Owning Your Own Business – When is the right time?

Matt Uncategorized

It was December of 2015 and I was driving from my house to the bank to get funds to purchase Monkey Bizness Franchising and one of the stores.  The house I was leaving I had just purchased 18 months earlier.  After buying the house, 6 months later my wife and I had our 3rd child.  My two older kids had just started at new schools in August of 2015.  And, if I am nitpicking, it was smack dab in the middle of the holiday season.

With seemingly so many life changes going on over the past 18 months, one might ask if it was really the right time to jump into owning my own business.  I hear it all the time from people we are talking with.  They are contemplating when is the right time to own their own business.  For some people, I truly believe this is a defense mechanism because deep down they don’t truly feel comfortable taking such a life change plunge.  However, for others, they really are trying to time the best time to own their own business.

I was in their shoes for many years.  While spending over 10 years in public accounting, I constantly combed the internet looking for businesses to purchase.  As I got more experienced, I would reach out to a couple a month and get the details from a business broker.  I would comb through the financials and narratives put together by the owner and broker and inevitably determine it was not the right time.  Looking back, I now understand that I was nervous about making such a life-altering decision.

Owning your own business, is just that, life-altering.  Depending on the business, the degree that it alters your life may be up for debate.  However, what is not up for debate is it will never be the right time to take a plunge into entrepreneurship.

Rather than looking for the right time, I would strongly coach people to ask themselves are they personally ready to own their own business.  This is a much different question.  Asking yourself is now the right time is to own a business, you will inevitably look at your family situation, place in your career, what is going on personally, and other questions.  Once you look at these, most likely, you will determine it is not the right time.  You will determine that starting a business will throw a wrench in all of these, and you’re right.

However, asking yourself if you are ready to own your own business is a different question.  Those questions look more like this:

  1. Does owning my own business help me accomplish my long-term personal goals?
  2. Have I acquired the skills necessary to be successful in owning a particular business?
  3. Are the personal relationships that are important to me stable enough to withstand the stress that owning my own business will create?
  4. Have I evaluated the immediate financial impact of owning a business and if my family can still keep our current living status (for the most part)?
  5. Does the business and investment in the business match the level of risk I am comfortable taking?

These questions won’t help you determine if a certain business is right for your or not.

I can only give advice based on my past experiences and from observing others around me.  If you are asking yourself is now the right time in your life to start/buy a business, you will most likely answer “no”.  However, if you are asking yourself “am I ready to own my own business”, you may surprise yourself with the answer.