Monday, November 7, 2011

Is this a Good Time to Start a Business?

This is a question that creates a lot of controversy. There are those who say that financially difficult times are not good for starting a new business. Others disagree and believe these can be excellent times for creating a new business.

For example...

In an August 10, 2011 Small Business Center article entitled: "Is a Recession Really the Right Time to Start Working for Yourself? Maybe Not.." Liza Porteus Viana points to a piece of recent research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland that found while the rate of self-employment increased during the recession, the number of self-employed individuals returning to company provided employment grew even faster. So, the overall number of self-employed actually decreased.

However, in an October 17, 2008 USA TODAY article, renowned business author Rhonda Abrams boldly stated that times of financial downturn have historically proven to be the best time to start a new business. This is an especially interesting view since Rhonda is president of The Planning Shop and has published several well received books aimed specifically at entrepreneurs

As Rhonda points out, a number of major businesses were started during either recessions or depressions. They include such giants as: Proctor & Gamble, Disney, Alcoa, McDonald's, General Electric and Johnson & Johnson.

What Can We Conclude From This?

There is every reason to boost up our spirits, tighten our belts down a notch and move forward with our desire to start a business

This is obviously very counter to the doom-and-gloom forecasts we see and read almost daily since the economy collapsed in 2008. With all of the negative news for the past several years about the difficult economy, it's easy to feel that starting a new business is a fool's dream.

The reality, however, may be very different. This may in fact be the best time to start a business.

Why? Well, because no matter how tough the times may be, we still live in a commercially driven world! And, that's great news for the entrepreneur.

In fact, Liza Porteus Viana concludes her article by showing how Internet based workers and businesses are at the core of the new entrepreneurial start ups. It's the old brick-and-mortar style businesses that are having a harder time right now.

So, as your business start up coach, here is what I recommend for starting your own business during these economic times:

Start The Business Development Process With These Preliminary Steps...

1. If you're employed DO NOT QUIT YOUR JOB! That's right...stay with it. Having a steady income will allow you to finance your daily lifestyle and give you the means to start your own business.

If you're unemployed, keep looking for a steady job! Again, having a steady income stream will do wonders for your lifestyle, your confidence level and the chance to build a business properly. Otherwise, the tendency to shortcut critical steps in the business development process can sabotage your efforts from the very beginning.

2. Simultaneously, sit down with a sheet (or several) of paper and begin writing down your business idea. For now, quick bullet points will do. This is important in helping you clarify what your business will be. I'll discuss this process in much more detail in future posts. But for now just get this started. It takes far more time to get this exactly right than you may think.

3. Watch for future posts on this site where I'll discuss specific ways to tackle the business start up process. Also, please subscribe to this blog and send your requests for topics on which you would like specific information.

This site is for the serious entrepreneur! That means both time and work will be needed to successfully start your business. These are the same ingredients needed for keeping that business going and prospering.

So, buckle your virtual seat belts because here we go!

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