When Is the Best Time to Start a Business?
The Best Time to Start a Business Depends on the Person Starting It
Question: What's the best time to start a business?
Starting a business is similar to starting a relationship; the best time to start a business is when you have the time to devote your attention to it.
This isn’t to say that there's anything wrong with starting a part-time business or starting a business when you are still working at a job. People have different energy levels and different capabilities.
It’s just to say that to give yourself the best shot at starting a business, you have to be able to focus on it.
So it’s the wrong time for starting a business if you are already experiencing a lot of turmoil or stress in your life. (Starting a business will be stressful in itself, even if everything goes smoothly.) If you are in the process of getting a divorce, have just lost your job, or are moving, for instance, it’s wise to put off starting a business until your life is once again on a more even keel.
The best time for starting a business has nothing to do with how old you are. People of any age can start a business and you may be surprised to know that most small business owners in the U.S. are older; 51% of owners of small businesses are 50-88 years old, 33% are 35-49 and only 16% are 35 years old and under. It's not a matter of age - it’s a matter of where you are in your life and whether you’re ready and able to face new challenges.
The Best Time to Start Depends on Your Readiness to Become an Entrepreneur
Should you even start a business and become self-employed? There are many issues to consider before deciding to start a business:
- Your Personality - Not everyone has the required personality traits to thrive as a business owner. Aside from extensive knowledge about the particular industry, to be successful as a business owner requires self-motivation and a variety of organizational, management, and marketing skills, as well as the ability to deal with customers and vendors. See Do You Have the Characteristics of an Entrepreneur? for more information. Think you’re ready for starting a business but are concerned about whether or not you have the “right” traits and attitudes to be an entrepreneur? Read Want to Start a Business? Here are the 6 Traits You Need to Be Self-Employed.
- Your Financial Situation - Your financial situation is a key consideration when determining whether to start a business. How much risk can you tolerate? If you are currently in a stable employment situation and have a family do you really want to strike out on your own? (Providing you have a good relationship with your current employer one way around this is to see if they would consider a contract arrangement; see The Advantages of Being a Contractor). Starting a new business can also take significant amounts of startup capital if you have to purchase equipment, rent/lease business space, and hire employees - do you have savings or access to funding from family, or the ability to secure debt financing from a lending institution or equity financing from angel investors?
- Effect on Family - If you are married be aware than running a business is a family affair. Aside from the family financial considerations stated above starting a business generally requires much more of your time than regular employment (and will likely continue to do so for years). The time commitment and the associated stresses and uncertainties of running a business can place an undue strain on family relationships. Note however, that involving family members in your business can also be very beneficial. Aside from providing trusted help employing your spouse and/or children has great tax advantages. There are additional benefits if your business can be operated from your home; see Want to Be a Stay at Home Mom or Dad? Start One of These Small Businesses, 6 Home Based Business Tax Deductions You Don't Want to Miss, 6 Steps to Starting a Home-Based Business That Will Succeed , and The 10 Best Home Business Opportunities for Now and Tomorrow.
Ideas for Businesses
Decided you want to start a business but not sure what type of business to start? Here are some ideas :
Chosen your idea and are ready to start? Doing a business plan is the first step.