My new business notebook

Believe me, there's never a right time to start a business

By Holly Tucker

1ST JULY 2023

Are you waiting for the right time to start a business? Well, let me tell you a little secret: there's never a ‘right’ time. There’s never a right age either. The trick is to just start. Read on to find out why.

‘Now’ is the right time to start a business: breaking the ‘perfect moment’ mindset

Is it too early to start a business? Am I too old to become an entrepreneur? (No, read why starting a business in later life is a good idea). What is the best time of year to launch? Over the years I’ve met thousands of people who have come up to me enthused with an idea, smiling from ear to ear as the notion of being their own boss seems to make them glow from the inside. I then ask the dreaded question, they know it’s coming and they brace themselves, “So when are you starting your business?”

Their faces drop, their shoulders hunch and they brush off the question with a laugh. The excuses (all well intended, true and so forth) flow. You see, I think everyone believes there will be a time, a perfect moment, for the adventure of starting your own business to begin — and the truth is, just like having a child, there IS never a good time.

Starting a business can start now

What we need to consider instead, is how we use the time we have effectively. Did you know on average we have just 29,000 days on this planet?

  • For 187,000 hours of that we’re asleep
  • We spend 117,000 hours on daily chores
  • And 198,000 hours working

No wonder we feel we don’t have the time to start something totally new. But this is where we’re wrong.

Start your small business today yellow floor sticker and gold trainers
I think everyone believes there will be a time, a perfect moment, for the adventure of starting your own business to begin — and the truth is, just like having a child, there IS never a good time.
Start somewhere

Mastering time management: top tips on finding the time to start a business

I think that using the precious time we have to do what we love should actually be one of our only objectives. Isn’t that the point? And if you agree, then it’s the way you look at your time that matters. For instance…

  • If you were able to work on your idea for 60 minutes a day, possibly broken up into two 30 minute blocks at the beginning and end, you’d be able to practically give your new business a whole day a week. Imagine that!
  • If you’re a busy parent, would it be possible to organise the kids with activities on Saturday morning, allowing you a precious four hours to spend on your dreams? That would mean by the end of the month you would have given yourself two days on building your business.
  • Is there a possibility that you could side hustle your way to giving up the day job? Have you had that conversation with your partner, boss or bank manager? A huge percentage of business owners start this way, as it allows you the security of a pay cheque, whilst you go for it — you see it’s possible.

If you can carve an amount of regular time into your busy diary, do not underestimate the power of what you can achieve. If you gave yourself that hour a day I mentioned, then in one year you would have given yourself 45 working days — which is 100% enough time to start your business!

Don’t dither, do it! When setting up a business, use your time wisely

How to use ‘Parkinson's Law’ to get more done in less time? Well if you haven’t heard of it, it’s a concept that I absolutely swear by when it comes to starting and growing a business. Let me explain why…

It states that, "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion," which means that if you give yourself a lot of time to complete a task, it will take up all of that time (probably more).

This is why it's so important to set achievable goals and deadlines for yourself when building your business. If you give yourself too much time to complete a task, you may find that it drags on and on, without really getting anywhere. But if you give yourself a tight deadline, you'll be amazed at how much more efficient and productive you can be.

If you give yourself a lot of time to complete a task, it will take up all of that time (probably more).

Of course, this doesn't mean that you should rush through tasks just to get them done quickly. Quality is always more important than speed. But by setting yourself achievable goals and deadlines, you'll be able to focus your efforts more effectively, get more done in less time, and ultimately build your business more efficiently.

So don't fall into the trap of letting your work expand to fill all the available time. Instead, set yourself realistic goals and deadlines, and use Parkinson's Law to your advantage. With a bit of discipline and focus, you'll be amazed at what you can achieve.

When to start a business: key takeaways…

Want to start a business but fear time is holding you back? It’s usually our perception of time that stops us, not life. When you use your time wisely though, there is enough of it to launch a company and do what you love. Just remember…

1. Start your business now. Don’t procrastinate:

There is never a perfect time to start, and waiting for the stars to align can lead to missed opportunities. Take action and begin today.

2. Use your time wisely and set achievable goals to maximise productivity:

Even if you have limited time, setting realistic goals and deadlines can help you make progress and stay motivated.

3. Busy parents can still find ways to start and grow a business:

By carving out dedicated time and enlisting help from others, you can make progress toward your entrepreneurial goals. And this is absolutely possible, I promise. Good luck!

Holly's signature
Red Don't Panic pennant hanging off some pens in a pen pot

Images: ‘My New Business’ notebook — by Alfamarama, Stitch-able calendar — by Make & Mend.

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