Why Now is the Perfect Time to Start a Business

by | First Steps

When we think of starting a business, we often envision economic boom times. Bull markets, investors handing out money like cheap beer at a frat party… it’s easy to think of taking the leap when times are good. 

When times aren’t so good, our instinct is to pull back (I call it “turtle mode”). This kind of thinking leaves a lot of would-be entrepreneurs missing out on a golden opportunity. 

Disruption creates opportunity. 

There’s no denying we’re in the midst of worldwide financial uncertainty, with disruptions in nearly every industry and widespread confusion across the board. It’s natural to take a look around and decide to hit the pause button. 

Perhaps the most visible example of this is the wildly popular “my plans vs. 2020” meme. People show two pictures. The first represents the plans they had for this year. It’s usually a representation of a life that’s happy, carefree and idyllic, like a child in a meadow or winning the lottery. That’s their “plans” picture. The second image is their 2020 picture, usually represented by darkness, evil or chaos. Like Darth Vader. Millions of people have made their own versions of this. There’s even a generator where you can make your own. 

It’s good to find things to laugh about, but I’m going to level with you. You don’t have to cancel all your plans, and you can keep Darth Vader from blowing up your business dreams. Now is the perfect time to start a business — or improve the business you have — and here’s why. 

Everybody has more time. 

Time is a largely invisible asset. We feel it when it’s scarce, but we often don’t notice when we have enough. 

When lockdowns, quarantines and stay-at-home orders were first put in place, many people found themselves in free fall. All of our time anchors disappeared and most of us were left reeling. Eventually, we built some new routines, and in some places, our restrictions have eased or been lifted. 

But across the board, almost everybody has a lot more time on their hands. Commutes, business travel, taking your kids to soccer practice — most of us have entire categories of time sucks that have simply disappeared. 

This is important on several levels. 

Yes, we have more time to focus on our business-building efforts. But entrepreneurs aren’t islands, and we need to interact with a lot of people out in the world. Potential customers, suppliers, partners, investors, mentors — almost everyone has at least a little more time than they used to.

Which brings me to my next point.

Formalities and gatekeepers are disappearing. 

You and I both know that you don’t build a business in a vacuum. 

At every stage of development there are a ton of people involved. Maybe you’re looking for funding. Maybe you’re interviewing customers. Maybe you’re researching the competition. Or you’re negotiating with suppliers. Maybe you’re hoping to speak with a mentor. Whatever it is you’re doing, one thing I know for sure: it involves other people.

One of the most frustrating and time-consuming parts of reaching other professionals is… bureaucracy. Infrastructure. Gatekeepers. You have to make an appointment through somebody’s assistant. This person’s at a conference. That person’s on vacation. Your meeting gets pushed back… again. There’s a lot of red tape to work through. 

One of the upsides of the pandemic is that obstacles are evaporating. Decision makers are answering their own email for the first time since forever. They’re answering their phones instead of screening through voicemail or their assistants. Meetings that used to require plane tickets now happen on Zoom (with a dog in the background and a preschooler on the lap).

Today’s quarantine world is inescapably more casual, less structured and allows for more access. You can actually reach the people who matter to your business without fighting your way through layers of gatekeepers.

Your golden opportunity to do it right. 

Listen, building a business is a long game. In the early stages, we’re investing our time, our energy and our money. We’re investing in our dream, turning it into something meaningful that will live and grow and evolve for a long time. It’s easy to lose track of that and let our daily responsibilities and other peoples’ priorities get in the way. 

But now we’ve been given this incredible gift. 

We can take advantage of this hiatus from “normal” life to make smart decisions. We can use this gift to build our business the right way. Some of the biggest companies in the world got their start during recessions and depressions. General Electric, IBM, FedEx, Trader Joe’s, even Disney all started in what were considered to be the worst possible times. But great ideas and passionate founders can thrive in any time — and especially now, when they can take the time to get it right from the start.

Now really is a great time to start a business. 

This year can still be your year to start a business and turn your dream a reality. Paradoxically, with more time, easy access to key people and this perfect window to put the fundamentals in place, there might never be a better opportunity. 

If you think you’re ready to get started and you could use some support and advice, I’d love to help. Get in touch and let me know you’re looking to schedule a free initial consultation. Because, hey, I’ve got some extra time on my hands.

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