Crisis founders are more innovative and willing to take risks
The strategy consulting firm Bain and Company already carried out a comprehensive study over eight years and with 2.500 surveyed some time ago Company found out that for exactly 24 percent of American companies the crisis year 2001 was an excellent opportunity to rush from the bottom to the top of the market. In 2001, for example, Apple came out with its iPod and achieved astonishing sales figures in the 2001 Christmas season. But even in quieter times (the study also analyzed the economically relaxed phase after 2001), significantly more companies were unable to catapult themselves to the top.
The secret of the success of such companies: They are simply more innovative and risk-taking than the competition. Successful entrepreneurs understand crises as a necessary “calm before the storm”. They use these rest periods to work out ideas and initiate innovations that will spark off when the upswing comes. Often times such good business ideas emerge precisely in times of crisis that customers can push through even in difficult times: The secret: If a product or service is really good, the customer says to himself: “I absolutely have to have this product, this service!” - even if you have to save elsewhere.
Secret of success being more active than the competition
But there is a second advantage that companies can take advantage of in difficult times: The crisis has brought about enormous economic upheavals, which are opening up new opportunities, especially for young companies. Many potential competitors are afraid to take action, especially in difficult economic times.
In another study, Bain and Company asked 100 managers about the innovative spirit of German companies. With sobering results: the respondents emphasize that new products and services are vital for the competitiveness of their company - on a scale from 1 to 7, the average value was 6, but at the same time they only give the inventiveness of their own employer a 4,7 and even grade the structures and processes in-house with a 4,0.
Have courage, don't bury your head in the sand
So it is worthwhile not to bury your head in the sand, even in times of crisis, but to promote your own ideas. Because no matter whether in good or bad times: starting a business is always a risk. She always needs the courage to go ahead with her own ideas, because the perfect business idea cannot be bought anywhere. And it always has to be well thought out and planned. So why not start a business now?
A big problem in Germany is still the start-up culture: Germans lack the courage to become self-employed at all, even if there is an abundance of funding, a good infrastructure and sufficient office and commercial space. Nevertheless, by international comparison, Germany is not a start-up paradise.
German founders complain about a bad start-up culture
The current GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP MONITOR, a study that examines the founding conditions in 42 countries worldwide every year, shows: The start-up culture in Germany is anything but optimal. Germany offers a very good public funding infrastructure, there is sufficient office and commercial space as well as means of transport and communication available, the protection of intellectual property through patents is guaranteed and founders can have numerous advisory services and supplier companies.
On the other hand, Germany does significantly worse than other countries in numerous framework conditions in an international comparison: For example, founders in this country are slowed down by higher market entry barriers and poorer financing conditions. Above all, however, the experts surveyed by GEM criticize the state's excessive regulatory rage, the poor start-up-related training and finally the negative general social attitude towards start-ups.
Bankruptcy law is scary
The German insolvency law is also particularly problematic: While a bankrupt in other countries is partly free of debt after a few months, the debt discharge period in Germany takes six years. Six years in which a failed entrepreneur finds it difficult to get loans from the bank to start a new business again. It is precisely the scope of a possible bankruptcy that causes Germans to be so unwilling to set up a business.
For these reasons, 46,5% of the 18 to 64-year-olds surveyed in Germany would immediately abandon the step into self-employment - for fear that it could go wrong. Only the very young up to 24 are a little braver. But apart from those, the differences to countries like England, the Netherlands, Australia or above all the USA, where 79 percent were not deterred by fears from setting up a business, are huge.
Starting a business despite the crisis: 7 tips for success
But how exactly do you manage to be successful as an independent entrepreneur despite the crisis? 7 tips.
- Positive thinking: Whether or not a company is founded often also depends on whether the start-up opportunities on site are assessed positively or not. In Germany, however, only 20 percent of those surveyed see good start-up opportunities. Only in four countries (Japan, Singapore, Hungary and Belgium) is this rated even more negatively.
- Overcoming fear of failure: Americans are known to be particularly risk-takers. If independence goes wrong, it is not immediately perceived as a personal failure, the attempt counts more than the result, whoever gets up despite defeat is a hero.
- Appreciate your own abilities more: Germans rate your ability to become self-employed as comparatively poor: only 39 percent of those surveyed believe they have enough knowledge. In Spain 46,3% are convinced of this, in Great Britain 49,6% and in the USA even 50,2%.
- Do not pay attention to what those around you are saying: The reputation of entrepreneurs in Germany is rather bad - often out of ignorance. Germany is in 34th place out of 42 countries. Iceland is in second place behind the USA, Ireland and Colombia are in fifth and sixth, and the Philippines and Hungary in ninth and tenth. Only in countries such as Slovenia, Hungary or Urugay is self-employment even more suspicious than in Germany.
- Use information and further training: No wonder that so few Germans feel like starting a business: They are not prepared for self-employment either in school or in college. Germany is among the last ten countries in terms of start-up training. Above all, the economic education here is less geared towards entrepreneurship than much more towards management tasks in hierarchically structured large corporations. On the other hand, the USA and Singapore are way ahead in terms of entrepreneurial training. Anyone who wants to become self-employed should therefore treat themselves to appropriate further training.
- Politics, regulation, taxes - fight your way through the bureaucracy, it's worth it! Although the German tax system and the German bureaucracy are often scolded: It doesn't look that bad - Germany ranks 17th here. The Icelanders are the most liberal here, with Brazil at the bottom.
- Make use of the good framework conditions: Overall, you should be happy to found Germany. The country is considered safe and is also attractive for start-ups from abroad. The framework conditions include the funding infrastructure, market openness or financing. In terms of founding conditions, Germany is far behind among the 15 industrialized countries: only in Spain and Italy the situation looks even worse. Overall, Germany ranks sixteenth among a total of 37 countries when all framework conditions are included. The framework conditions are best in the USA, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, followed by countries from Western and (later) Eastern Europe in particular. In general, the industrialized countries tend to be ahead in an international comparison. In the emerging and developing countries, start-up conditions are generally poorer, but the start-up rate is higher in comparison. The large number of start-ups in countries such as Brazil, Uruguay, Colombia or Peru can, however, be traced back to the lack of employment alternatives to the often forced self-employment to secure a living. Overall, the Latin American countries come off worst in terms of framework conditions.
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