Economic problems persist on the domestic front. Concern over the crisis in Europe could wreak havoc on the global economy. If you spend a good part of the day listening to the “talking heads” on financial news channels drone on about how bad things are, you might draw the wrong conclusion about when is the best time to start a new business venture. As dour as the business landscape may appear, commerce does move in repeating cycles. Recovery may be a little longer in coming this time around, but this “ranging” trend cannot last forever.
From a timing perspective, this is the moment when all budding entrepreneurs should begin moving their “dreams” from their minds into what can best be described as early development planning and preparation. This stage requires that you begin building the actual foundation upon which your business model will operate. There are no shortcuts. The more time you invest on the front-end, the fewer headaches further down the line. When this phase is complete, the economy will more than likely be on the cusp of expanding once again, and you will be ready to ride the wave in your early formative years.
Although it is fun to dream about performing in the marketplace, now is the time to ask the really tough questions and then generate details for your blueprint for the future. Here are a few questions that need to be addressed:
1) Do I really have the personality to run my own show? You do not have every skill in the book nailed, but you need to seriously self assess your strengths and weaknesses to know where the “gaps” are. One thing is certain, however – you will be spending endless hours interacting directly with all manner of character types from potential customers, to vendors and bankers, and to staff and business partners alike. People skills require patience, the ability to listen, and the assertiveness to act appropriately. Integrity, the capacity to learn and adjust, and a persistent positive attitude that requires little motivation are the hallmark qualities of a successful entrepreneur;
2) Are you prepared to commit the time required? Make no mistake about it – a new business demands “24/7” attention. Forget taking holidays and taking it easy. Constant focus on the issues at hand will occupy your mind and absorb every precious minute of time. Besides yourself, your family must also commit to accepting your new schedule of more absences, rather than less;
3) Do you have the financial resources to make a go of it? If you have an estimate of the time and money it will take to reach a “breakeven” point, then double those figures. You may still be short by 50% or more, but the primary reason most new businesses fail is lack of adequate funding. A detailed financial business plan is paramount, but initial arrangements for funding must be made early, not later in the process. You should also work out the best personal or business loan available.