When is it the right time to launch my start-up?

This article first appeared January 19th, 2012.


I want 2012 to (finally) be the year that I quit my job and start-up. But I’m a bit scared of making the leap.


How do I know when the right time is to launch my start-up? Should I just get on with it?


Leaving the shelter of having a boss requires a combination of good preparation before you make that leap, as well as a disciplined capacity to stick to your plans during the transition to being the only person to blame (or praise).


When you have answered these six questions you will be best placed to make that leap:

  1. Have you sat down with your accountant and worked out whether you should operate as a contractor during the transition to your own business operations?
  2. Have you sat down with family and close associates to develop a business plan that sets out a month-by-month direction for the transition from wage slave to bank slave?
  3. Have you clearly established the value proposition of your start-up business that identifies your unique selling proposition (USP) and how you are going to generate customers?
  4. Before making that jump, have you paid a visit to your competitors and suppliers to work out the keys to success and the risks of failure so that you are well prepared for changes in the economy, market and your own production cycle?
  5. Depending on your business plans, have you considered the pattern of market demand to make sure that your timing is right, including a marketing analysis, intellectual property strategy, operations plan, management plan and financial plans (eg. costs and cashflow projections for the first year).
  6. Finally, have you taken the time to check that you have sufficient family and financial support to give yourself time to learn and adapt to your new lifestyle and make the adjustments that are inherent in any start-up enterprise?


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