The recession is so ten minutes ago. It’s time to ride the uptick. Across the board, spending is up, hiring is up, and the Consumer Price Index is on the rise. For the first time since May, the CBIZ Small Business Employment Index is in positive territory, reporting a hiring increase for the month of August among companies with 300 or fewer staffers. In the game of Double Dutch jump rope that is entrepreneurship, now is the time to leap. While hiring is up, the talent pool remains deep. Lots of qualified people have been sitting on the sidelines the last few years. That’s good for when you have to hire people.
But wait, there’s more! Your startup costs are nowhere near what they would’ve been in years gone by. The physical stuff that used to be mandatory for running a business " office space, filing cabinets, boxes of paper, brochures, and how about those paper clips "aren’t needed in many situations today. Sales of office supplies, and specifically paper sales, are on a downward trend. According to The American Forest & Paper Association, at the end of 2012, total writing-printing paper shipments decreased four percent year-over-year from 2011. You might not even need phones! It’s a BYOD world and you could be living the mobile dream, with a team of employees that communicate efficiently from anywhere at a lower cost.
If that very short receipt from Staples isn’t enough of a come on, consider other developments on the tech front. There’s the whole cloud thing. The cloud is, basically, the Internet, but it’s more about the concept that you can store stuff " files, applications, etc. " out there. Which means you don’t need to store it in your office, which means you don’t have to buy a bunch of expensive servers to run your business. When you need more storage space on the cloud, you can get it in less time than it takes to update your Facebook status.
Open source software means you’re no longer paying for licenses and you don’t have to shell out for software that will be outdated in 12 months, reducing both start-up costs and ongoing expenses. UK banking giant Barclays reports that it has saved billions, reducing IT spending by 90 percent using open source and cloud computing.
And speaking of Facebook, social media is an excellent business resource. Why? Because it’s free. Creating a company Facebook page, promoting through your social networks, offering deals on Twitter, and building a following on Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest are all ways of getting publicity through word of mouth. This is opportunity.
All of these factors combine to make this a great time to start a business. Costs are lower, opportunity is greater, and your dream is waiting.
About the author:Farrah Kennedy knows franchise prospecting and knows it well. Having served as the General Manager at Franchise Gator, the leading on-line directory for franchise and business opportunity information, until December 2013, she managed all aspects of the business, including franchisor relationships, franchise leads, P&L and strategic objectives and growth, as well as taking care of Gator Crew who affectionally referred to her as 'GatorMom'.
Farrah began with Gator since almost the beginning - she was the first employee in October 2003. Before Franchise Gator, Farrah started her career in lead generation in 1997 with NewHomesDirect.com, a research site for potential new home owners where she served as the Director of Operations for 5 years.
Farrah now serves as Senior Manager at Mail Chimp.