Sometimes it's difficult to notice because of our usual day to day rush, but somebody owns every single business establishment that you walk into, from the local coffee shop to the small mom and pop shop. Every single one. It's a pretty cool way to look at the world and it definitely should pump you up for starting your own business at some point in your life. And in the current tech boom that we find ourselves in, there is a much less strenuous entry point into starting and owning your own company, your own brand, your own enterprise and or product. So today I'll be going over the best possible time to begin your business and when it might be more beneficial to hold back or to push ahead.
the best time was 20 years ago...second best time is now
There's no "right" time to start a business, technically
If you're starting your first business, and you're waiting for the moment when you'll instantly succeed, then you'll be waiting for a good long while. And that's because, you haven't technically solved any problem just yet. You have an idea on how to solve a problem, which is important and is key. But you have no validation on your idea. Maybe after a few hours of testing it out, you'll realize that it didn't really make sense. Or maybe after a month you'll realize that it in fact does not work period. But you'll never see it without that "starting" part.
And that's because there are too many factors to consider in the business world in order to be able to predict anything long term. Those include:
- the current state of the economy
- the current competitors which you might unaware of
- the cost of production for your product and/or service
- current level of awareness for the issue your tackling
And the best way to explore of those issues really is just to dive in and to test them out.
you are creating the business daily
The business model itself can't be predicted and is dependent on the work that you'll be doing on a day to basis. With our startup for example, we're constantly validating our model and making tweaks and alterations to make it more streamlined and more seamless. And much of this has to do with our day to day operations, our partnerships, new research and the feedback that we get from our user base.
Having the technical background is a big plus however
However, because there's always a however, there are more "advantageous" times when it might benefit you to start your business. With our startup, one of the biggest advantages that we have is that we're almost entirely a full-stack team of developers with over a decade of experience each, which means that we can prototype and go to market incredibly fast. It also means that when we run into an issues, more than likely it isn't the first time we've seen it so we can have quick turnaround in fixing such issues.
Concept validation is key really to progressing at a good pace to both stay ahead of competition and to continuously keep improving your product. And again, that comes down to how quickly you can develop and reiterate and reinvent as needed.
Experience will be your best teacher
Experience will be the biggest teacher always. Imagine having 100 paying customer on your website and you're not 100% sure on an issue that is effecting every single user. That will definitely be a motivating factor to fix it. No matter how much technical knowledge you accrue, nothing will really prepare you for the reality of bringing your product to market and watching real users interact with it.
And this goes hand in hand with the whole there is no "right" time. 6 months after you begin your venture you will be much more prepared than if you had spent 6 months "thinking" about launching your product. And in those 6 months, your idea will have changed to something else. Maybe not a complete transformation, but when user data starts to flow in, you'll begin to see other aspects that you were missing out on before.
Building momentum is massive
A big issue that I've noticed many startups and young business folk do is that they will be very inspired in the beginning of their journey. They'll create splash sites, surveys, designs, logos, etc and then after that initial thrill if creativity dies down, they'll tend to slow down with other life events. And this is definitely a hindrance to growth. Before you start a business, you must be ready to not stop. Many people just aren't ready to do this in their lives, either do to school commitments or family commitments.
So you must begin to set up your life in a way where you'll at least be able to dedicate a very large portion of your day for at a minimum of 6 months. At least until you can get an MVP out and into human hands. Once at this stage, you'll at least have enough data points to gauge how much more time you'll be willing to spend on your product. With our startup, we were able to get our MVP up and running in under 6 months, in thousands of users hands in under 9 months and were able to present at a tech conference in under 1 year. And that kind of momentum is phenomenal for growth, but it is exhausting and definitely does not match 1 to 1 with the usual 9 to 5 lifestyle.
How passionate are you about your idea
The biggest telltale sign that you should begin your entrepreneurial journey is if you are passionate about seeing your idea come to life. If you're not, you won't last more than a month before the typical issues make you give up. Everyone has that one cool idea that they've drawn out on paper at some point and that they keep telling themselves they're going to build one day. Well, that day is whenever you choose to make it that day. And while there may be more opportune times to dive in and begin, there never really is a bad time. And more importantly, if you don't build it, more than likely, somebody else will at some point.
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Walter G. is a software engineer, startup co-founder, former CTO of several tech companies and currently teaches programming for a coding bootcamp. He has been blogging for the past 5 years and is an avid BMX rider, bio-hacker
and performance enthusiast.