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Is there such a thing as the “best” time of year to start a business? There are 30.2 million small businesses in the United States, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). While these businesses certainly didn’t start up at the exact same time, I do wonder if there are certain times of year where it’s more ideal to launch a business than others.
Let’s take a look, season by season, to determine if there’s really a “best” time to open your doors for business.
Spring comes off the heels of the long winter, and of those months, January tends to be one of the busiest for processing incorporation paperwork at Secretary of State offices throughout the United States. Once the documents have been processed, entrepreneurs who filed early are poised to open their doors to the public.
This may sound pretty obvious, but the first few months that a business is open can make or break it, and spring is an important time for your startup to grow. Seasonal business or not, for those launched in the springtime, this is their time to flourish.
Outside of the U.S., spring is said to be the favored time to start a business in the United Kingdom. A report from the Aldermore Future Attitudes revealed that in 2017, UK small businesses launched in spring tended to triumph over companies created during other seasons.
For many, summer means taking a break to relax. On the other hand, for entrepreneurs, summer brings a motivational burst of inspiration to start a seasonal business. The beauty of launching a summer business is that it’s a great time for entrepreneurs of all ages to throw their hats in the ring. A grade school student can open up a lemonade stand, a college student may start up that sporting goods company they’ve always dreamed of, and someone tired of his 9-to-5 may start side hustling with a lawn care service.
The timeframe is also fairly flexible, as many seasonal businesses can remain operational once the summer has ended, or reopen again the following year on a seasonal basis.
Are entrepreneurs more productive during the fall months? According to studies, the answer may be yes.
Task-management software company, Redbooth, announced intriguing new research in 2018. Compiled over four years, the data revealed that the average worker is more productive in autumn. In fact, the average worker is 20 percent more productive in autumn than in the winter (as well as 11 percent more productive during the same timeframe than in spring and 7 percent more productive than in summer). The study also found that the most productive months of the year are September, October and November.
Productivity aside, what else does autumn bring to the table for entrepreneurs? The speculation is that the changing season itself can be a big motivator. Fall meant going to back to school as kids, and now it means back to business for adults. Summer offers enough time to focus on getting the kinks and issues of the business ironed out, readying it to launch in autumn.
Many entrepreneurs add “start a business” to their list of goals and resolutions for the New Year. More often than not, they’ll use the first few months of the year to get a head start on getting the business up and running.
However, we typically recommend that entrepreneurs looking to file a business close to the end of the year should consider consider a delayed filing for their businesses, versus a standard incorporation filing. A delayed filing allows you to file your paperwork now, and you are able to set an “effective on” date about a month out. This is ideal for anyone forming an LLC or corporation for their business, as it ensures that the entity is approved and formed at the start of the new year.
What if I can’t decide when to start my business?
Ultimately, there is no true “best” time of the year to start a business, but there is also no “worst” time of the year to be an entrepreneur. There are certainly benefits to starting a business during a particular season depending on your specific business, but the best thing you can do is prepare yourself.
You’ll need to draft a thorough business plan, incorporate the company, file for business licenses and trademarks, and file any other required registration paperwork. After you’re done, sit down and hold on tight. You’re about to go on the ride of your life!
Originally published Dec. 17, 2018.