They say “There’s a perfect timing for everything”, but is there the best time to start an online business?
Is there such a thing as the best time of a year to start new business? According to the US Small Business Administration (SBA), there are more than 30.2 million small businesses in the United States alone. While these businesses certainly didn’t start up at the exact same time, you’d wonder if there is a certain time where it’s more ideal to launch an online business.
Some would say, January sounds good, since it’s the beginning of the new year. Some say, start as young as you can because entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg did tremendously well in their young days. Perhaps you should wait until you’ve secured financing, or the kids are in school, or you’re vested in your pension at work. Or maybe, in fact, there’s no time like the present?
Successful entrepreneurs describe having an instinctive sense that it’s time to move from thinking about a business to actually launching one. Here are five signs you’re ready to open your online business.
Your Readiness To Become An Entrepreneur
As an entrepreneur, you can expect to put in long hours at all sorts of tasks, and it may be a while before you get rewarded. You’ll need to convince people to become your customers or invest in your idea. You’ll have doubters, naysayers, setbacks, and rejections.
You’ll overcome all of this far better if you are truly passionate about your business idea. Being unemployed isn’t a good enough reason to start a business, but feeling driven to provide a solution to a problem is.
Your financial situation is a key consideration when determining whether to start a business. How much risk can you tolerate? If you are currently in a stable employment situation and have a family do you really want to strike out on your own? Starting a new online business can also take significant amounts of startup capital if you have to purchase equipment, rent/lease business space, and hire employees.
Your financial starting point is a business plan that shows—among other things—how much money you’ll need to start your business, where it will come from, and how long you expect it to take for your business to become profitable. And there are other financial issues to sort out before you take the leap. Ensure how you’ll keep your personal life afloat, whether that means accumulating a year’s worth of savings or relying on income from a job.
Do you have savings or access to funding from family, or the ability to secure debt financing from a lending institution or equity financing from angel investors?
Not everyone has the required personality traits to thrive as a business owner. Aside from extensive knowledge of the particular industry, to be successful as a business owner requires self-motivation and a variety of organizational, management, and marketing skills, as well as the ability to deal with customers and vendors.
Think if you’re ready for starting a business, but are concerned about whether or not you have the “right” traits and attitudes to become an entrepreneur.
Time & Energy To Establish New Business
The best time to start a new online venture is when your life is otherwise relatively calm. If your current situation includes a new baby, a wedding, a divorce, caregiving for a sick family member, a big move, or any other major life stressors, it may be best to wait until things settle down a bit and you can devote your full attention to launching your new enterprise.
Effect On Family
If you are married, be aware that running a business is a family affair. Aside from the family financial considerations stated above, starting a business generally requires much more of your time than regular employment and will likely continue to do so for many years to come. The time commitment and the associated stresses and uncertainties of running a business can place an undue strain on family relationships. Note, however, that involving family members in your business can also be very beneficial. Aside from providing trusted help, employing your spouse and/or children has great tax advantages.
Your family may have to take financial or personal sacrifices to help your business succeed. Start your business after you’ve talked things through with them and resolved any major concerns.
Trust Your Inner Wisdom
Plenty of would-be entrepreneurs hesitate for months or years, waiting for all the stars to align. There’s a fine line between jumping in without adequate thought and overthinking everything to the point where your business never gets off the ground. Listen to your instincts. If you’ve thought through the practicalities and you feel you’re ready, it’s probably time to go for it.
Starting a business of your own – whether full-time or on the side – can be a great move, provided you do so when the timing is right.
Setting The Right Expectations
The key to running any successful business is to set the right expectations and the right level of commitment. Most people quit their businesses within their first year. If you aren’t willing to devote at least 3-5 years to your business, don’t even bother. Why? Because most of the wealth and the profits are to be had well after your first year. Expecting your business to be vastly profitable within a short time frame is a half assed way to think about your business.
Let’s be realistic as we at Softsys Hosting. During the first year of any online business, your website is probably not going to have superior search engine placement. Your business probably won’t have a large customer base. Your business probably won’t have much name recognition. It takes time for word of mouth to spread. It takes time for things to snowball. Be patient and results will come.