The worst of the recession is now behind us and although times are still tough, businesses are slowly beginning to recover. It may be that you have been dreaming of running your own business for many years, or perhaps you are stuck in a dead-end job and need a change from the treadmill of doom. Either way, it doesn’t really matter why you are ready to take the leap – now is an excellent time to join the ranks of small business owners and entrepreneurs and here’s why.
Start Small and Prosper
Starting a small business is a risk. There is no guarantee of success, no matter how brilliant your ideas and entrepreneurial flair. Even seasoned businessmen and women have to deal with multiple business failures before they finally find their feet and achieve success, but the best way to minimise your chances of failure, start small and work at your venture on the side if you don’t have many resources to fall back on.
Part-time ventures are far easier for inexperienced entrepreneurs as there is less risk attached. Instead of jumping in at the deep end, work on your business in the evenings and at weekends until things take off. Online businesses are perfect in this regard, but really any business can be worked on part-time in the early days.
Use Technology to Keep Running Costs Low
Technology makes it easy for entrepreneurs to keep their running costs low in the early days. Computers and hardware is relatively inexpensive and anyone with a laptop, an internet connection and a bit of tech savvy can build an e-commerce website and start trading almost immediately. Even productivity software can be accessed for free – open source software such as Open Office is free and easy to use, so why pay for MS Office when you have a free version available?
The key to keeping your business’s running costs low is to make technology work for you. For example, don’t use a landline to make calls. Use Skype or web chat programmes instead, particularly if you are calling clients or suppliers in other countries. Even video conferencing can be conducted for free via software such as Skype, which means you don’t need to invest in equipment or rent a conference suite the next time you have a video conference call to organise.
Join the Global Marketplace
Thanks to technology, the global marketplace is accessible to small businesses and entrepreneurs everywhere. Even small traders can reach new markets with the aid of e-commerce websites. Use social networking to reach out to customers outside of your local area and take advantage of the resources the internet has to offer. There is no limit to what you can achieve in the 21st century.
There is Less Competition
One positive to come out of the long recession is that many small businesses have gone to the wall in the last few years. It may sound harsh, but their loss is your gain. With so many players out of the game competition is not as tough, so new entrepreneurs have a good chance of staking their claim in the marketplace.
Harness the Talent
Another bonus of a long recession is that there are many talented and experienced individuals in the job market looking for someone to give them a job. For small businesses this is a godsend as you should be able to take your pick of a vast and varied labour force. It also means that wages are lower and therefore you won’t have to pay top dollar in order to attract a good candidate.
Starting a business can be scary, especially if you have a family to support, but as long as listen to those who are more experienced and are willing to work hard, you can make it work for you.