A Recession is the Perfect Time to Start a Business

January 20, 2009 | Startups

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Seems like we’re in a recession. We’ve probably been in it for longer than we realize and may stay in this down cycle for longer than any of us would prefer. But we’ve gone through it before, and the economy will grow again.

The story of Visible Logic

It was during the last recession of 2001 that I started Visible Logic. In the summer of 2001 I was working at Smith Design. The dot-com bubble was bursting and we could feel things slowing down. I was laid off.

I had been thinking about starting my own design firm “someday.” Once I had enough experience. After assessing the economic landscape I realized I was not going to be finding a full time design job in the near future. So, I could either freelance for other studios or start my own.

Great timing

I finally decided to pull the trigger. In fact, after having a few weeks to decompress, I told everyone at a weekend BBQ: “Monday I am starting my own business.” It happened that that Monday was Sept. 10th. Great first day; but the second, not so much.

My point is that if I can start a new business in the doldrums of a recession right after the worst terrorist attack in our country’s history. You can do it too!

Market conditions in your favor

I hear, anecdotally, that more businesses start-ups in a recession than at any other time. However, SBA stats don’t show that. According to their research, there has been a steady increase in the creation of new firms for the past 10 years.

But I’m not the only one who recognizes that there is opportunity. I saw this quote on the Women 2.0 web site:

“A recession is the best time to start a company. The opportunity cost is low, hiring good people is relatively easy, rent and equipment are cheap (sometimes free) and established competitors are focused on reducing costs & staying in business, not on innovation. The key is being in a good   position when the economy picks back up.”

– Rebecca Lynn, Principal, Morgenthaler Ventures

Go for it

I’m a designer, not an economic forecaster. But it seems like a good time to me. If you plan to start as a solopreneurs, here are 4 tips to consider as you brand your new firm.

One comment

  1. Mike Maddaloni - The Hot Iron | January 24, 2009 at 12:16 am

    It’s true that there is no time like the present to start your business, or do anything for that matter. A business needs to ride waves, and what way to learn about a downtime than to start in one?!

    mp/m

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