Tom Clairmont

Tom Clairmont

Helping you pivot through your small business journey.

When is the right time to start a business?

Hello again friends, I have a topic here today that is a very popular one for sure. When should you start a business?

Is there a right time, a right opportunity, a right situation, a right…answer?

And if you go to Google trends and type in ‘the right time to start a business’, you’ll see that over the past 5 years, the results, in the US, and around the world, shows that this topic has been gaining steam since around May of 2020.

Why? Well, starting a business has a lot of advantages. And when people need other options for income because of internal or external forces around them are either failing or just not meeting the need, or if they just want more opportunity in general, then starting a business is a good idea.
But there are a lot of details that we need to go through when we start a business, right? There’s a lot to think about. And that’s part of the big picture for me here in this Podcast as a whole, is to help people think through the mountain of topics that there are around having your own full or part time personal brand business.

So for today, in this blog post, we’ll be talking about the right time and the wrong time to start a business. But keep in mind that this is my perspective on this and my advice for you and that you’ll be getting a lot of different advice from probably everyone you talk to on this issue of ‘when’.

So, let’s start off with flipping the coin here and talk about not necessarily the right time, but the wrong time. Because the signals for the ‘right’ time are harder to see than the signals for the ‘wrong’ time.

When is the wrong time to start a business?

 So, when is the wrong time to start a business? My first answer is…


Well, for starters, tomorrow was the first thing that came to mind. Now, am I literally talking about ‘tomorrow’? No. I’m talking about the ability to put things off…for tomorrow. And then the next day. And the next.

You know how it goes, right? I’ll work on it someday. And then someday never comes. Because ‘someday’ (you might have heard me say this) someday is just code for ‘never’.

So if you’re saying to yourself that you’ll get to it soon, ask yourself the next question. How long have I been saying ‘soon’?
When you can’t get your message straight

Getting your message straight is huge. What do you do? What problem do you solve? Why should anyone pay you? Why are you better than someone else?
If you don’t have your message straight, then you’ll be wasting a lot of time. Maybe years. So spend time on your message in advance.

I’ve said this before in episode 57 of my Podcast that you need to have 3 critical stories for your personal brand business.
• Personal story
• Professional story
• Client story

Get your 3 stories down to as short as it needs to be and at the same time, as long as it needs to be. So listen in on this episode to hear how I explain in more detail how to use those three critical stories to build your business.

When you don’t know who your target audience is

If you don’t know who you’re selling to then how will you sell anything? You may have heard it before, but if you’re trying to sell to everybody, then you’re selling to nobody.

Work on who your target audience is in advance so you know how to shape all your content around that audience.

You can look at your target audience in two different ways.
1. Demographics-the stats about a particular type of person and what the data shows about their particular situation and buying habits so you can sell a product or service to them easier
2. Psychographics- who they are as a person and the knowing the struggles they have so you can meet their needs through a product or service
I can think of my target audience from the demographics angle by saying ‘Joe is an upper middle class married man, age 48, that is looking to get out of the corporate rat race and start an online business using his current investment or retirement savings as seed money.
3. Or, I can look at my target audience from the psychographics angle like this: Lily is a stressed out teacher that has had enough of all the politics and political correctness of teaching, wants a better work/life balance and would like to gradually supplement her income with online courses and eventually have a full time business through tutoring and online learning so she can be home with her family more and not be stressed out grading papers until 1 am in the morning.

When you’re not doing well emotionally

Starting a business requires a certain amount of mental strength and clarity. You’re playing for the long game, not short term results. You need to be in a good place emotionally and mentally as well. Trust me, I sort of know what I’m talking about. I’ve been doing this for awhile.

If you’re not in a good place emotionally, then wait until you are. Otherwise, you’ll be burning yourself out real fast.

If you can’t commit to some time each day
Think about the structure of your day right now. Are you exhausted just thinking about it? Are you trying to be that ‘super mom’ or ‘jack of all trades’ guy?
Are you really doing this for the right reasons or just trying to impress someone?

Hey, I want people to reach after their dream, but I don’t want to see people start something and then fizzle out after a few months because they really didn’t have the time to commit to this venture.

You need time each day to focus and get specific things done.

You need structure.

You’ll need a plan.

How much time? That really depends. I can’t answer that. Just know that you can’t get a lot accomplished in an hour a day. It takes time just to wind down and to stop thinking about everything else that’s on your mind.

If you can commit a block of time each day, then great. Otherwise, wait until you can stop doing something that’ll open up some extra time for you to focus on this dream of yours.

If you’re getting resistance from a close relationship

This is important because I don’t recommend that you start something that will cause a lot of friction in the relationship. Starting a business isn’t worth a divorce or losing someone important to you. There’s usually a different approach you can have.

If you don’t have strong support, you’ll not only be struggling with the normal aspects of starting and growing a business from external forces, but you’ll be struggling with all the internal resistance as well.

It’s not worth it. Enjoy what you do. Otherwise, what’s the point?

The right time to start a business

So.. when is the ‘right’ time? How do you know how to interpret all the signals of the economy and society?

Well, I recently read something that showed how major, profitable businesses were formed out of the US great depression of the 1930’s BECAUSE of the bad economic times. Business leaders that didn’t know what the future held, just made the best decisions for the present time and were able to reap great financial benefits even though most of the country was struggling financially.

And it’s not like people got rich because the poor became poorer, businesses created new products and industries that were in demand.
So friends, if you’re waiting for the right time, you’ll be waiting for a long time. The right time is now. Why? Because you’re motivated now. You’ve got the energy now. You’ve got the skill and the will now.

So get started now. Create something new now.

There’s a lot of people that need your product or service. They just don’t know you yet. So get yourself out there and get started today.

You’ll be glad you did.

To your success, 


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