You've had this fantastic idea in your head for a while now. Maybe it was an overnight stroke of genius or perhaps it's more of a slow burn. Either way, you're itching to take it from concept to company, but you want to know more.
Starting a business is not for the faint of heart, and there is a time and place for every endeavour. But how do you know when the time is right? We’re here to tell you.
You're Ready to Start a Business When:
1. You're Excited About Your Path
You've found the coveted sweet spot where passion, motivation and momentum meet. When you get up in the morning, you're already amped to make more progress.
You've got the feeling. It's cool confidence and a zest for what your future looks like, and how you're going to take your business there.
This is an important time to discern between excitement and fear. Fear is normal, but if you have an uncomfortable feeling in your gut or if you're dragging your heels on getting your project off the ground, you won't have the same success as when you meet your venture with unbridled enthusiasm.
2. You Believe in Your Product
You know what you're bringing to the market has intrinsic value.
You're not selling snake oil here; you need to start a business based on something you back. You've tested the service or product and you know that it makes people's lives easier. No shortcuts, no scams.
People resonate with a product that is brought to market by people who believe in it.
3. You've Let Go of Failure and Success
Things don’t grow well when you hold them too tightly, businesses included. Letting go of failure and success is not the same as not caring about your reaching your goals. Instead, it's about understanding that there will be ups and downs along the way and that each success is equally as valuable as a failure.
They both provide you with the lessons you need to take your business further, if you're willing to roll with the punches and keep pushing on.
4. You Know and Trust Your Team
If you've started this business with a partner or team, your readiness relies on their readiness. You need to conduct an internal evaluation of whether everybody is fully committed to the cause and the work that will need to go into your launch.
The person you go into business with needs to have the same drive, vision and work ethic as you do. Of course, the benefit of having team members is that you all possess unique skills, but you need to be on the same page when starting a new business.
If you're a one-man-band, you can get going whenever without worrying about the readiness of other stakeholders.
5. You've Found a Good Market
We spoke about the excitement sweet spot earlier, now we need to work out your market sweet spot. Are there real people out there who have expressed a need or desire for your specific offering?
Because yes, you’ve got something to sell or a service to provide, but do you have people to sell to? Are there people who want to buy from you?
Finding your niche takes time and you need to have a clear understanding of that market. The more focused you are in your approach towards your niche market, the more effective you can expect your sales to be.
6. You Know the Landscape
Entrepreneurs rarely end up where they started. We tend to have a passion for innovation, no matter where the inspiration comes from. So, yes, it is entirely possible to land in an industry you'd never have expected. And that's great, if you're highly adaptable and a fast learner.
But experience means a lot to new businesses. Experience means knowledge, connections and understanding. If you have experience, you won't waste as much time making (potentially costly) mistakes trying to navigate a whole new playing field. Experience also evokes trust from your consumers.
7. You Have Moveable Cash Flow
The best success stories are the ones that happen against all odds; the rags to riches theme. But perhaps they're so legendary because they're so rare. Taking leaps is important but understanding where you are financially is a step you can't ignore.
Starting a business takes patience and sacrifice. Maybe patience comes in the form of saving up for a while longer and sacrifice comes in the form of dropping the ego and waiting for your reward. Do you have money in place if your business starts to bleed? Can you still take care of your family?
You don't need millions to start, and we don't think money should hold you back, but it's worth taking a step back and mapping out a financial safety plan.
8. You Have a Brand
You know exactly how you want to present yourself to your audience, and you have an idea of how they're going to receive you. Branding and launching a business go hand in hand – people see your brand identity and hear your tone before they dig deeper into your value offering. It's like the 7-second first impression rule except more brutal.
But when they do dig deeper, you need to have done the work. How does your brand communicate with people? What does your brand offer and what does your team value?
If you're behind on this, we have a whole lot of resources for building your brand. Start here with: A Guide to Branding a Small Business
9. You're Thinking Big
Starting a successful business takes a bit of thought work. You want to be in the best state of mind to make the best possible decisions. With an abundance mindset, you know that there is enough opportunity in this world for yourself and others.
You are grateful and excited for the journey ahead, and you take opportunities as they come your way.
Take Caution When:
1. You're Expecting Instant Turnover
Entrepreneurship is many things, being a quick profit machine is not one of them. For most people, it's a large investment of time and money and they are prepared for the long haul.
If you're embarking on a new business journey out of financial desperation, the chances of failure are significantly higher. You stop making smart decisions when you're completely dependent on a new and yet-to-grow business.
2. You Don't Appeal to Lenders
Loans are a great way to give your business the cash injection it needs to get going. Even if you have the capital and revenue to start, you may want a loan down the road when you want to expand. For precaution's sake, check your credit history to see if you would be eligible for business loans.
Maybe it's not just you who’s starting the business? Your board of directors, CEO and significant partners will need to show a clear credit history as well.
It could be worthwhile waiting until your debts and accounts are settled before approaching a lender. The more appealing you are to financers, the more leverage you have for better loans and lower interest rates.
Read this next: How Can I Get a Small Business Loan in 2021?
3. You Aren’t Ready for Success
When success happens, it happens quickly. Success looks different for everybody, but a new business that kicks off is going to require a lot of time and attention. You aren't just working hard until the launch and putting your feet up to see what happens – the hard work is only just beginning.
It could mean spending less time with your family or being more well-known. You'll be held personally responsible for everything your brand does, good or bad.
Disclaimer: Plenty of people have broken these rules before
If you're reading this and you know you are ready to get your business off the ground but you're searching the web for excuses, you should probably just go for it.
“Making a dream into reality begins with what you have, not with what you are waiting on.” – T.F. Hodge
From the iK Tribe, we wish you the best on your journey (and hopefully we'll see you on the way when you decide to bring financial technology into your business).
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