We human beings are creatures who live and die by the calendar. The problem? Reality doesn’t always match our idea of perfect timing. We try to time the stock market — then the market goes down. We try to time our home purchase — then home values tank.
We think we can predict the future, but then the present changes.
And when we try to get the timing right to start a business… somewhere in the wait for perfect timing, life happens. And the business never gets started at all.
Let’s end that today. Instead, let’s focus on today and the reasons right now may actually be the perfect time to take those entrepreneurial ambitions from fantasy to reality.
Reason #1: It’s Never Been Easier to Run a Business
This can be summed up in a single word: technology. Or, more accurately, software. A number of business solutions that once required hiring a full-time employee can now be had for relative peanuts:
QuickBooks accounting software handles income tracking, invoices, payment acceptance, bill management, tracking time, tracking inventory, even paying employees.
WordPress makes quick work of online publishing and website creation, letting you focus on the process of building an online shop (you’ve heard of Shopify, right?) or writing.
Basecamp makes online collaboration easy — so easy, in fact, that it’s possible to hire freelancers from across the world and still keep up on your latest projects.
Put it all together and you’ll find that there’s really a software solution for just about any problem you can think of. If you’re starting a business, chances are pretty good that other entrepreneurs have run into the same problem — and some of those entrepreneurs went about creating a solution.
Reason #2: It’s Difficult to “Time” the Economy No Matter When It Is
In 2013, Charles Schwab published a study in which they tested out five different ways of timing the stock market. These market timers ranged from “Peter Perfect” — a hypothetical investor who uncannily managed to always time the market just right — to “Rosie Rotten,” who always invested with the poorest timing possible.
As you might imagine, Peter Perfect’s investments proved to provide the best returns. But a close second? The simple process of investing consistently as soon as you have the money.
Over time, consistent action produced results that were almost as good as perfect timing.
Starting your own business is different than investing in the stock market, true. But the lesson is clear: unless you have a crystal ball, the second best option is to take consistent action toward achieving your goals. And that means starting that business you’ve been putting off and working on it continuously until it can start feeding itself and you.
Reason #3: Credit is Flowing Again
According to Small Business Administration lending statistics, money is flowing back into businesses in 2017. The total lending has been going up steadily since 2012 — with just one year registering a decrease. The days of trepidation after the 2008 financial crisis have long since subsided, even though evidence of that drop is still in the market in the form of lower interest rates.
But even those low interest rates might be good for entrepreneurs like yourself, depending on your financial situation.
In short, business credit is flowing again, which means that now might be a good time to get a business loan. You never know when the markets could seize up again, cutting off the flow of this credit as banks and lenders grow wary of their prospective partners.
Reason #4: Costs Have Never Been Lower
Business credit is flowing freely — but you may not need it at all.
Author Chris Guillebeau highlighted this in his book, The $100 Startup. And when you weigh the expenses that you’ll take on as a business…
Web design and hosting
Infrastructure for online shopping
…it’s really not that bad.
True, some businesses come with higher barriers to entry than others. If you’re opening a retail boutique, you’re going to need some commercial space. If you’re going to be a professional baker, you’re going to need a larger oven. But even these investments can expand with your business.
Simply planting the seed of a new business has never been this cheap or accessible. All you have to do is match the appropriate service or product to your need and let the market take care of the rest.
Reason #5: There’s Never a Bad Time to Add a Second Source of Income
Many businesses don’t start out on the traditional mission statement > business plan > business loan path. Instead, they start out as side projects by people who want more in their life than simply clocking in, clocking out, and forgetting the rest.
If we didn’t have Google’s “20% time” set aside for innovation, then we wouldn’t have Gmail. If we didn’t have the photo-sharing features of Burbn, we wouldn’t have Instagram. If Linsy O’Dell hadn’t experimented with laundry detergent recipes for a solid year, she never would have found Coconut Rain.
Case in point: you don’t have to quit your day job. If you already have a full-time income, then you have the means to support yourself while you start something up on the side — and that always means good timing.
There’s No Time Like the Present
It would be great if you had started that business years ago. Tales of young entrepreneurs and the Richard Bransons of the world always seem to make the rest of us feel bad about dilly-dallying.
But for every Richard Branson, there’s a Harland Sanders — whose “Later Career” section on Wikipedia shows up even before his time with KFC. So while it would have been great to start that business twenty years ago, we only have access to the present moment.
The only question is what you will do with this moment.