a moment too late, you lose in business. Furthermore, if you wait for everything to fall in place, your wait might end up with nothing.
The underlying message is that timing in business is crucial.
Industrialization really took off in the 20th century – it was also the same time in history when the population explosion occurred, with more than 4.4 billion people born during that time.
If you look back at some of the most successful entrepreneurs, it seems as if they knew it was the perfect time to launch their business, but maybe some of them stumbled upon their circumstances unknowingly. Maybe their success owed a lot to luck.
In the world of investments and forex trading, timing is everything. It can be the difference between making a profit or a loss.
Patrice Motsepe, one of the most revered African entrepreneurs, timed his approach perfectly. It led to him becoming a billionaire in a relatively short period of time. He went into mining at a time when gold prices were high and South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment policies were in their first phase of implementation; corporate companies were actively looking to partner with capable black entrepreneurs and professionals.
In Nigeria, it was the right time to jump into business as the government was privatizing state-owned companies in the 2000s. It might still be the right time.
Some of the world’s most famous tech titans, such as Michael Dell, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, founded their companies between 1975 and 1984. The 70s and 80s proved to be best time for computer companies and Dell Technologies, Apple and Microsoft are giants today. Between 2002 and 2009, most of the successful social media companies, like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, were born. The key for entrepreneurs is seeing the writing on the wall and knowing how to take advantage of it.
The dot-com bubble in the late 90s was the opportune time to start a technology company as money was readily available. However, that time has returned. Tech ventures have a tremendous amount of money ready to be deployed as long as conditions are met; the validity of the business and which market you raise the money from is important.
The tech capitals of Africa are Nairobi, in Kenya, and Cape Town, in South Africa. The tech capitals of the world are Silicon Valley in the United States, Tel Aviv in Israel, and Seoul in South Korea. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t succeed if you are not from these places.
Africa is a virgin territory in a few sectors. The time is now to go full force into infrastructure development, energy generation and beneficiating raw material produced on the continent. Most of our technological products and services are from countries outside Africa.
Europe and China have a tendency of tailor-making Silicon Valley technology to fit their local users. In China, they have WhatsApp rival WeChat, eBay rival Alibaba, and, before they merged, Didi Chuxing rivalled Uber.
Timing is multi-faceted; it can be when to go into business, when to expand, or when to close a deal at a particular time with favorable conditions.
But, how do you determine when the time is right? You can’t merely be excited by the vision of what could be.
It helps to be well-informed about the sector you are in; study the previous trends, patterns and circles which tend to repeat themselves; and engage as many people as you can in that field.
Just remember, if you wait too long, you might miss the opportunity. When Gates founded Microsoft, he was not necessarily sitting down and realizing the timing was right. He just moved as he saw a niche in the market.
My advice is to wake up and get back to the grind. If you need to, fail a few times until you get it right. As Abraham Lincoln once observed, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” – Written by Paul Mashegoane