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Today’s Question: There are plenty of would-be entrepreneurs who have yet to make the leap, simply because they don’t know when to make it. How did you know it was time to start your own business? Do you have any advice you can share with these aspiring entrepreneurs about the right time to go for it?
1. You’re Never Really Ready
There’s never a best time to start a business. You just have to start. When I started moveBuddha, I had no money, a good bit of debt, and a long wait time before I could expect the site to sustain me. I started anyway.
The cost of starting most businesses nowadays is close to nothing, as long as you have the Internet and a little creativity. Just get started.
— Ryan Carrigan, moveBuddha
2. You Can Forecast Six Months of Revenue
I’m one of the few entrepreneurs who actually believe you don’t have to quit your day job the minute you decide you want to start your own business. In fact, I don’t think you should actually quit your day job until you can forecast at least six months of revenue on your own.
Having this six-month financial forecast will allow you to really feel confident when making the leap of faith, and it also allows you to focus on the day-to-day fundamental operations of your business, opposed to just sales. Most businesses fail because of two main reasons: They can’t gain traction through marketing, and they don’t have solid business foundations.
If you decide to make the leap of faith with some financial cushion, as well as a strong business foundation and a marketing strategy in place, you will be a rock star. Then you can focus on scaling your business at your rate – not a survival rate.
— James Harper, GoEdison
3. You Can Tolerate the Risk
When we consider taking the leap, I think we sometimes forget what we are really jumping into. Entrepreneurship often gets confused with the desire for autonomy. In pursuit of that autonomy, we often overlook the trade-off that comes with entrepreneurship: risk. As an entrepreneur myself, I have no problem with risk. This enables me to make more jumps. Some ledges I miss, and others I land on.
Risk is not a bad thing, but it is essential to understand your relationship with it if you are going to be an entrepreneur. Knowing the level of risk you can tolerate will help you decide when to jump to the next ledge and when to walk back down the mountain.
— Christiano Ferraro, Christiano Ferraro Consultancy
4. You Have an Audience
For me, I knew it was time to start my own business when I had an amazing response to the free work I put out. I had a goal of signing 50 people up for my free class in February. When more than 500 had signed up by the middle of the month, I knew that I’d found an audience who would be receptive to a year-long paid course.
— Shaunta Grimes, What Is a Plot?
5. You Can’t Do It On Your Own Anymore
I knew it was the right time to take the leap to entrepreneurship when I realized that I couldn’t reach as many people who needed my help if I kept on being a one-man show. There was only so much that I could do by myself.
So I thought that the best way to help people was to team up with other psychologists who wanted to share their advice through lessons. That’s when I started thinking about creating a platform that helped connect experts in the field with people who could take free courses from them. The unintended, but welcomed, consequence was that I was also helping the course creators connect with an audience. So, what started as an email to a few friends morphed into a blog and then became an online learning platform that now has more than 40,000 subscribers.
— Niklas Laninge, Daily Bits Of
6. It All Depends on You
I like this question, as there is no right answer. It differs from person
to person. Here is my take:
I started an online diamond engagement ring business straight out of university. My friends thought I was crazy to do that.
Since then, I have also founded Unipreneur.com, a free course for university students that aims to help them start businesses while they’re in school. My thought is that this is the best time to start a business for a lot of reasons. And even if you fail and decide not to continue being an entrepreneur, this experience will teach you so much, and it will certainly help you in almost any job interview.
— Nikolay Piriankov, Rare Pink
7. You Have Passion
You know it’s time to start your own business endeavor when you are passionate about your potential new business, but not so passionate about your current job. Being truly passionate means you will do whatever you can to ensure you business becomes a success.
— Lisa Chu, Black N Bianco
8. You’ve Done Your Homework
For me, I did my homework before starting my business. I talked to a lot of other entrepreneurs in my industry about when they made the leap so that I fully understood what the leap would require. I also think it is very important to speak with those closest to you and who truly love you – your spouse, your family, and your true friends. Ask them what they think of you starting your own business. They will be a good mirror to tell you the truth about whether or not you are ready.
— Benjamin Offit, Clear Path Advisory
9. You’re Ready Right Now
In retrospect, I would have launched my business sooner. I was trying to make the business as perfect as possible and worrying about things that, in the end, were not even relevant. I should have launched as soon as the trailer was built and I could accept payments.
— Kush Kapila, Sterlings Mobile