This question reminds me of my favorite quote:
"The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today."
Applies just as well to starting a business...
Ana, like many others say - there is no "exact perfect time". In my case, I "just knew it was the time". It is a sort-of solar eclipse of things lining up for you.
1. You have a product or service that you are confident in.
2. You have established a niche.
3. You have enough start-up funds to last you about 6 months of salary and cover all your overheads.
4. You have done market research, and identified a target market, and know that the target market is hungry for what you are offering.
5. You have a business plan in place.
6. You are prepared to work very long hours - of course all new business owners are hard workers, but if at all possible, it would help if you do not have "things that are out of the ordinary" at your chosen start time - such as your first new-born baby. I just had my first boy, and until you get the hang of being a parent, you will spend a lot of time tending to them - which could be detrimental to your working hours. And before I start a flame war, I do not say "do not have children". I simply say that you should come to grips with the "extraordinary" circumstance, or come to grips with your new business...
Hope this helps!
I am going to go against the grain here- I don't agree that you should have "everything in place" or "experience under your belt" before starting your own company. Most successful entrepreneurs find that the failures of their first or second or third businesses led them to the success of their current business.
A suggestion would be to read "Good to Great" that talks about why certain companies remain successful while others whittle away. One thing it touches on that spoke to me was how most of the successful companies today in the study did not start with a clear plan in mind and most don't even do today anything close to what they started doing.
My advice would be to think first about your purpose, your Why you are doing this. Is it to just make money? Is it to help XYZ? From their you can build a vision around your purpose and attract others who share the mission.
I'll leave you with a quote;
"Risk more than others think safe. Dream more than others think practical.
Expect more than others think possible. Care more than others think wise."
-Howard Shultz, Starbucks CEO
The best time for you to start a business is when you have the understanding of the sacrifices you will nee to endure in the start-up process. You may want to exercise some of the skills you would like to perform in your business at an established entity, so you can develop an understanding where you may need to grow and learn what the industry standards are. The one thing many beginning entrepreneurs need is capital. It may be best to work somewhere that is similar to your ideal business so you can pick up an understanding of how that kind of business operates. At the same time, while you are building and developing your business plan, you can earn substantial income to take care of yourself and invest into you future company. For more insight, you may contact me and I can advise you further.
When you have the passion, the perspective, the product, and time and resources. Some companies take start up capital.. so how can you start them without the capital. Although in a way you can start them by gathering the right information so that you are prepared when the capital presents itself.
I started my business with very little money, but a great deal of passion. I fortunately didn't need start up capital and had all the training I needed. I know many things today that I didn't know before, but if I had not jumped in and started it over 12 years ago, I would not be where I am today!
If you wait for everything to be perfect you may never start!
I think ANYTIME!.... however, if your looking at starting an Architectural firm, I would say go and work with others, review the way they do business and then see how you can improve on it, being a business owner I am horrified to hear myself say that, but thats the reality of the modern day, during this time you can write your own business plan and develop a business model, look for opportunities, you can even forge a relationship where you can handle overflow works.
I would suggest finishing your degree first. Mainly so that you have all the information necessary at your disposal to get it started and do it correctly. With that said, if you have funding (that is not a high interest loan), a business plan, a good strategic plan moving forward, and unlimited amounts of time to devote to the growth of the business, then I think you can get it started as soon as you want. Make sure you are doing something that you love doing, are very passionate about and be patient with the growth of it. It takes a long time to establish yourself as a business and get a name in a certain area. It is all worth it if you do it the right way and are having fun.
The general answer is when you have enough capital to support the business (and yourself) for a year of potentially not making any profits. (And don't forget to put money in the budget for marketing!)
Make sure you have a good business plan, have done thorough research, etc.
If you are talking about going out on your own as an architect, then my advice would be (as with other professions) that the right time is when you have enough experience to convince others to buy your services, and enough confidence to sell yourself.
When is the time to start your own business... when you can no longer stand working for someone else ;-)
When is it convenient to start your own business... NEVER. It's never convenient to do a lot of things in life, like getting married, having children or jumping out of an airplane or heavy enemy fire.
So... pick the date you intend to start your business... and just like a wedding date that's set, reverse engineer what needs to be done before the big day.
Enjoy the journey... and be profitable.
The best time to start a business is when you are motivated enough to step out and just do it! However, make sure you have some cash saved up and some back up cash flow. Before you plunge in make sure you have worked on a business plan that includes a market analysis. It is key to know the supply, demand and who the competition is. Then develop a brand and some form of unique offering that the competition does not provide. Whatever you decide, best of luck!