Synchronize Your Watches

When it comes to going public, timing is everything.

Initial public offerings are the great brass ring of entrepreneurship. They make you rich; they make you famous for a little while. They offer the unmistakable signal that you and your company have arrived.

But don't confuse matters. Just because you meet with success doesn't mean an IPO is in the offing. Aside from size, scope and industry issues, the timing for an IPO has to be right.

At the broad-brush level, the issue of timing would seem to be a simple one. Is the market receptive to IPOs or isn't it? Timing takes on much more dimension when you're deciding whether to go for the public's gold.

David R. Evanson's newest book about raising capital is called Where to Go When the Bank Says No: Alternatives for Financing Your Business(Bloomberg Press). Call (800)233-4830 for ordering information. Art Beroff, a principal of Beroff Associations in Howard Beach, New York helps companies raise capital and go public. He is a member of the National Advisory Committee for the SBA.

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This article was originally published in the November 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Synchronize Your Watches.

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