The best time to start a small business

  • Photo, file: AP Photo/Elise Amendola

    By Emily Chase Smith/

    Ah, the excitement of a great business idea. You can see the yellow brick road spread out before you. The future has never looked brighter. But you ask yourself, is now the right time to launch? Am I ready? Here's how to tell.

    Once you have the product or service dreamed up, the question of money will arise. Even the smallest online business takes some capital to start -- for websites, software, supplies. A service-based business might need an office and a skeleton crew. Big brick-and-mortar dreams may take hundreds of thousands of dollars to launch.

    Money and business go together like spaghetti and meatballs. A business with no funding is just an idea, so knowing if you're ready to launch is a question of knowing where the money is coming from -- for you and your business.