In my effort to always provide a steady stream of useful information to entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, I post tons of interesting and helpful articles that I find around the web that I think can help answer questions for my followers and help you all move your businesses forward. Oftentimes, people write me asking to elaborate on those articles or pieces of those articles so I am starting a series that will do just that. I may combine a few or leave a few out here and there, but I will cover the topics that people most often asked me to elaborate on.
To kick things off, I recently posted an article from RockthePost about common misconceptions people have about launching a new company. The first of those misconceptions that I want to tackle here is the idea that you need to wait for the perfect time to launch your company.
A lot of first-time entrepreneurs are perfectionists. They’re still used to being over-achievers in their regular jobs and they’re a little anxious about going out on their own, so they want everything to be absolutely perfect. They hold off until they can find the perfect idea, build the perfect team, create the perfect website and marketing materials, have the perfect financial foundation, and on, and on, and on. We all know that it’s impossible to achieve perfection, however, so this becomes a way for aspiring entrepreneurs to avoid taking the risk and actually building their business.
There will never be the perfect time to start your business just like there is never really a perfect time to have a child. It’s going to turn your world inside out no matter when you jump in and do it, so don’t obsess about the perfect launch so much that that launch day never arrives.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m certainly not arguing that you should ignore all planning, brush aside major warning signs, and launch without any proper preparation, but at some point you have to realize the perfect time to launch will never come, cut off your planning, and go.
So how do you tell if you’re responsibly and strategically developing a launch plan that happens to be a bit in the future or if you’re just stalling because you’re scared or obsessive? Ask yourself the following question:
- Are you re-doing the same work and the same analyses over and over? If you’ve already created a complete business plan and have a strategy for launch but you just keep doing the same work over and over again to make sure (for the 127th time) that your calculations make sense, you probably need to cut yourself off and launch.
- Is your analysis based on research? If you pulled all of the numbers for your pro forma financials out of thin air and you “guesstimated” on costs, revenues, growth rates, etc. then you need to dig a bit deeper and do some real planning. If you’ve done extensive market research, however, and you can justify where every number in your financial projections comes from and they’re still showing that you should achieve profitability, then it’s probably time to get started.
- Are you waiting for an impossible aligning of the stars? There are times when putting off a launch for a few months makes absolute sense. If your business is seasonal and you need to launch at the appropriate time of year or if there is going to be a change in regulation that will affect your ability to do business and you need to wait for it to kick in, then you should absolutely wait for the “right” time to launch. However, if you’re waiting for a 70 degree day with no clouds in the sky, that also happens to be on a Wednesday, the date is one of your lucky numbers, and there will be a complete solar eclipse, you need to get over it and launch.
I think you can see the pattern to these questions you need to ask yourself so I won’t blab on and on about it. As you can see, they key is to avoid both extremes of over-planning as a means of procrastination and jumping in before you have any idea if you can swim or not. I’ve actually talked about this quite a bit before and have mentioned it in more than one interview. I see so many entrepreneurs who fall into one of two categories: either they do absolutely zero planning and just launch believing they can hustle their way to success OR they plan obsessively to the exclusion of taking any real action. Neither of these is going to lead to lasting success for your business, so you have to find the balance between planning and action.
Once you find that balance, you’ll realize that there is no perfect time to launch your business and begin taking steps forward now.
Now I’d like to hear from you: Have you ever obsessed over the perfect time to start your business so much so that you never actually got it off the ground? Do you have tips to help others stop obsessing and move forward? Let us know what has and hasn’t worked for you in the comments section below.
And remember, the conversation is always better the more people are involved so please spread the word. If you found this video helpful or think someone you know could benefit from the information, please like it, share it on social media, and email the link to your friends and colleagues to get some good karma.