If not now, when?

Do you dream of starting a business?  Why haven’t you?

Is it time? Money? Your current job? The fear of failing? No matter the reason, continuing to put off your dreams will not eliminate the reasons that are stopping you today. Whether it’s tomorrow, 6 months from now or 2 years from now – your fears will remain.  They say it takes years to become an overnight success, but you have to start now to get there.

There will never be a “perfect” time to start a business, you’ll never feel quite ready. The truth is though, no one ever is. Entrepreneurs are successful because they are risk takers. If you have an idea, a passion or a product you think you can make money off of – start today. 

Now, I’m not saying quit your day job, but get started. Ask your friends what they think, do research on what companies offering similar products/services, start mapping out a plan.

A great tool for this is the Business Model Canvas (BMC). The BMC gives you a way to logically think through your ideas quickly and efficiently. Doing so, you’ll fail fast and learn what works and what doesn’t before anything’s even on the line. — Seriously, this thing is awesome! Go download the BMC template here and watch a video series on how to use it here.

Then, get a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) in the hands of your customers. MVP is a term developed as part of Lean Startup Methodology. In the lean model, the idea is to get feedback from your customers as quickly as possible. This allows you to grow your business around what actually works, not what you think might.

In creating an MVP you want to think of the most simple product/service/aspect of your business you can test. Want to open a beauty salon? Start by giving friends a fresh look out of your home. You’ll learn what they want, how much their willing to pay and a whole lot more in the process. Test your assumptions and continuously improve on your MVP, crafting your offerings, features and value proposition based on what you learn.

At the end of the process you’ll have proof that your business is feasible – or maybe that it’s not, which is okay. You’ll have taken a huge step and started, without risking much at all. And knowing whether or not you have to go back to the drawing board at this point is key. You are setting yourself up for success.

Don’t let fear or excuses stop you. You don’t have to drop everything and invest your life savings to start a business, you just have to start. Do it today and tomorrow you’ll be one day closer to becoming an “overnight” success.

– THE STARTUP CHICK