In many aspects of our personal life, timing is everything. In business, everyone knows that time is money, but what most entrepreneurs fail to realize is that timing itself can usually mean the difference between success and failure. When you have an idea that you want to transform into a business, it’s common to want to dive in right away; but, launching a business before you’re ready can quickly lead to failure.
There isn’t a blanketed ‘best time’ that suits everyone; however, but we can provide some insight to help guide you towards finding your right time to start a business.
Unfortunately, there is no stock answer, such as the best time to start your business is 1 pm on a Tuesday, to the question of when is the best time to start my business. Ultimately, the “best time” will depend on you. To help you figure out your “best time”, take some time to reflect on the four areas identified below.
1. Your readiness to become an entrepreneur
Starting a business will affect nearly every aspect of your life –professional, personal, financial, social, and more. Once you think that you understand the focus, time, and energy a new business will require – multiply it by ten. If you can begin to understand how much care a new business needs from you, you’re closer to being ready to call yourself an entrepreneur and business owner. Individuals who possess a large capacity and high energy levels to devote to their new venture, their current work (if they plan to keep their day job), and their personal or social life, along with a plan to fund their plans, are deemed ready to be entrepreneurs.
Because an overwhelming majority of successful entrepreneurs possess lots of energy, you may think that this is a young person’s game. Nothing is farther from the truth. The energy talked about here deals more with the passion driving you, not the amount of fuel in your tank. Often time, the wisdom and insight gained from experience, helps older individuals identify that one thing that gives them passion. Don’t believe, me, click here for a slideshow of entrepreneurs that got their start after fifty.
2. If you already have relationships with vendors or business leads
Another good indicator of when you’re ready to launch your business focuses on the relationships that exist in your life. If you already have pre-established relationships with vendors and/or business leads to get you through your first year, now is the time to consider launching your venture. Even if you don’t have relationships with vendors, but there are people wanting to buy your product or there’s hype surrounding your product and market, it’s a good time to start your business venture.
3. When you don’t already bring stress or work home
For those who work at a job that doesn’t cause them to bring work, projects, or stress home and into their startup, this is a good time to begin your planning and preparation prior to launch. For these particular individuals, this is one of those examples of a “best time” because they can rely on the steady income and benefits from their regular job while they thoroughly prepare and plan for their new business.
It’s increasingly common for individuals to keep their regular 9 to 5 job when they start their journey as an entrepreneur. As long as there isn’t a conflict of interest, or some other policy or contractual violation with your employer, it’s generally O.K. to do this when you’re preparing to launch your business. If your employer says no, then you need to decide, do I make the leap to a full-time entrepreneur or keep the steady job that you have.
4. If you can spare time away from duties in your personal life
Unlike most jobs when you work for someone else, an entrepreneur’s life rarely conforms to the 9 to 5 stereotype of the business world. Starting a new business can lead to unpredictable schedules and, at times, things occur with little or no warning that requires you to act on your feet. When you have few obligations in your personal life, it’s easier to devote a majority of your time to your business. However, if you’re supposed to pick the kids up from school every day and then take them to various extracurricular activities and keep your schedule open for the unpredictable, starting a business is going to throw a wrench in many of your plans. As such, you need to make sure that you and your family are aware of the burdens, and unpredictable nature of the journey you are about to embark upon before making the jump into becoming a full-time entrepreneur.
Now that you understand a few opportunistic times to start a new business, let’s explore some of the worst times to start a new business:
Undoubtedly, some of the worst times to start a business are indicative of what’s happening in your day job or your personal life. If you’re on an emotional rollercoaster, going through problems in your relationship with your significant other (think divorce, or breakup, as opposed to a spat over what restaurant to go to), or you’ve just lost someone close to you, this is more than likely not a good time to start a business. These types of situations will cause you to split your focus and not allow you to devote the necessary energy to your new endeavor.
Diving into a new business before you have the time, energy, and money to commit to it can negatively impact your health, your finances, and your family. Such situations often lead to stress and burnout, which often results in making business killing mistakes. This is certainly not how you want to begin because it can often leave a lasting mark on you and your business.
Starting a new business is akin to starting a new relationship – it requires focus, attention, and if your head isn’t in it, it’s not going to last. If you can’t currently see yourself devoting your time and energy to a business that will need a lot of both before it becomes a success, it may be best to shelve the idea until conditions are more ideal.
Think you are startup-ready after reviewing these four areas? Then don’t forget to consult your business lawyer to help you gauge your readiness to enter the entrepreneur lifestyle and knock out important business to-dos such as: creating and filing important documents, polishing business plans, and gathering referrals. If you are in the process of starting a business, feel free to contact me for small business legal counsel and advice.