I've been getting a form of this question a lot lately:
"Should I start or expand my business in this economy?" Typically the question comes from people who are seeing some change in their industry or have been laid off or are fearing a layoff and my answer often surprises people.
I don't believe that there has been a better time to start or expand a business than today. While many people are "ducking and running" there is still a very wide section of society that has been fundamentally untouched by these changes. They still spend they way they have, they still do the things that they want to do and they are still looking to expand their version of the dream. Inc. magazine reports that a large percentage of the businesses in this year's INC 500 were founded within months of 9/11, those were uncertain times!
I strongly agree with Seth Godin who said "If I wasn't already running my own business today is the day I'd start one."
I believe owning your own business whether a part time business that you run from home while you maintain full time employment or a full time business is the key to long term financial stability. Micro businesses are a way to make significant pieces of income while
leveraging the current tax code in your favor. Chris Guillebeau is someone who has exemplified this lifestyle and chronicles it in his blog and his unconventional wisdom books, check out what he says about micro business here.
When I first started to make the move into online business from what had been a traditional offline business I had modest goals. At first I just wanted to replace my car payment, then my house payment, then a percentage of my revenue from offline sources. That approach was fundamentally a micro business approach and it worked out phenomenally well. I propose that that style of thinking will help you too whether you are trying to create a new stream of income to shore up your current business or if you are getting serious about being in control of your destiny and not being beholden to an employer in the future.
Dr. Rachna Jain wrote beautiful piece on the psychology of the economy in her blog here.
Her message should ring true for business owners, entrepreneurs and would be entrepreneurs.
I hope that this note helps you if you've been struggling with what to do in these awkward economic times. And I do wish you the greatest of personal success in the months and years to come. It has been a crazy year for all of us and the roller coaster ride is likely to
continue a while longer . . . and for people like you and me that can be a very profitable thing! Check out Chris' work here.
P.S. Malcom Gladwell (Author of Blink and The Tipping Point) has a new
book out called Outliers a look at success, fan you'll want this one for sure! If you want to read the rest of Seth Godin's post you'll find it here: