Recession: The best time to start a business?

It's official. With two consecutive quarters of negative growth, the UK is in recession and, so we're led to believe its all doom and gloom.

However, I don't know about you but I'm optimistic. With every downturn, there are opportunities; opportunities to start new businesses; that idea that you've had mulling around in the back of your mind for many years that you've resigned to a pipe dream; that business you've discussed setting up with a friend, that 'life' got in the way of and now several years later its no longer on the agenda.

Time to open shop

Now could be a very good time to resurrect those ideas; to dust off that business plan, to get out there and make a start at opening shop. Some people would go as far to say that now we're in a recession, --recession of course is just a word, there's never been a better time to start a business.

Many startups, startup in economic downturns

Did you know, in the USA during the great depression, "more people became millionaires during this time than in any other time in American history"?

People like Colonel Sanders who founded Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. I guess you can work out their company. It has been cited that companies like Facebook, Twitter and Skype amongst others were started during an economic downturn.

There are many blogs and journals indicating why this is the case, some of which are linked above. Some straightforward reasons are, labour cost is low, rents are low, people generally are more careful with their money and thus make it go further.

Sometimes, being pushed can be the best thing

Despite all this, there are natural fears that we may often have about taking the plunge. You might even have the choice taken from you by being made redundant in which case all thoughts of job security go out the window. This forces you to think about the future. If you get a good payout, the risk is much less.

I was one of those people where the choice was removed as I was made redundant back in June last year. I was planning on going self-employed, but not quite at that point, and I had been self-employed before so it was familiar territory. Whilst I'd love to say I am one of the 'recessions millionaires', I'm not. Certainly no where near that category. But I'm busy and finding that more and more leads are coming in over recent months; some turning into actual work.

Passionate people with ideas

I absolutely love chatting with people about new ideas and helping them think through their business initiatives, and due to the recession -or the impending one before it was official, I'm finding this happening more and more.

Just in the past few weeks I've had the pleasure of working with a client getting a dinner party business off the ground, taking forward a travel app idea, developing a craft based business, discussing a theology resources idea, a driving tuition app, a multimedia business and more.

Its an exciting time seeing these seeds of ideas some of which have been in the minds of their owners for years, taking shape, ready to be released into the wild.

The recession obviously has its pains for many people, but don't neglect to see the great opportunities waiting to spring forth. 

Over to you

So what's your idea? What type of business would you start -if you're not doing what you love already?