Starting a business is lifechanging and monumental. It also has the potential to be too big of a risk if you aren’t actually ready to start that new adventure. If you’ve been sitting on the idea of starting your own business for a while, you need to be sure you’re in the right position to chase that dream. Timing and circumstances will be different for every entrepreneur, but there are a few good indicators that it’s a good idea to get to work on your business.
- You’ve Mastered Your Craft
The best business owners are people who already have experience in their industry. No one goes from being a master neurosurgeon to the founder of a cupcake company without enough time to transition. When you think you know everything you need to know, go back and learn some more. Once you feel thoroughly entrenched in the industry, if you’re still not sick of it, you’re likely an ideal candidate to run a business in that industry.
- You’re an Expert with Budgets
Money makes or breaks a new business. A lot of aspiring entrepreneurs start businesses without properly accounting for all the necessary expenses. At the last minute, they realize how many computers and desks and chairs they need. They stumble across a necessary permit they were previously unaware of. Unexpected things happen. If you’re good at budgeting for the unexpected and being frugal, you’ll see success starting a business.
- You’ve Been Saving Up for a While
You’re probably not going to find a bank or a group of investors that will be willing to fund every penny of your new venture. You’ll need to show that you’ve been saving and that you take every penny seriously. Hungry entrepreneurs are willing to do whatever they can to raise funding on their own. Many of them utilize the sharing economy by renting out rooms in their home, or utilize the gig economy by moonlighting as ride service drivers. If you have that level of commitment and ambition, you’ll succeed.
- You’re Committed, But Flexible
Starting a business is deeply personal. Many entrepreneurs are attempting to realize their dreams. They understand every aspect of what they want to do and how they want to do it. The problem with the real world is that it rarely fully accommodates an entrepreneur’s dream. You might have to make a lot of major changes at the last second in order to succeed. Part of being a successful entrepreneur is knowing when to be flexible with your dreams – you can’t be so stubborn that you allow yourself to fail.
- You Understand Your Future Competition
You can have a billion dollar idea, but it won’t matter much if some other company is already getting that billion dollars. Business is competitive. The internet has made it easy for nearly anyone to open an international business, and the amount of competitors in any given industry is exponentially higher than it was just a few decades ago. Your plan needs to be good enough to blow those competitors out of the water by either providing a higher quality or solving more pain points than similar businesses. Make sure people will know right off the bat why they should choose you over someone else.
- You Have a Plan to Pay the Bills
Businesses take a while to become profitable. Some entrepreneurs go years without seeing any real money. Many of them wind up cutting their losses in order to keep a roof over their head. If you’re going to start a business, you need to be certain that all your expenses will be covered until you’re making enough money to call your business your sole source of income.
- You Aren’t Afraid
Fear stops the most talented people from achieving the things they were practically made to achieve. If you have any doubts or reservations about what you’re doing, your path to success is going to be difficult. Letting fear take hold can destroy your business before it even starts. You need to know when to take risks and when to trust that everything will go as planned. Stay away from the cliff if you’re too afraid to take that leap.
It’s better to wait until you’re absolutely ready to start your business, even if it’s going to take you a few years to put yourself in a comfortable position. It’s better to do things right the first time than it is to fail and try again. Keep your eyes on what you want and take small steps every day towards achieving your goals.
Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a part of the team behind Parkhound – a place where you can find cheap parking spots. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.