A lot of people ask when the ideal time to start a business is. The answer is quite simple: as soon as you’re ready. Now, there’s the more difficult question: how do you know when you’re ready?
There’s no clear-cut answer to this, but more or less, you’ll realize you’re prepared for this roller-coaster ride of risks, triumphs, and failures when:
You’ve done your research already
At the very least, you know who your market is. Not just in the demographics sense, but in pyschographics, too. If you don’t know your audience’s buying decisions, interests, passions and pain points, it might be wiser to conduct surveys and interviews first. If you’re exploring the opportunity of, say, buying and owning a pizza franchise, then you should be able to dig into the franchisor’s latest market research.
Other than the target audience, you must have done your research homework on your competitor as well. A lot of your strategies would depend on how the other industry players are doing. So take some time to analyze your competitor’s performance. It should be clear to you from the beginning what they’re doing good (potential practices you can adopt), what they’re doing bad (gaps your business can fill) and what they’ve done wrong (mistakes you can avoid).
You have a stable financial situation
Of course, this would determine your readiness. There’d be a lot of money spent on launching your business, from your business space, materials and equipment to employees. The best scenario for this is you’d still be able to maintain your financial stability in the event that your business goes flop. You’re ready to take the plunge if you have this ideal arrangement.
So, take inventory of your finances. Are your bank savings enough to cover capital? Are you qualified for a business loan? Do you have possible investors in mind? From there, determine how much risk you’re willing to tolerate. If it’s possible to cushion risks, say, start a business while holding your day job, take it.
You have the right motives
Most people get into a business because they want to earn more money. Others do it because they want to be freed from their 9-to-6 office job. Some are in it for the name and the fame.
These aren’t bad reasons to start a business. But they’re certainly not enough to power you through the ups and downs of whatever venture you’re getting into. And to set the record straight, you may not be earning anything yet in the first few months or years of your business. You probably would work longer hours than in your current job. And there’s a chance that failure may catch you even before your brand goes popular.
The point here is you must have a far greater reason for pursuing this blood-sweat-tears-filled endeavor. Revisit your passions. Let that be your motive for starting a business and get you through this nerve-wracking journey.
The ideal time to start making your dream business a reality is when you’re ready. And the only way you can say you’re ready is if you’ve embraced your passion, researched the industry and secured your finances. Ready? Go get it.