Everybody starts out their new business venture with a vision of their business succeeding. Success means many different things to different people, but in terms of running a business (that also sustains your livelihood by bringing in a sufficient income), an important parameter of success boils down to the financial reality of running your business. Will my business be profitable? Will my family be able to rely on the income from my business? Regardless of your vision of success, if you are relying on your business to survive, this question is all about how long it will take for your business to become reliably profitable.
For a business to become profitable, first, it needs to be viable. There need to be sufficient customers for your products and services. These must be sold at a sufficient profit to pay employees. There needs to be a space for you amongst competitors. Viability is essential for achieving profitability, but it isn’t a guarantee. The question of “how long it will take for my business to succeed” should begin with the question, and assessment of “Is my business viable” as a starting point.
Becoming profitable takes time and while it is possible to be an ‘overnight success’, it is a mistake to rely on luck, or hope, for your income. It’s better to be strategic, and realistic. Assuming your business is viable, a longer-term vision of 3-5 years is a more realistic timeframe to allow for. That means you may need to rely on alternative streams of income for years, before you can rely on the income from your business.
Because viability exists at the intersection of viable products / services and sufficient customers, measures can be taken to speed up the development of your business. That’s where brand & marketing comes in. However, the development of your business needs to be done at a sustainable rate, and in a sequential, measured way. Otherwise in the quest to fast-track, you may run out of resources and find yourself with an unviable business.
When we’re contemplating how long it will take for our business to succeed, you need to be ready for not only a long game but also a complete approach. You need to love what you do and the people you work with. Achieving success includes profitability, but it’s about much more. It’s about achieving your dreams, and also living your life. It’s a struggle, and you might not succeed. But if you do, it will be worth it.