Three Great Reasons to Start a Business Now!
Thinking about starting a new business? You can always find plenty of reasons to wait. And if you talk with friends and family, almost surely you'll get plenty of encouragement to do something else with your time, money and energy.
Maybe the advice will be, "Go back to school," if you're out of work and finding the job market impossible. Or maybe the advice will be, "Wait until the economy improves," if you've got a job you can't stand.
But here's a bit of advice from a CPA who serves hundreds of small business owners: Don't discard too quickly the idea of entrepreneurship. Even in a weak economy--no, make that especially in a weak economy, you have three excellent reasons to consider starting your own business:
Start a Business Now Reason #1: We Need Jobs!
People start businesses out of self-interest, of course. One entrepreneur may want more freedom in his work. Another one may want a higher income or more financial security in her work.
But make no mistake: Entrepreneurs also serve an incredibly important social purpose.... a purpose that people too often forget.
A successful entrepreneur, when you boil the job down to its essence, creates or fine-tunes a new business model or process in an attempt to create a successful new business. That's the gig.
And while the result of success often means financial rewards and financial freedom for the entrepreneur, huge social benefits accrue to the wider community. That new business, for example, pays significant state and federal income taxes, which support all sorts of useful programs and services. And then, perhaps even more significant, that new business creates new jobs. And sometimes lots of new jobs.
And that's the first reason you may want to considering starting your own business: Somebody needs to do it. Especially in a weak economy. And if you don't, then someone else will need to pick up the ball and run with it.
Start a Business Now Reason #2: Change Creates Opportunity
When the economy changes, of course, that change is scary. Some big businesses that should have known better and could have been prepared for this financial storm are getting terribly beat up. More than a few won't survive.
Furthermore, yes, consumers who've hunkered down aren't spending as freely as they did just a few weeks or months ago. And that's scary, too.
But all the change also automatically creates wonderful new opportunities.
To use an awkward but obvious example, people who've lost their homes because they can't afford their subprime mortgages now need new places to live. And there are other new or expanded markets for products and services which result from the recent changes in the economy.
A syrupy bromide like "When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade!" truly should be the clever entrepreneur's philosophy in this environment. The glass is only half full if you see it that way...
Start a Business Now Reason #3: Exploit the Bargains
One other huge reason exists for starting a business right now--even well before the economy gets better. And here that reason is: While some of the resources you need to start a business are in short supply--bank loans, for one example, and consumer spending, for another--other resources can be picked up for pennies on the dollar.
Within the ranks of recently unemployed investment and mortgage bankers are many clever people who, a few months ago, you wouldn't have been able to afford to hire. Now, maybe, who knows?
And think about those businesses which have failed. Most of the stuff that the failed businesses owned will probably be auctioned off for peanuts.
One final angle on this: Even if you're buying stuff from healthy businesses that will get through the current financial storm just fine, thank you, you'll find these vendors showing more flexibility and creativity in their terms.
In summary, for an entrepreneur wanting to easily find great workers, this economy presents tons of affordable human talent. If an entrepreneur needs gently used assets that were employed in any way, shape or form in some troubled industry, bargains abound. And if an entrepreneur needs a landlord or key supplier to cut just a bit of slack, this is the time to ask for that special favor.
About the author:
Seattle CPA Stephen L. Nelson edits and publishes the popular limited liability company informational website, LLCs Explained. Nelson is also the author of the small business best-seller QuickBooks for Dummies.