Are you dreaming of starting your own business but hesitant to get things moving? If so, you’re not alone. Many future entrepreneurs face the same concern, never quite sure if now is the right time. However, when it comes to small business, 2019 shows some signs of promise, and if you’re considering taking the plunge, this year may prove to be one worth the leap of faith. This is particularly true when you consider the following reasons you should start a business in 2019.
Why you should start your business in 2019
1. Running a small business is easier and more affordable than it was in the past
Don’t get me wrong, opening and running your own company is challenging, and in the grand scheme of things, it can get quite expensive. But today’s entrepreneurs will find that the tools and processes required for operations are often well within their budget (sometimes even free!) and easy to use.
This is all thanks to a boom in technology, specifically apps, that have simplified a lot of the work that once would require entire teams and departments, or at least a solid set of specialty skills. From website design tools like Wix to accounting software like Wave, there are apps that make it possible for the everyday professional to jump in without making a significant investment in necessary minutia.
For small business owners, this makes it possible to turn a side hustle or a hobby into a business without the need to hire teams or add a significant cost to what’s likely a small budget.
2. Recent tax reforms include improvements for small businesses
The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was notably a boon to big business, but small business owners can also benefit from some of the changes. For example, a new tax deduction, the 20 percent Qualified Business Income Deduction, allows business owners to deduct 20 percent of their taxable income if it’s less than $157,500 ($315,000 if filing married).
Tax laws can be complex, and that’s exponentially true of tax laws in the context of small business. If you plan on opening a business and want to know more about the relationship between your business finances and taxes (which you should!), it’s best to talk to a qualified accountant who can define that relationship and keep you on the right track as you file paperwork and get ready to open up shop.
3. Existing business owners are optimistic about growth in 2019
Last year was a good year for small business owners, with many reporting positive revenue growth in 2018. While there is some market unpredictability at play in the opening weeks of 2019, many small business owners and analysts are hopeful that this trend will continue into the new year.
This sentiment is backed by a recent JPMorgan Chase Business Lending Outlook Report released early this month, which showed that 74 percent of small business remain optimistic about their financial future in the coming months.
This is mixed with some tensions and concerns with regards to global trade and tariffs, so potential small business owners should consider the implications of economic changes as they apply to their industry, customer base and inventory or supply needs; however, the outlook for 2019 remains positive.
4. Big banks are approving more small business loans
Though 2018 ended with some significant blows to the stock market, most analysts believe that 2019 will be a good year for small business owners, specifically when it comes to lending.
The increase is in part because of an optimistic outlook for business owners, but it’s also a byproduct of increasing Fed rates, which make it more profitable for lenders and institutions, including the SBA, to extend loans.
5. Your network is growing
While the sentiments driving today’s economy and overall small business outlook trends serve as reasons to consider opening a business this year, there are also factors within your own life that could indicate that now is a good time to start up. One of those is related to the people you know and the connections you make.
In order to have a successful business, you’ll need to have an engaged and growing customer base, and for many entrepreneurs, that means having a strong network before launch. This could be existing clients or customers that already support your business, as is the case when moving from a side hustle to a full-blown business. It could also mean a strong professional, social or personal network that can serve as a target audience or outlet to spread the word about your new venture.
6. There is a proven need for your product or service
A strong network is great, but if there is no existing or potential need for your product or service, you’ll find that growth can and often does become stagnant. Having a product or service that provides a specific solution to a widely held problem is a good indicator that now may be the right time.
Before you go into business, it helps to do basic market research to determine if your product or service meets a need. To do this, you’ll need a firm understanding of your target audience, competition, and any related industry or consumer trends.
This may sound complicated, and if you take a deep dive into market research, it certainly can be. However, it doesn’t need to be, and many entrepreneurs use tools like Google for basic market research, or resources like SEMRush and Tableau Public to dig a little deeper without spending a ton of money.
7. You’re in a good financial position
Opening a business can be expensive, and in many cases, entrepreneurs need to seek out some sort of funding, like loans or alternative lending options, to get the doors open.
A lack of cash-on-hand isn’t a deal breaker, but there are a lot of reasons why your existing finances can impact your decision to open a business. For instance, if you’re extremely strapped for cash, you may not be able to part with your full-time, regular paycheck, something that may be required once your business opens. Similarly, if you’re struggling under a mountain of debt or coming off a history of poor financial management practices, there is a good chance your credit score is not up to par.
Unfortunately, below average, or even average credit, in some cases, can make it difficult for you to secure a loan. Likewise, if you are approved for a loan, you may find that interest rates are significantly higher than they would be for borrowers with good or excellent credit, making your loan far less affordable.
However, if you are comfortable with your existing financial situation and you have good credit, then 2019 may be your year.
8. You’re passionate about your product or service
In a world that’s predominantly driven by concrete notions like sales numbers, conversion rates and margins, it’s often easy to overlook the abstract notions, like passion, that drive business. However, at the end of the day, passion (or a lack thereof) plays a significant role in whether or not you should open your business.
If you absolutely love what you do, if you can stand confidently behind your product or service, and if you couldn’t imagine a world where you don’t’ take the driver’s seat and become an entrepreneur, then opening a business this year may very well be the answer. If you’re lukewarm about the idea, perhaps it’s not the right time.
Opening a business is filled with challenges, and many entrepreneurs struggle to determine the best time to start up. As we begin the year, there are several economic indicators that suggest 2019 may be a good year for small business owners. However, there are also personal indicators, like your financial situation, your passion for business and existing network that can also indicate whether or not you’re primed and ready to start this new journey.
This article originally appeared on Nav.com by Jennifer Lobb.