Talk to any entrepreneur or small business owner and you will quickly learn that starting a business requires a lot of work. This article is aimed at entrepreneurs who want to learn the basic steps to start a new business. An aspiring entrepreneur may not always understand the many steps necessary to start a business, but they may be aware of the effort that is necessary to start a business.
To determine whether now is the right time to start a new business, the key to success is to find out what needs you can meet, with whom you want to meet those needs, and whether they generate enough income to build a profitable business. If you are willing to invest in the effort of building a business, you need to know the steps you need to take to achieve your goals. We will look at a high level view of what is needed to firstly determine the feasability of a business and then to determine whether it is the right time to start.
It is possible to manage expectations and act purposefully in building your new business with a little bit of planning. As an entrepreneur it often feels that there are too many obstacles in front of you and not enough chances of success.
In view of this, it is important that you direct your energy towards the right tasks, especially at the beginning. It is important to recognize when you have done something wrong and to do your best to make sure it doesn’t happen again and to be strong enough to move forward.
Firstly, you need to determine whether it is worth turning your idea into a business or not. How will you differ from the products and services already in other markets? You also need to decide whether you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur; fighting the obstacles that start-ups face in the future is one of the things you need to do to make your business successful in the first year.
Note: One of the biggest mistakes start-ups make is to assume that many people want to buy a particular product or service just because the entrepreneur likes the idea or knows one or two people who may want it. Therefore, talk to potential buyers who are not family or friends to find out if what you are selling is something they would want to buy.
Determine whether you have the funds or means to start a venture. If you do not have working capital and you believe that the venture is viable then draw up an expense sheet to determine how much funds you would need to develop your minimum viable product (MVP) or service. This will give you something to aim for and a figure to put down when you are asked how much funding you require.
Take the financial forecast and draw up your business plan. Collect as much information and research material as possible to ensure that your business plan is well understood by others and that the idea is feasible. The business plan will help you decide if now is the right time to start a business. It also serves as a guide to which you can refer in the development of your company once you’re underway.
After the information phase, it is time to talk your plan through with those people who will help you succeed in your venture. To help you with your business idea, you should set aside a time to talk to each of them about your new business idea.
- Your spouse
- A lawyer
- An accountant and trusted advisor
- A business coach or mentor
- A banker
In my view, your spouse should be the first person you should talk to before you make any large decisions as they would most likely be directly impacted by your decisions. These five people will form part of your brain-trust and will be your independent advisors to help you keep focus on what is important; at least from their perspectives. It is then your priority to take their independent views and balance it out to create the larger plan.
At this point you should be able to determine whether now is the right time to start a new business as you will have done feasibility research and spoken with your brain-trust.
This is now the time to decide whether you want to proceed to the next step.
If you don’t have funds to invest yourself then find early-stage investors to help you develop your MVP so that you have something to show larger investors and bankers. Start off with your family and friends as they already know your capabilities and if you cannot convince them then you will find it much harder to convince people you don’t know.
Note: A business is always about money, so be prepared to spend the time and money you need to start your business. Many entrepreneurs will continue working for a salary while they build their new venture to keep the costs down for their new company while building cash flow.
Once you have a viable product or service then the goal becomes to convince investors that now is the right time to buy into your business. This could be via direct cash injections through a business loan, or investment or indirect through acquiring new business partners who bring their contacts and experience into your company. Both can provide longevity to a new start-up as these are the lifelines for any business.
It’s most probably easier to start a part-time business than you think. My experience is that it pays to start even the smallest part-time business and learn about the business before you rush into it.
You might think you don’t have the knowledge or expertise to start a business, but many companies require very little expertise and you can usually pick it up on the go. If you are thinking of starting a full-time business one day, the experience you gain from starting a part-time business can be invaluable in developing a larger business. Since there is little time left from your full-time job during the week, a few hours here and there may be enough to start a profitable new business.
In fact, choosing the right time to start a business can be at any time, but the market and other conditions should first be determined to be right for your efforts to be profitable. Even the best ideas and products can fail if there are obstacles that could prevent you from making the necessary sales. While in some cases, finding the “right time” to start a business can be a complex issue, you should be able to find out the likelihood of success by doing the necessary market analysis.
But most importantly, to determining the best time to start a new company is all up to you.