Setting Up A Business During Austerity
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If the profligacy of the first decade of the twenty-first century in the West was remarkable, the austerity of the second is turning out to be just as intense. This is something of a problem for the millions of people who, to varying degrees, have found themselves hit with higher taxes, lower wages, fewer opportunities and – in the cases of the most unfortunate areas, like Greece and Spain – far, far worse. Despite the pressures on people, though, many are still showing an impressive entrepreneurial spirit. And this is the thing that, hopefully, will get the West back into the black in the near future.

It isn't easy to set up a business against the backdrop of austerity; in fact, it is downright tough. Money is hard to get your hands on, requiring any investments you want to make to be either small enough to pay with your own money or dependent on the few government schemes or sources of private money that are available and, therefore, subject to intense competition.

Once you have got your financing sorted out – yes, it's a big if – there is the market to consider. Needless to say much of this has seen better days, but it isn't all doom and gloom. For one thing, any great idea will be able to make ground in tough times as well as bad if it well enough executed; for another, there are plenty of markets that are growing strongly. Considering Asia or the Americas as potential customers might seem daunting, but there are certain areas in which the distance is not a problem. Anybody with ideas for services or software products like phone applications – 'apps' – or computer solutions has a very wide market indeed to step into.

Moving Aborad

Then again, if you are a relatively footloose person, you could consider moving to another city, state or country. There are plenty of places where your ideas can be a real hit – from setting up language schools (this, admittedly, is something for the English, Australians, Americans or other English speakers – or perhaps to a lesser extent the denizens of the linguistically 'bigger' nations) to consultancy. If you think that you have something to offer another part of the world and you're not afraid of a bit of travel or even a permanent change of location, then the world is potentially, as they say, your oyster.

Staying Put

Then again, if you want to stay put, there are enough opportunities that require good, small companies which, if they are well run, have plenty of room to grow. If all you have is enthusiasmhard work and a good head for business to offer, don't despair – find what is demand and provide it! Recycling, second-hand retail or house cleaning services will always need, and need a lot of at that. Any of these areas are easy to set up shop in, from scratch, with a very small amount of capital. And on the other hand, if you are innovative – if you'd like to set up a new type of shop or improve upon an old idea – there is aways room for innovations of this kind, too.

In short, times may be tough – but it is in tough times that hard work and good sense really stand out. And by the time you have got going, the chances are the economies of many Western nations should have started to recover too. If you can make it through austerity, that sets you up for the good times better than any business course I've ever heard of.


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