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Tips For Launching Your Solo Business At The Right Time
  • 30 June 2016
  • Eric Michaels

Tips For Launching Your Solo Business At The Right Time

Launching a solo business is not something to take lightly. If you've done your research then you already know the statistics — about 50 percent of new businesses fail in the first five years, according to Gallup. Looking at the glass as half full, that means that about half get off the ground and thrive. If you have the tools in place and make your move at the right time, you will stack the odds in your favor. Here are some tips to help you know when to launch your business.

You have done the homework and the legwork

Viewers of "Shark Tank," a popular show on ABC, know why hopeful entrepreneurs get shot down by aggressive investors. More often than not, it is due to a lack of research. Anyone who does not have a detailed business plan will not walk off the show with financing from one of the experienced individuals on the panel. Contestants are questioned about their preparation in every facet of the planning stages, proving that there is no substitute for having accurate research on the industry to make your idea happen.

Aside from doing your homework, putting in the right legwork is also important. Before you can declare your new business ready to launch, you have to pound the pavement. This includes talking to people on the street in the area where you are opening, getting to know competitors at networking events, and getting a feel for what would happen on opening day.

You avoid the biggest mistakes

There is no mystery as to why businesses fail. In fact, there are many documented reasons, and the formula for success is even harder for solopreneurs. One common blunder is playing the short game rather than seeing the big picture. Half of businesses fail within five years—not one or two years. If you start with a five-year plan and keep that in focus, you can avoid getting bogged down with trivial matters that do not threaten your livelihood.

You also have to remember not to underestimate the impact of technology. Being old-school is fine in theory, but there is nothing classic about losing a deal because you did not get back to your client in time or could not complete a proposal with the appropriate level of pizzazz. Again, it takes more than an idea to succeed. You must have the right technology in order to pounce on opportunities.

Your finances are in order

Starting a solo business takes money, and that means living expenses as well as business operating expenses. To launch your company without a high financial risk, you need either a substantial amount of savings or a financial backing that will not weigh on you if you cannot make payments in lean months. Preparing for this risk is especially important if you secure a loan with home equity, which is not recommended.

Otherwise, experts suggest that you protect 40 percent of your savings from your company at all times. Invest 25 percent to start, hold 35 percent for the second stage of company growth, and hold onto the balance for emergencies. When you are financially comfortable and have the funds to execute your business plan, make your move.

You know where help is available

Every entrepreneur makes mistakes, has moments of doubt, experiences revenue droughts, and gets overwhelmed by day-to-day operations. Because of this, before you launch your business, make sure you know where help is available. Having a business mentor or coach can save you from many sleepless nights. Likewise, knowing how to get help in marketing, accounting, or graphic design at a moment's notice will keep you functioning at a high level when things get busy. You may have started the business on your own, but you will need a hand when it comes to taking it to the next level. Launch when you know you have this support.

Preparation is key to launching your solo business. Start with these tips, and when you need help, keep in mind that The UPS Store connects solopreneurs with freelance professional services in every field.

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