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Going public with your company can be one of the best things you do for your business. But if the timing is wrong, everything can fall apart. No matter how much you believe in the decision, it’s hard to correct things once it’s out of your hands.

Glenn Solomon discussed this topic in Fortune last year. He doesn’t agree with the long-standing idea that a company should go public when it hits the $100 million mark in annual revenue. “Going public is by no means the final step to going long,” he said. “But, it’s a big step in the process. Completing an IPO too early can have disastrous effects on the future health of your business. Conversely, waiting too long to do your IPO might allow a competitor to steal your thunder.”

Solomon believes you’re taking a major risk if you don’t have a solid foundation with the following aspects:

  • Predictability and visibility
  • Underlying growth potential
  • Vulnerability assessment

“If you nail these three,” he said, “you won’t just get to an IPO, you’ll have a chance to go long as a public company.”

Forecasting is tough. And if you don’t have complete faith in going public, hold off. “The stakes are high — take the time you need to ensure that you have built predictability into your company before your IPO,” Solomon said. Know what to do if and when unforeseen results come your way. You have to be ready for almost anything. Be prepared and understand the hard work has just begun.

Failure is not an option here. If you need time, take it. Aiming to stay in business in the long run is the goal.

Making small steps towards going public is better than diving into the deep end head-first. “You should be encouraged enough by the early results of such experiments before considering an IPO,” Solomon said.

Consider your competitor or competitors. Also consider your customers or suppliers. Would they benefit from your company going public? What about the technology you use? All of these should be discussed before going public.

Like Solomon said, going public can be the right move. Just make sure you’re doing it at the right time.