If you’ve been considering starting your own business, you may be wondering how to know when it’s time to make the jump. Many experts would claim that “if you have to ask, it’s not the right time.” They believe that when you can’t not launch, it’s the right time to start your own business. While there is some truth to the idea that passion and motivation are necessary elements to starting a successful company, there are other concrete signs that can signal you’re ready to launch a new venture.
You’re passionate about your new career.
Being passionate about your new career can help see you through the grueling early days of founding your business. Additionally, a higher level of excitement will inspire you to work harder to promote your business, thereby enabling you to launch with a bang.
Your product or service has a viable market.
Too often, people have a great idea and rush off to start a business around what they think is a “sure thing,” without doing any market research. It’s great that your circle of family and friends think your idea is a sure success, but you’ll need to expand your customer base if your business is going to be viable. Seek out market research experts, or consult with a small-business specialist to explore the potential demand for your product.
You’re leaving your current job for the right reasons.
Most people have dreamed of starting their own business after experiencing aggravation or unpleasant office politics at work. However, it’s a bad idea to start a new company based on these feelings. Make sure that you are giving up full-time employment for the right reasons.
You have cash available.
The early days of entrepreneurship are financially challenging. You will need to purchase supplies, lease office equipment, pay for marketing, and take care of other needs, and there won’t be much room left over in your budget for a salary. This can become very stressful when the bills start to pile up. Therefore, you will need to ensure that you have cash available to help fill in the gaps until your company is solvent.
You know about business.
While it is important for you to understand your particular venture, it is also vital that you know about business in general. There is more to entrepreneurship than simply producing a product or service. Business owners who learn about marketing, hiring, leasing, bookkeeping, and other business skills are in a much stronger position to succeed.
You’re a self-starter.
One of the greatest benefits of being an entrepreneur is the ability to set your own schedule. However, for many people this can also be one of the biggest downfalls. If you are confident in your ability to manage your time wisely, you might be productive in your new business without any outside guidance. But, if you’re lacking in self-motivation, starting your own business could quickly become a frustrating and fruitless venture.
You understand the risks.
Recent statistics have shown that nine out of 10 startups fail. While no one founds a business expecting it to flop, there is a very real possibility that your business may not succeed. It is important to understand and prepare for the risk of failure before starting your company. Also, remember that many successful companies have started out of the remains of a failed business. Therefore, if your business idea doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. It simply means you need to find another avenue to try.
You have a network of support.
Even though becoming an entrepreneur is typically a solo venture, you will still need a strong support network in order to succeed. This network should include family members (particularly family members who live in your household), friends, and professional contacts. Ensuring that you have people who understand and support your dream in place before starting out on your own will help during those times when you want to simply quit.
Becoming an entrepreneur can be exhilarating and fulfilling. However, knowing when to make the transition from “employee” to “self-employed” can be daunting. A careful evaluation of your motives and support structure can help you determine the right time to give notice at work and start passing out business cards. No matter what business you’re starting, the road to entrepreneurship can be one of life’s most exciting journeys. Make sure you’re ready for the ride!