Launching Your Business In Bad Economic Times

Launching Your Business In Bad Economic Times

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Many federal government officials and business analysts are declaring the most recent recession “over” a startling admission given sustained near double-digit unemployment and continued challenges in the real estate market. Plenty of Americans are struggling, trying to find enough work to pay their bills and keep their homes.

Tough Year Ahead?

Likely, 2010 will be challenging no matter what sort of “recovery” takes place. Unlike previous recessions, where small businesses led the country into a new era of economic prosperity, many business owners are still struggling, doing what they can to survive.

What does it take to start a business? Not much. An idea and a handshake can get you going.

What does it take to start a business? Not much. An idea and a handshake can get you going.

Oddly, this may turn out to be an excellent time for you to launch your own business for the simple reason you may have exhausted all other options. Weeks of looking for work have given way to months, with some people approaching their first full year of unemployment. Instead of waiting for what may be a lackluster rebound, perhaps starting a new business is the best approach.

Launch Your Business

These days, many small businesses don’t have to be well capitalized in order to get going. If you own a computer, have a telephone and some space where you can work, then you have the makings of a “world headquarters” for your business. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can launch your business in the worst of economic times:

Low Overhead – Likely, you’re launching your business without any employees. If that is the case, then the only person you have to be concerned about is you. Resist the lure of renting an office or storefront, handling whatever you can right from your home. Sure, if your enterprise requires foot traffic, you could be in violation of your neighborhood covenant or operating contrary to township rules, but for most other situations your home is your business address.

Advertising Dollars – The lure of starting a business means that you need to tell people you are open for business. Unfortunately, advertising can get expensive, something you may not be able to afford in the first place. Look to “getting the word out” in cost free ways, by becoming actively engaged with your customers through social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook while making good use of your telephone to “cold call” your customers.

Contract Workers – Instead of hiring people, consider working with contractors who can provide the services you need, when you need them. Online, you can find article writers, marketing professionals, accountants and other qualified people who can complete tasks for a fee with no permanent obligation to you. You’ll only need to issue 1099 forms at year end if their earnings exceed $600.

Barter Services – Although cash is king, bartering can certainly come in handy if you simply do not have the funds to pay for a needed service. Exchange your accounting skills for someone who offers their marketing talent, keeping in mind that the IRS considers bartering to be “taxable” which means that you’ll be required to report your exchange on your income taxes.

Of course, not every business will succeed but not starting a business in the first place won’t reveal if you have what it takes to make a go of it. Find something you like doing, do it with all of your might and you just may set the groundwork for your passion, one that pays you for what you love too!

Photo Credit: Mike Johnson

Adv. — Are you looking to start a new business? Why not consider purchasing an existing enterprise? The National Association of Certified Business Brokers can help you get started while The Novars Group offers tips and consultation for prospective and current owners.

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Categories: Business Services

Comments

  1. Marie
    Marie 24 September, 2009, 08:41

    I agree with the point you make about bartering. You need to remember the IRS. From my own experience with bartering it has really helped my business during slow times. I have bartered my marketing skills for other goods and services on a site called http://barterquest.com

  2. Matthew C. Keegan
    Matthew C. Keegan Author 24 September, 2009, 13:11

    Thanks, Marie. I have heard other business owners who have said much the same thing. For them, bartering has spelled the difference between keeping their businesses going or shutting shop.

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