We hear people asking this question all the time. The truth is, while there are many variables to think through when launching a new business, there really is no easy answer to “when” to start a new business. The answer varies depending on each entrepreneur’s personal situation, the existing opportunity in the marketplace and the resources available to support the endeavor. The bottom line is you first need to determine if you are personally ready to commit to a start-up and if you are, we suggest you go for it! Let’s talk about some of the personal factors to consider when evaluating if timing is right to start a new business:
Support team: Do you have the support of your family, friends and inner circle of colleagues? You may be putting in longer hours than you and your family are used to. Money may be temporarily tight as well, so communication with your spouse and family is paramount to a smooth lift-off. Starting a new business will put you on an emotional roller coaster (exciting days and exhausting nights) and there are days you will need to rely on your support system to retain your sanity.
Personal finances: Do you have a lot of personal debt? Are you mired in credit card bills, mortgages, and school loans? Starting a business can require a significant amount of capital, many times in the form of business loans. If you are struggling with a high personal debt load, it may be wise to pay down those debts before deciding to start a business that will require heavy capital investments.
Time: We all know managing a business requires many hours a day and starting a new business is no different in that it also requires laser sharp focus and a commitment of our time. How many hours can you devote daily to focus on launching your new business and how long (months, years) can you commit to seeing this business through to fruition? Setting realistic expectations for the number of hours and months you should expect to commit to launching your new business is important to the success of your start-up.
Deciding to start a small business is a huge decision. If you find yourself struggling to make the decision, or deciding on a path to choose, we recommend you sit down with a business advisor or coach that specializes in taking businesses from concept to launch. Lastly, if this new business is something you have been pondering for awhile, don’t forget that nothing happens until you take action! Don’t wait for the perfect time to do something, because chances are the perfect time will never come and your vision will lose momentum without action.