Shawn Jenkins Blog

should you start a business

How to Know if It’s Time to Turn Your Idea into a Business

Should you start your own business? Do you have an idea that you just can’t shake and you think it might be an actual business? How do you know if your idea is just a product or if it could be a business?

Businesses Come from Products

People often worry that their idea may not be large enough to become an actual business. They think that it may just be a product, a small product at that. 

It’s helpful to think of your idea as a seed. Regardless of how small it is, it can be the thing that grows into a strong tree full of products. 

Most founder-led businesses started with a simple idea for a new product. Patagonia, for example, started when the founder handmade climbing spikes for himself and his friends. Polo was started when Ralph Lauren began selling and eventually making his own ties. Disney began with a cartoon. 

Focus Is an Advantage

I’ve heard many people say that the biggest problem in growing a young business is lack of capital. I don’t agree with that. I’ve seen plenty of businesses fail because they had too much capital and spent it wastefully.

In the early stages of a new company, focus is the key to success. Knowing what your product is, how to rapidly improve it, how to communicate it, and whom to sell it to are what matters most.

Once you have success selling, you will then have the opportunity to add additional features and additional products. But only after you win on the small things. 

As the proverb goes, “Do not despise the day of small beginnings.”

Should You Start a Business? If so, When?

Yes. And Now.

If you are asking that question of yourself, then the answer is yes.  

How can I say that without even knowing your idea, your background, or your current situation?

I say yes because regardless of the outcome, you will learn and grow in ways only possible through starting something new. You may or may not be happier; you may or may not be wealthier. But you will be wiser. You will understand so much more about how businesses of all types function. You will gain an appreciation for people who are taking risks and pushing their ideas into the world. 

So when should you start your business?

Right now. 

As the saying goes, “A good plan today is better than the best plan tomorrow.”

No one has ever been totally prepared to start a business. There are always things you will need that you don’t have, and decisions that in retrospect you wish you would’ve done differently. But you cannot get back the time you have right now. The single biggest advantage you have with your new business idea is time. Jump in today and start learning, iterating, networking, making mistakes. All of that has to happen for any business to succeed. 

It is 2020—the year of perfect vision—and it has never been easier to turn your vision into a product and promote it. Be the person that creates something and shares it with the world. Don’t let another year slip by without bringing your idea to life.

And if you think it may be too late for you to start a business, here is a great study on the best age to start a company. It is older than you might think!

A Side Hustle Is a Business

Many large companies are inching their employees toward contractor status. In a push back, some states are passing laws that require those companies to employ people in the traditional sense. 

Regardless of how all of that pushing and pulling works out, why not get into the game and provide yourself and your family the advantages of business ownership?

It could be a blog, or real estate, or an app, or a food truck. If you have an idea of how to improve something and how to provide a product or service that would have value to you personally—and your customers—then you have the seed for starting a business.

Even if your new business is something on the side while you continue to pay the bills with a regular job, it is a business nonetheless. And the experience of owning your own business is invaluable. It has the potential to lead to bigger and better things for you and your future.

Want Some Help?

We are hosting a free two-week school to help people start their own business. The classes are taught by Pop Up Business School, a team of experts and business owners who have helped thousands of people all around the world realize their dream of business ownership.

One of the main things I’ve heard from people who have gone through the program is that it helped them focus. For example, you may have two or more product ideas you’re considering. Pop Up’s team will work with you to discuss your ideas and evaluate each one to better understand their strengths and weaknesses.  

Getting that key product identified and launched is crucial to opening up the future doors of opportunity. So join me at Pop Up Business School Charleston this February 17–28, Monday–Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and make 2020 the year you turn your vision into a reality. (Click here to register!)

Is your business idea a blog? Here is how I started my blog on Bluehost.

Did you already start a business and are looking to grow it? Here is a piece on Google Ads and one on Facebook Campaigns.

I don’t have any affiliates with any of these companies and I don’t make any money off the links or the Pop Up Business School. My aim is simply to help people give their idea a try and see where it takes them.

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