Part time entrepreneurship, the battle inside.
April 4, 2011 § 3 Comments
We’ve all had that urge to become independent and start a business for ourselves, then, the risk of leaving a “safe” life settles in. This is when the battle between risks and dreams unleashes inside our heads.
In the case of idealista.com founder Jesus Encinar, dreams and perseverance won the battle. Without any experience, in real estate and technology he decided to start his web business in the already crowded online real estate market. His determination of doing things better, and differently is what in the end helped become the leader in the Spanish market.
On the other hand, Alberto Torron, of todotaladros.com, has been able to find a truce in the war going in his mind. At least for now. One of his best friends, Javier, who works in the banking sector, was afraid of getting laid of because of the financial crisis. At the same time Javier’s, wife needed to pay taxes for a few more years in order to opt for her pension fund. Because Javier was power tool and drill freak, they decided to start selling them on e-bay as a part time thing. Later they decided to open their own site, and then another two, dealing with gardening tools and headphones, and this year they are on their way to make € 300,000 in revenue. Not bad, for a company being run only by two people in their free time.
Alberto works at Telefónica. When asked when was he going to leave his answer was: “I don’t know, I love my job and I am good at it.” I think everybody in class was astonished by his remark. Torron went a little further and said that the company wanted to grow little by little. More silence.
In a world were dot coms are raising capital as fast as they are losing money here is a guy who wants to take it slow. And I agree to some extent. I think it’s great that he diversified the risk by not leaving his job. They tested the market and, not only that, his company managed to come up with a profit the first year! Plus, they plan to break even and out of debt in the next 6 months! What to do next?
Well, everybody know that a truce isn’t eternal. Someone always has to win the battle. In this case, I think Alberto should focus on his new venture as much as possible. He is practically the only player in the online market in his category here in Spain, but he is so small any big company can come up and take it very quickly.
Maybe he could do what Julio Alonso, did. Take a sabbatical, raise money, see how it goes and then, if all else fails, he could go back to his old job. Not many people have the opportunity, and if I where in his shoes, I would definitely go for it.