There's no "perfect" time to start a business.
General Motors, IBM, and Disney were all founded right before the Great Depression. Google, Salesforce, eBay, and Amazon all came out of the dot-com bubble. And Facebook, Twitter, and many others made it through the economic crisis of '08.
Whether you start a company before, during, or after a recession or global crisis does not necessarily mean you are going to be more successful in the long term. If anything, global crises are what highlight the next generation of problems the world needs to solve to move forward--which gives rise to dozens and dozens of new companies, new markets, and new industries.
As we find ourselves in another global crisis, right now presents an interesting opportunity for entrepreneurs.
I believe entrepreneurship and starting a company stems from having a great idea at the moment of time you're living in. What's interesting about our current environment is that we are all (mostly) sheltering in place. Many of us have been forced to work remotely for some period of time, or for the foreseeable future. That means we are re-examining many aspects of our lives we otherwise took for granted. And all of this leads to exciting opportunities to build new products, new solutions, and a new world.
Without long commutes, without as much of a social life, without many of the things that used to keep us busy, some people have potentially more time than they've ever had to invest in getting an idea off the ground.
Here are three reasons why right now is actually the perfect time to become an entrepreneur.
1. If you can build a business in the environment today, you will only be stronger tomorrow.
We don't know how long this recession will last. However, if you can create a company that is valuable to people in an environment that is full of declining demand and rising unemployment, you are only going to be stronger when the economy starts to improve.
Starting a business now means you will be even more frugal with expenses, hiring, and what you need to get your company off the ground. Those are good, scrappy skills to have -- no matter the environment -- when you are an entrepreneur
2. Right now, a lot of very talented people are looking for work.
It's not just small businesses that are being affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Even the largest companies and most heavily funded startups are laying people off right now.
Right now, the market is full of talented individuals looking for their next opportunity. Especially as more and more companies move to remote workforces, this will open even more doors for the right workers to find the right companies, and vice versa.
Now is a great time to find a co-founder and other teammates and build a category-defining company.
3. Businesses that solve problems in a crisis grow faster as a result.
Generally, new consumer startups tend to be at the forefront of where the world is going -- with a digital-first focus, content heavy education and differentiation, and convenience focus for their customers. For those reasons, it's no surprise that many of these businesses are suited for the current environment.
But what about companies that aren't so lucky to be benefiting from these changes? Rule number one of entrepreneurship: When things go wrong, you don't just give up, crawl back into bed, and eat ice cream. You get to work.
There's no perfect time to start a business. What matters is how motivated you are to begin, and if you have the perseverance to leverage any situation to make lemonade from lemons.