When is the perfect time to launch your business? It's a question there's a lot of variables for, and no real right answer to, but fortunately there's a lot of helpful indicators you can look out for.
Knowing how to start a new business is a complicated procedure. Remember that life is messy, and you will likely never have everything lined up 100% at the time you launch. Give up on the idea that it has to be "perfect" to be the right time to start!
To make your business launch a little smoother, we've compiled the best tips and tricks so you can pull off the best business launch without a hitch!
Tip #1: Know Thyself: Why Are You Starting Your Business?
Firstly, you do need to understand that there are some times where it is very obviously not the right time to start your business. One of these may not actually be all that obvious - but the time you are going through major life changes and crises is not the time to quit everything and start your business. Even if those life changes are happy - like the arrival of a baby. Starting a business from scratch requires your full attention, and if you’re not ready to devote hours to your craft, it’s probably not the best time.
You need to be able to devote the majority of your time and energy to the business, no to anything else. That doesn’t mean give up. If the time is not now, then spend this time to do market research, plan and do research. The more refined you vision is at the time you begin to prepare for real, the smoother your path, so it’s never wasted. But whatever time you do choose, make sure it’s one where your focus can be 100% on the new business. Don’t start a new business from spite, either. If you hate your current job, that can be a motivation to start moving towards your own business but shouldn’t be the sole reason, and a hasty quit shouldn’t be what drives your timing.
Tip #2: Have You Done The Market Research?
You need to have tackled extensive market research. It’s imperative you understand who your future audience is, what demand for your product there is and all the other facets and nuances of your new business. Without this in place you are doomed to fail - don’t skip this step through enthusiasm.
Is the market saturated? If so, is there room for your business?
Who are your competitors? What are they doing? What distinguishes you from them?
Who's your target demographic? What is your strategy to reach your target audience and get the word out there about your new startup?
Tip #3: Show Me The Money!
It’s also important you make sure you, your family and the business can get through the lean times. Experts recommend 6 to 12 months of personal expenses and business expenses. That amount probably seems staggering. You’d be well placed to listen to this advice, however, or your business will die with the first lean times. No freshly established business will be fully self-sustaining from the start. Many entrepreneurs also find that their salary is the last cost to be paid with what money is coming in. Make sure you are prepared. You may be able to cut this to 3 months, but you will be pushing the limits of sustainability.
Tip #4: Have A Plan A, B, C...Z
Panicking at Tip #3? This is why it’s vital to have a business plan in place. For many more traditional businesses, especially if you need to rely on stock, premises and manufacturing, you will need to secure funding. Few of us are well placed to fund this personally. Mostly you may need to approach a bank for a loan, or outside investors, or perhaps even a venture capitalist. Having a sustainable, well presented business plan with good market research is your way to secure that critical funding.
Even if you are in the enviable position where you don’t need to seek funding, a good business and separate marketing plan is a critical part of your preparations for how to start a business. If you're lacking funding, maybe it's time to consider crowdsourcing as opposed to a buisness loan. The key is to always have a backup plan. This way you'll avoid disaster if one of your methods falls through.
Tip #5: It's All In The Marketing
As a new business you don’t have the benefit of market saturation to work for you. So your marketing is going to be the critical key in getting your business self-sustainable as soon as possible. Your business opening should align with your marketing to ensure you actually have customers through the door as you need them. Until you have real customers buying your product, you aren’t a business. Set up your social media marketing in advance. Follow groups your target demographic will follow, so you can get a sense of their needs and wants. If appropriate, prepare and distribute a press release on opening day. Have a launch day, online or physical. Advertise it. The more work you put into your marketing in advance, the better your launch will go. Start telling your story in advance, and see how it’s being received. If you’re not unique enough to stand out of the crowd, then you’re not hitting the right angle and need to re-research your plans [see Tip #2]. Market test with real people, not relatives and friends, who are inclined to be kind. Try to create a sense of urgency and need to take action as you’re ready to launch.
Tip #6: How Do I Know If This Is The Path For Me?
You’ll never quite know if you’re actually ready until you’ve tried, of course, but there are some clues to look for when you’re wondering how to start a business. Firstly, are you filled with ideas and passionate about the business? Does your market research intrigue you rather than seem a drag? Are you managing to focus that stream of ideas and focus on the core critical ones so that you don’t get distracted? Have you pared down all those ideas into a few simple products and services you can offer and be spectacularly good at? Do you have the skills it’s going to take to do what you need to do well so that your customers come back to you? Have you made yourself comfortable with the idea of making decisions on minimal information, sensibly? Lastly, are you comfortable with the idea of abandoning a regular paycheck and trying it on your own? Do you have a proper backup plan in place for if the business goes south? If you can answer a genuine yes to most of these, you may well be mentally prepared to take the step of opening your new business.
There never will be a perfect right time for you to open your business. However, there are some firm indicators to help you make the right decision and know how to start your own business.
Ticked All The Boxes? Time To Launch Your Project!
It's a little un-told secret in the business world - you'll never know 100% when it's time to launch your business.
BUT the good news is, if you stick to our tips you can get pretty darn close. What happens after that? You take the plunge. And we'll be right here, ready to help you turn your ideas into reality.
Whether it's a t-shirt business, or a mobile app startup our 20 million strong workforce can help you make it happen. Simply post a project, and get started today!