Five tips to know if it’s the right time to start a business and quit your job
[toc]Finding the right time to start a business alone can mean the difference between success and failure in some cases.
“I learned that we can do anything, but we can’t do everything.. at least not at the same time. So think of your priorities not in terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything.”
– Dan Millman
Indeed choosing the right time to start a business can truly be everything as market and other conditions should be right for your endeavor. Even a very good idea or product might fail if there are impediments in place that could prevent you from getting the sales you need to stay afloat.
While finding the right time to start a business can be a complex question in some instances, at other times you will be able to figure this out confidently after a thorough analysis.
Here are a few tips that can help you determine whether the timing is right for your start-up
1. Will it make you happier than your day job?
This is the first thing to consider when determining whether it is the right time to start a business. Does the idea really motivate you? Succeeding in a competitive marketplace is never easy. You will need to work very hard to stay abreast of your competitors. Do you have drive to make things happen? If you feel comfortable with your current day job, then would you really be happier working possibly six or seven days a week on your business? In many cases, especially at the beginning, businesses can have very demanding hours for the owners. If you feel that this is something that will motivate you and that you would love to do, then you will have much better chances of success. Try to be honest though when making this assessment. Remember that starting a business is risky and there is no guarantee of success.
2. Is the product viable?
You will not be able to succeed unless you have a product that will sell. Does your product really work? You should extensively test your product to ensure that it does what you will say it can do. Think about various aspects that could affect your ability to bring the product to the marketplace. For example, you will want to consider how much it will cost to manufacture the product, if it requires manufacturing. What types of capital will you need to start up manufacturing? Is the product something that your target consumer will be able to afford? Sometimes, manufacturing can be a real headache because you may not be able to find anyone capable of or willing to make your product. You will need to have all this planning in place when considering whether it is the right time to start a business.
3. Is there a real demand for the product?
You will need to consider whether there is a true niche for your product in the current marketplace. Additionally, how does the potential for future product demand look? What is the competition like in the area that you plan on selling the product? When choosing the right time to start a business, you will need to conduct extensive research on your market area to determine what the real demand is for your product. If there are many other companies selling the same thing or something that is essentially similar, then there may be too much competition for you to succeed. One way to differentiate your product is to create some new feature that your potential customers want and that is not available with current products. If you are offering something innovative, consider applying for a patent for your work so that no one else can market the same technology. In most instances, you will be able to find research that can help you determine whether there is market demand. Another option is conduct your own surveys. Hiring a market research company may be too expensive for some start-ups, but it is also possible to conduct surveys on your own. You could start with the people you know. At some point, you would want to conduct a more random survey of people to see what they think about your product.
4. Do you have the funds or means?
If you do not have working capital, then it definitely may not be the right time to start a business. At the very least, you should have some money to help you get things off the ground, you can start an online business with as little as $10 for a domain and $4 for hosting. Few people may be willing to help you unless you have invested some of your own resources first. When seeking investors, start off with your family and friends. These are the most reliable sources of “angel” investment in the early going. At the very least, they should be willing to listen to your proposals. If you are able to get angel investors, it is a good sign than you have a winning product idea. Some people may have enough money to get the company started all on their own. However, most of us will need some help in the form of investors or other types of financing. Generally, you will only have access to venture capital once your business if off and running. Therefore, in the initial phase, you will need your “angels.” Make sure that you analyse your start-up costs realistically. Even give yourself some leeway for something that you may have overlooked in your business plan.
5. Do you have a business plan?
You will have a hard time convincing others that it is the right time to start a business without a complete business plan. You can find many free guides on how to write a business plan online or at your local library. A business plan shows others that you have a good idea on how you will achieve success step-by-step. You want to lay everything out in a format and presentation that will be easy to understand. Save all the highly technical stuff for appendixes at the back of the business plan. Your goal is to convince investors that now is the right time to start a business for your product or service. The easier it is for them to pick up on the ideas from your business plan, the more chances you will have in attracting new investment. A business plan also acts as a guide that you can refer to, as you develop your company.
These tips will help you determine whether now is the right time to start a business. If you can answer each question positively, then you can proceed forwardly confidently. On the other hand, if you have doubts about even just one question, then you may want to consider holding off on your plans until a more appropriate time.
You want to start off when everything is right and advantageous. Succeeding at business is hard enough on its own, so you definitely want conditions to be as favorable as possible from the start. Remember to make this analysis as impartially and realistically as possible. Go over your answers a few times at least to ensure that you are making a correct assessment of the current situation.
If you believe that you should wait, consider what things that you should look for as signals that the time is ripe for your business endeavor.
Is now a good time to start a business?. Take a look.
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