If there’s one big thing I’ve learned in my years as an entrepreneur, it’s that the perfect time to launch a new business is as soon as you know the business model and financials work. The time when the business model is 60-70% right and your initial research and numbers prove it can make money. That’s when to you go hell for leather and do it.
Let me explain. I learned this – as most entrepreneurs do – the hard way. And it cost me dearly. Worse, I learned it creating a startup with an online business model during the dotcom boom in the late 90’s. The one unique time in history when people who had never owned, let alone run a business, were making a fortune out of ideas that barely had a business model and certainly didn’t stack up on paper.
Yet, I missed what should have been a $450 million dollar company within three years all because I spent way too much time dotting i’s and crossing t’s and ensuring everything was 100% bulletproof. By the time I was ready to go to investors with a rock solid startup, the dotcom boom had crashed and investors were scattering like mercury from an overheated thermometer.
So what happened? Surely if the model works and the numbers back it up investors would be clamouring to put their money somewhere where they were virtually certain to make up anything they lost in the dotcom boom … and then some. Nope. The bubble had burst and the word ‘online’ was virtually banished from the English language. An external market influence that had nothing to do with the viability of a standout business model had effectively crushed it within days. All because I did what I thought was the right thing by my potential investors: arm them with all possible information and every possible business and financial scenario.
So the lesson is simply this: if you really, honestly, deep down in your gut know your idea is new and revolutionary or a revolutionary spin on something old … and the numbers stack up to the point you can virtually halve them and it works, do it. And do it now!