The majority of adults today start out as employees of small- to medium-sized businesses or major corporations. While the income and security that comes from working a nine-to-five job is nothing to scoff at (it is certainly better than having very little to none at all), it isn’t the end goal for many people. For them, the ultimate dream would be having a business of their own, potentially earning a much higher income, and being an employer who can give opportunities to others.
When is the right time to open a business? It’s all about readiness and timing. More than having the capital to get things started, you need to develop the aptitude and enthusiasm crucial to striking out on your own. You’ll know you’re on the right track if you find yourself doing the following:
1. You’re educating yourself about the industry your interested in.
You’re reading business magazines and browsing the economy news first instead of the entertainment pages on websites. You’re also looking into various business options, like opening a bakery from the ground up or finding affordable franchise opportunities for co-working office spaces, for example. You’re considering your personal interests, but also want to be practical with your choices.
2. You’ve found a mentor whom you can ask advice from.
Many first-time business owners get started at the urging of more experienced entrepreneurs and executives (sometimes with their financial backing, too). Even those who start off on their own eventually gravitate towards people who can give them sound business advice. When you have a supportive mentor, you’ll be more confident about taking risks.
3. You scout the best locations for a business establishment when you’re out and about.
Some days you’re doing it unconsciously and randomly think about how ideal a location would be for business because it gets plenty of foot traffic, is visible, easily accessible, etc… You might even have a shortlist already, and you’ve started weighing the pros and cons of each.
4. You have a polished business plan on hand.
You’re also ready to show it to interested investors whenever such an opportunity comes around. In truth, capital is not the most important thing when starting a new business: it’s a feasible business plan. When you have one that’s promising given the current economic conditions and projected market trends, interested investors will naturally follow. Another possibility would be to find a bank that would grant you a business loan with affordable payment terms.
5. The thought of getting through the massive workload of opening a business excites and energizes you.
You don’t see the work (e.g., applying for permits, securing a commercial space for rent, finding suppliers and business partners, to name a few) as a burden. In fact, you’re eager to put in the hours and labor to get your business started.
6. Even when you’ve barely started on your business, you’re already envisioning your long-term plans.
Yes, these plans could change; but for the meantime, you’re sure of the market you want to enter, and you believe it has room for yet another competitor.
The success of a business venture depends on so many factors, but none are more important than your own readiness. Assess yourself, and find out if you’re ready to become your own (and others’) boss.