The Right Time to Start Your New Business Is … 5

It’s not about taxes or any public policy, or economic statistics, or red tape. The right time to start your new business is …

  • When you think you can…
  • When you’re pretty sure people will buy what you want to sell…
  • When you understand the market… You know why people might make purchasing decisions, and where. That doesn’t mean, by the way, that you necessarily have some fancy expensive market research full of numbers and charts. It does mean that you understand the market.
  • When you have at the very least a simple practical business plan, just big enough to cover the key information, that feels like it makes sense, and …
  • … that includes reasonable educated guesses about the basic numbers … You don’t have to correctly estimate future sales, by the way — nobody does — but you can’t have no idea. And you ought to have some reasonable estimate of real costs. Don’t forget your rent, overhead, and what you pay yourself. And an estimated guess for the assets and early expenses you need to have. And (this is important) ….
  • … you already have or have a way to get the resources your plan says you need…
  • When you’re not betting your life or your important relationships on business success.
  • When you really want to.
  • When you have no other options.

Good luck with it. When it works, it’s great. And if you have no other options, that’s a very powerful reason. But here’s hoping you’re not making bets that you can’t afford to lose.

About the Author Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Follow him on Twitter @Timberry. Follow Tim on Google+ Read more »

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  • Sara

    There is no right or wrong time to start a business, initiative could be taken any time and at any age. Though research work is required and rest depends upon your effort & commitment. More you are determined more your business will grow.

  • ship management

    I am very impressed with the last point:When you have no other options. Many successful businessmen met their fate by chance without any planning. Nice write up.

  • Jaclyn

    Very strong points! Last August, I came up with the idea that I wanted to open my own preschool and child care center. I have worked with children for many years so I have experience with education (I am also a certified teacher with a master’s degree) and child development. Since NJ is not hiring teachers and in fact, laying off many, I decided to quit putting in countless hours of of searching and applying, and put my efforts into planning my own business.

    There are a multitude of resources on the internet to assist with any aspect of business planning. I utilized many, purchased a start-up book on preschools and day care centers, and met with a preschool director with all of my questions. I made countless phone calls to realtors, suppliers, licensing unit of NJ, building departments, and kept all correspondence to keep my facts straight.

    It is now 9 months later and I have completed my business plan, landed my location, and have an order in which I need to proceed with state licensing, purchases, etc. I plan to open my preschool in September, which will be here before I know it!

    I suggest to anyone who never dreamed of becoming a business owner (like myself!) but has now developed the dream, make sure you are prepared! Conduct research, meet with others in the field, utilize your resources…and your knowledge for the industry. Good Luck!

  • michelle

    I agree there is no right or wrong time. it is up to the individual and the amount of their determination. I would call it the hunger factor. how hungry are they to make it work and what are they willing to do to succeed in business. people need to do research to see if the market is ready for what they are offering. I appreciate this information, I have done my research, I am trying to figure ot the marketing and sales part of my business.

    thank you for the information

  • LisaV

    The right time is now! If you’re considering it, make the plans to make it happen. And don’t let anyone talk you out of it!