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if you are using regular batteries I can't help you, but if your using rechargeable batteries then the cause is old batteries, after many charges they don't charge well anymore. and you need to replace them
put in a fresh set of batteries. The ready light won't turn on until the flash capacitor is fully charged. And if your battery is weak, it can take very long (minutes!) to fill the capacitor. You still can fire the flash even it is not ready, it will just dump whatever power it stored in the capacitor.
If one cell has died, there will be enough power to power up the flash, but not enough to charge it reasonably fast. It may also stop the other cells charging up properly if they are charged together. I've had this problem with poor quality rechargeables before. I think flashguns put pretty heavy demands on batteries.