Time represents another resource you need to start a business. You probably know that business owners often work long hours. Especially in the early stages of their businesses. And you do need to be ready to do that, in certain circumstances. But that’s not really all I’m talking about here.

In addition to the actual hours, you need for working in the business, before the business even starts you need to have the necessary time to do all your research (Steps 1, 2 and 3) and to learn the key tricks of the trade. This work would almost always take weeks and weeks even if you’re a truly fast learner.

Furthermore, there’s another “time resource” you need to collect: You need enough time to have your sales ramp up. So let me explain. Remember the discussion of the coffee cart business I talk about in Step 3 for Starting a Small Business: Verify Your Profits? In that discussion, I created an imaginary business which needs to sell 4000 $2 cups of coffee each month in order to work for the business owner.

Here’s where the time thing comes in again… Almost certainly, the business won’t sell 4000 cups of coffee the first month. Instead, maybe people will buy 1000 cups of coffee. And so what the business owner needs is time to grow the monthly sales.

If growing the sales comes naturally just because potential customers see the coffee cart as they walk or drive to work–and this natural growth adds 500 cups a month to the cart’s sales–then the business owner needs to have enough “time” to get through the six month ramp, as the little table below shows.