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Timing the Launch of Your Business

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Timing the launch of a small business can make an enormous impact on its short-term success. But timing the launch of a business isn't easy. There is no way to be absolutely sure that now is the right time to launch your business or if it would be better to wait for a more opportune moment. Nonetheless, experience has shown that there are several factors that can guide you in your decision.

  1. First and foremost, you need to discern whether or not there is demand for your product or services. Demand is a by-product of need and the most successful businesses provide products and services that meet a need in their communities. Often an idea for a business may seem to meet a need, but in reality that need does not actually exist. This is especially true with businesses that attempt to provide products and services on the cutting edge of cultural trends. For example, the dotcom craze ended in disaster because many people believed the Internet would completely revolutionize the shopping habits of American consumers. While consumers have bought products online, they have not abandoned more traditional purchasing outlets. As a result, most dotcoms failed—miserably.

  2. Another factor that may affect the timing of your business launch is market trends. Is demand for the type of product you offer on the rise or is your product on the verge of fading into the sunset? If your business will specialize in a certain type of product, the ideal situation would be to enter the market while demand is still on the rise or at the very least, stable.

  3. In the same way, you need to be aware of regional factors involving the number of businesses that offer similar products and services. If several established companies have recently announced plans to sell similar products and services, then you will need to question your ability to compete locally.

  4. However, one of the most important factors in timing the launch of your business has to do with how prepared you are to open your doors to the world. If you have rushed through the preparation process without laying a solid foundation, then now is definitely not the right time to launch your company. Take the time you need to research your market, understand your product and nail down your procedures. You should also take steps to make sure you have met the necessary codes and requirements for opening a commercial enterprise in your community.

  5. Lastly, ask yourself whether or not you are personally prepared for the launch of your business. Are you prepared for the rigor of small business ownership? Is your family prepared for the demands the new business will require of you and the family as a whole? Chances are you have been thinking about this day for quite some time. One last discussion won't hurt and it will offer you the peace of mind of knowing that your family is behind your efforts.

Learn what’s right for your business

Visit SunTrust’s Small Business Best Practices Guide for a straightforward checklist of best practices in six important areas of financial management, including starting your business. 

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