Why This Is the Year to Start Your Small Business
by Caitlin Moriarity
Have you been putting off starting a business you've been dreaming about? Here are 5 reasons why this is a good time to start a small business.
Have you always dreamed of starting your own small business? If so, now is the time to start dreaming and start taking action to get your small business up and running. Running your own small business offers you the chance to follow your passion, be accountable only to yourself and your customers, flexible working hours and conditions, and other benefits. Here are five reasons the time is right for you to take the plunge:
It’s Still Risky Out There – So Why Take That Risk For Someone Else? Economic recovery has been slow and businesses are still watching their pennies – which means you are at risk of being laid off or otherwise out of a job. As long as you are working for someone else, you have little to no control over how or when this could happen. When you work for yourself, your success – or your failure – depends on your own actions, hard work and decisions.
The Cloud Provides Cost-Effective Tools: Cloud-based software tools and mobile technology are giving traditional packaged software applications a run for their money. Packaged software generally costs thousands of dollars, out of reach of most small business startups. Cloud services and mobile technology, on the other hand, has built in scalability – so you can pay a reasonable price for the amount of services you need for the size of your company. Get cloud accounting from Freshbooks, real-time business analytics from GeckoBoard, turn your iPad into a helpdesk with ZenDesk – whatever small business service you need, the cloud can provide.
Social Media Makes It Easy To Connect With Customers: Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest can help you not only connect with new customers, but also to provide real-time customer service to your existing customer base. You can download social media clients like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to help you organize your customer interactions. And best of all, most of these tools are inexpensive to use, and in many cases completely free.
Alternate Forms of Financing Are Everywhere: Banks are still being tightfisted with loans, but that’s not your only option. Look at Anita Sarkeesian, who turned to online crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to fund five web videos on Tropes Vs. Women in Videogames, for her webseries Feminist Frequency. She received 25 times the amount of funding she was hoping to raise, and was able to turn her part-time project into a full-time concern. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo and peer-to-peer lending platforms like Prosper and Lending Club offer a variety of alternative funding options for entrepreneurs.
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act and Startup America: One of the few acts passed in 2012 with bipartisan support, the JOBS Act encourages funding of small businesses in the US by easing various securities regulations – for example, new small businesses now have five years instead of two years to make sure they are compliant with Sarbanes-Oxley. Meanwhile, the White House also unveiled Startup America, a public/private initiative to promote entrepreneurship by providing entrepreneurs access to services, funding and mentorship. Startup America currently hosts regional events to reach out to entrepreneurs all across the country.
All of these factors add up to create more support for small business growth than ever before. But the number one reason you should start your small business this year is: If you don’t start your small business now, then when will you start it? It’s easy to put off our goals, telling ourselves the time isn’t right or circumstances aren’t optimal. But those are just excuses. It’s time to build the small business of your dreams, and not let anything get in the way.
Copyright © 2014 Attard Communications, Inc. May not be copied, reprinted, or reproduced without express permission from Attard Communications, Inc.
Caitlin Moriarity is a member of the millennial generation and a freelance writer specializing in business and technology. Visit her website at www.caitlinmoriarity.com.