houston voices

University of Houston research: When's the best time to start a business?

University of Houston's The Big Idea highlights the three things to consider when starting a business. Graphic byMiguel Tovar/University of Houston

Have you ever thought about opening your own business, but you didn’t know when to do it? Maybe you’ve heard the phrase: “the best time to start a business is today.” Is this actually good advice?

Yaro Starak, entrepreneur, blogger and podcaster, answers this question on his blog. Starak highlights three things aspiring entrepreneurs should do first when they decide to open a business.

What to do today:

1. Get prepared 

Starak believes there is some truth to the statement that starting a business today is the best time because it focuses on action and “to take action, means you need to be prepared to do so.”

He says that once you start your business you’ve, at least, taken a step towards being prepared because chances are, you’ll never have the right timing in the beginning. “By starting now, you begin the process of learning and putting in place resources that, in time, will lead you to be prepared for taking advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself,” Starak said.

2. Start building resources

“Whether you succeeded or failed, or pivot to something else, you’re always gaining experience, learning from mistakes, and building resources for your next project, whether they be financial (or capital), mental or skill-based resources,” Starak said. This is why today is the best day to start a business because everything that you do, once you get started, will contribute to you gathering the necessary resources and experiences that will help your business to excel.

3. Start building an audience

Starak believes that, just like the self-help books suggest, “the best asset to work on is yourself,” but that shouldn’t be all you focus on. “Even if you’re not sure if you intend to sell coaching, courses, write books or sell services or software or physical products, your audience is the door to taking advantage of all new opportunities… No attention, means no customers,” Starak said.

According to Starak, marketing and sales are the two most important skills to work on in order to be prepared to start a business. He suggests that aspiring business owners should learn how to use internet resources to post content in order to reach people and build their audience. Then they can use that content to advertise and sell.

What's the big idea?

Now is always the best time to start a new business because even if you’re not quite sure what it’s going to be yet, you can get yourself prepared, start building resources and start building an audience.

------

This article originally appeared on the University of Houston's The Big Idea. Cory Thaxton, the author of this piece, is the communications coordinator for The Division of Research.

Trending News

Building Houston

 
 

The latest cohort from gBETA Houston has been announced and is currently underway at the Downtown Launchpad. Photo courtesy

A national startup accelerator has announced its fifth local cohort, which includes five Houston companies participating in the spring 2022 class.

Madison, Wisconsin-based gener8tor has announced today the five participating startups in gBETA Houston. The program will be led by Muriel Foster, the newly named director of gBETA Houston, which originally launched in Houston in 2020 thanks to a grant from from the Downtown Redevelopment Authority.

The program, which is designed to help guide early-stage startups find early customer traction, connect with mentors, and more, is based in the Downtown Launchpad, and is free and does not take equity in the participating companies. The cohort kicked off on April 21 and concludes on June 10.

The new cohort includes:

  • Founded by CEO Steffie Thomson a year ago, Getaway Sticks has designed a shoe that gives women the painless support they need using athletic foam to create a shoe that gives women the painless support they need. Getaway Sticks provides the solutions to women’s #1 wardrobe complaint of high heel pain. Since launch, the company has earned over $35,000 in revenue from over 150 customers.
  • Through a combination of software and hardware technology, LocBox is rethinking the shopping experience for online and local purchases. If you shop, ship, or have food delivered to your house, LocBox will make your life easier. Led by CEO Sterling Sansing, LocBox has previously participated in the Texas A&M MBA Venture Challenge.
  • SpeakHaus is focused on equipping young professionals and entrepreneurs with public speaking skills through its on-demand training platform and group coaching program. Since launching in October 2021, SpeakHaus has facilitated 6 corporate trainings and coached 61 business leaders generating over $49,000 in revenue. The company is led by CEO Christa Clarke.
  • Led by CEO LaGina Harris, The Us Space is creating spaces intentionally for women of color, women-led businesses, and women-centric organizations. Since launching in June 2021, The Us Space has created partnerships with more than a dozen community organizations, sustainable businesses, and organizations creating positive economic impact in the City of Houston.
  • Founded in August 2021, Urban Eatz Delivery is a food delivery service app that caters to the overlooked and underrepresented restaurants, food trucks, and home-based food vendors. Urban Eatz Delivery has earned over $88,000 in revenue, delivered to over 2,000 users, and worked with 36 restaurant and food vendors on the app. The company is led by CEO D’Andre Good.

“The five companies selected for the Spring 2022 cohort tackle unique problems that have propelled them to create a business that solves the issues they once faced," Foster says in a news release. "From public speaking, apparel comfort, and food delivery from underrepresented restaurant owners, these founders have found their niche and are ready to continue to make an enormous impact on the Houston ecosystem."

it's Foster's first cohort at the helm of the program. A Houston native, she has her master’s in public administration from Texas Southern University and a bachelor’s in marketing from Oklahoma State University. Her background includes work in the nonprofit sector and international business consulting in Cape Town, South Africa, and she's worked within programming at organizations such as MassChallenge, BLCK VC, and now gener8tor.

The program is housed at the Downtown Launchpad. The five startups will have access to the space to meet with mentors, attend events, and run their companies.

"Creating (the hub) was a little like a moonshot, but it’s paying off and contributing enormous impact to the city’s economy. The five startups selected for the gBETA Houston Spring cohort will continue that legacy,” says Robert Pieroni, director of economic development at Central Houston Inc., in the release. “As these entrepreneurs chase their dreams and create something epic, they will know Downtown Houston is standing behind them. I am so proud of what Downtown Launchpad is already, and what it will become.”

Muriel Foster, a native Houstonian, is the new director of gBETA Houston. Image via LinkedIn

Trending News