More often than not, the hardest part about becoming a business owner is starting. Any business owner or entrepreneur will tell you that preparing a business can often be harder than actually running it. For this reason alone, it only makes sense to launch your business if you are truly ready for it.
Say, you’ve already gone through all the preparation steps and believe you’ve tied up all the loose ends. You even have a launch date ready. But recently, you have been feeling apprehensive about opening your business to the public. Is it a case of entrepreneur jitters? Or is your intuition telling you something else?
Let’s make it easy. If you notice these signs, then you may want to put off your business launch in the meantime:
1. There is not enough buzz
Generating pre-launch buzz is essential for any business, no matter how small. You want potential customers to have at least some awareness of your brand before you formally launch it so that there will be people stepping through the door on your first day. If you see too little response—or worse—no response at all from your target market, you may want to consider delaying your launch date and working on your pre-launch marketing.
2. It’s not the right season
The ideal launch dates for certain types of businesses depend on the season. For example, if you have a personalized gifts business franchise, then the most opportune time to launch is a few weeks before a major holiday. If you are starting a smoothie business and it’s the middle of winter, then you would want to wait until spring or summer rolls in. And so on.
Starting a business during the right season increases your chances of going in strong, which would ultimately help you establish a positive cash flow early on. Otherwise, you could end up with too-low sales that may very well put your business in a tough financial spot.
3. You are not financially ready to take a major hit
If there is one thing that COVID-19 has taught business owners, it is that major financial loss can happen in the blink of an eye. In the first few months of the pandemic, countless businesses closed down due to quarantine orders. The ones that managed to survive came out more careful about their finances, always anticipating the next major economic downturn.
That said, if your business is not ready to take a major financial hit, it is a clear sign that you should put your plans on hold. In the meantime, establish a financial safety net that you can fall back upon if, say, another pandemic happens or a natural disaster destroys half the city. There is no such thing as being over-prepared. And with what we have experienced so far, it is all the more important to avoid being complacent.
4. You don’t have the right people on your team
The launch date is coming soon, and you still haven’t filled out all the spots in your team. If this is the case for you, it is better to delay your launch date than risk compromising your business by rushing through the hiring process.
Finding the right people takes time, and too many entrepreneurs make the mistake of hiring people too rapidly. This is especially true for startups that require employees with certain credentials. But even if your business is in retail or food service, you should avoid rushing through the hiring process and instead make enough time to find the right people. After all, the people you hire will largely determine the success of your business.
5. You encounter a major change in your life
Whether it’s a birth, a death, a divorce, or something else that has a significant impact on your personal life, it can affect your business as well. Therefore, it is highly advisable to delay the launching of your business if you happen to encounter a major change in your life. Even if it is important to separate your business and personal lives, there may come a point where one bleeds into the other if you don’t give yourself enough time to adjust.
We always talk about when is the right time to start a business, yet we rarely talk about when you should delay your business plans. The latter is just as important to ensure that you start at the most opportune time. That said, if one or more of the signs on this list apply to you, then you should probably consider putting your plans on hold until things start to look better.