If you've been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug in 2009 and plan on ringing in the New Year with a new business of your own, here are some bits of advice for starting your new venture during a downturn in the economy:
- Gain good perspective. Although people are afraid of taking risks during a downturn, that doesn't mean there aren't opportunities for success! Don't be afraid of starting a new business just because of the bad economy; after all, a good business with great service and a quality service and/or product can prosper no matter what.
- Think creatively about funding. Raising capital for a start-up has always been challenging, so the current credit environment isn't all that unfamiliar to those entrepreneurs that have already gone through the process of getting funding. Think outside the box and instead of traditional bank loans, consider tapping into savings, getting family and friends to invest in the business or using a credit card to get your business off the ground.
- Take advantage of the downturn. With the ailing economy also come some benefits, such as lower prices for purchasing office space or storefronts and reduced leasing prices. You can also find great deals on just about anything, including new office furniture, technology and other supplies.
- Hire exceptional employees. Since big companies are laying off many of their talented employees, now is the best time to hire them for your own business. These people will be willing to take a pay cut and work hard to build a business from the ground up, especially if it involves work they're interested in doing.
- Soak up all the attention from the press. Since a lot of entrepreneurs will be holding out for a better economic situation, starting a business now will draw more attention than it might otherwise.
- Lock in low advertising rates. With fewer and fewer companies spending money on advertising during the downturn, you can take advantage of these lower advertising rates. And, since there are fewer advertisers to compete with, you may get even better exposure than you thought!
The state of the economy doesn't have to dictate when you start your business, so do it on your own timing -- and remember, there are actual advantages to starting your business now!