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Considering opening your own business? Depending on who you ask, starting a small business in an unpredictable and unkind economy is either a savvy decision or a sure fire way to bankruptcy and other financial ruin. Its true arguments can be made for both; however, it’s important to not allow others determine those decisions that affect the rest of your life. Your decisions affect your family and your livelihood and you need those closest to you on board.  And too, much as you might hate the thought, you’ll need your banker on your team as well.  Assuming you have those folks on board, it’s now a matter of doing a bit of research into how well start up businesses do in a recession.

Many believe priorities, timetables and results at different milestones are drastically shifted in a weak economy. A. Harrison Barnes, founder of says that’s not necessarily true; in fact, it’s even more important to remain focused, on track and disciplined when the economy is less than ideal.  Sure, there are factors that must be considered and concessions made, but it doesn’t define a small business’s action plan. It’s those factors that allowed Microsoft and General Electric to not only open their doors during an economic downswing, but thrive in that same downswing.  If Hewlett-Packard can run with an idea and create the conglomerate it is today during the Great Depression, then certainly, anything is possible.

Starting your business now gives you leverage over companies that choose to wait until the official announcement that declares the recession over, says A. Harrison Barnes.  You’ve already grabbed the best talent, courtesy of, you’ve carefully treaded the uncertainties and your hard work and dedication is no longer considered a gamble, but rather, a beacon for those just now beginning to take their own risks and gambles.  And when you think about it, you had no less at stake when you began your own journey than those who waited for better timing.

There are resources available, including small business loans from the SBA.  Granted, you might find the banks, venture capitalists and even the Small Business Administration will want to delve a bit further, ask a few more questions and demand a more detailed business plan before any money is proffered, but those most dedicated will already have their bases covered and meeting these demands will be no problem.  Besides, if you succeed with securing start up funds, it should speak volumes in that you were able to provide a solid business plan to those who control the purse strings actually believe in.  Not an easy task, even in the best economic climates.

Bottom line: a dose of common sense, patience and a well-researched business plan can take you further than any news headlines ever will.  Sure, the air might feel a bit heavier now, but taking that deep breath and moving forward anyway should be enough to convince you that success is yours to define.

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