We have all seen businesses rise and fall. A prime example is pets.com. When business ventures fail, many analysts and business professionals try to dissect every aspect of those failed attempts to determine what went wrong and ultimately why failure was the end result. However, one important factor that can impact a business’ failure or success is TIMING. If you launch your start-up too early or too late it may result in poor reception by potential consumers. In other words, proper timing is a delicate balancing act that can make or break your business.
Why timing is important
It is widely accepted that start-ups need to do the necessary research to ensure that demand in a particular market exists. After determining that there is a need to be fulfilled, some start-ups may move to the next steps and create then launch an attractive product or service. Admittedly, once the launch is properly executed, the odds of success increase. However, many entrepreneurs hold and perpetuate the misconception that execution trumps everything. Unfortunately, many businesses spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on perfectly executed launches and their product or services still fail. Therefore, no matter how awesome your product or service, if it is launched at the wrong time, it just will not succeed. Additionally, it is important to note that timing is not merely about a particular month or quarter; however, it is a combination of market conditions that tell an entrepreneur the right moment for his/her business to enter the market. In many cases, entrepreneurs do not control these market factors, so that’s why the concept of timing and why entrepreneurs need to understand them are so important.
When is it too early?
When you talk to people about your business, do they seem excited? When conducting your research, does demand exist? Is there a problem or challenge that needs to be solved? If a worthy problem is found, are people willing to pay you to find a solution? Admittedly, if you answered the aforementioned questions with a series of no’s, you will have challenges launching your start-up. In addition, as the old adage goes, humans are creatures of habit. They may say they are willing to try new things; however, when it’s time to step up to the plate, often times, they are not ready. Therefore, start-ups need to be aware of the general human behaviour, and be cautious when individuals indicate their willingness to change. Therefore, instead of prematurely entering the market, entrepreneurs should bide their time until they are absolutely certain that persons will be ready to give their product or service a fair shot. Also, if you are looking to launch a tech start up and some of the infrastructure is not readily available to support your business, it may clearly indicate that you are ahead of yourself, your business may be ahead of the market, and it may just be too early to launch.
When is it too late?
Being too late is a bit easier to conclude. If you are looking to launch a business venture in a particular market where a number of businesses already serve the same or a similar product, you may be too late. Also, if your product or service is out-dated or have no current relevance, you are too late. For example, it doesn’t matter what Kodak does at the moment; it is extremely unlikely that they will be able to re-enter the film market selling disposable cameras. The time for disposables has passed and digital photography has taken over. Although it won’t be wise to enter a crowded market, if you are confident that your business could stake its claim and thrive in such a scenario, you need to take a look at what products or services your competitors are currently selling and ensure that yours is at least up to par and if possible, better.
When is the right time to start?
After conducting your research and doing your due diligence, if you realize that there is a pain point in the market that people are willing to pay to solve, you should pounce on it. If you realize that no one is currently tackling the issue, you may have just hit the proverbial jackpot. However, once your research is complete and you know the direction you are going to head, you should not wait too long to introduce your solution to the market since another person may be tackling the same issue as well. In many cases, numerous entrepreneurs suffer from what is known as analysis paralysis. They overanalyze their situations then someone swoops in and beats them to the market.
It is important to note however that there can never be any guarantees because of how delicate timing can be. Entering the market at the perfect time does not give you immunity to failure. Instead, you need to constantly innovate, know what the market desires, and revolutionize what you offer if necessary to ensure your product or service remains in demand. Nevertheless, if you utilize the information discussed above, it can help you enter the market at the right time.