1. Everything is cheaper. Let's face it: There's great value right now in this market, as well as world markets. This is the right time for fantastic deals in virtually every category--from land and equipment to commercial office space, personnel and labor. Asset prices have been knocked down, so there is no better time to get into the real-estate or financial markets, or even into heavy equipment and construction. Some people have waited years to find value in these markets--and now their time has come.
2. You can hire more, better-qualified people. In an era when even Microsoft is laying off, you can find great resources at affordable rates. Thinking about getting your high-tech startup off the ground? There are plenty of engineers waiting to be hired. Thinking about forming a professional-services firm? There are many accountants and attorneys looking for their next opportunity.
3. People are looking to change suppliers. From a cost perspective, everything is on the table for most companies. Even if your prices are higher, if you can come in with greater value, you have a good chance at winning new business. You also have the advantage of being the new kid on the block when it comes to pitching your products and services. Many companies are desperate to find new partnerships with companies that have a different, better or more innovative way of delivering those products and services.
4. Ownership equals tax incentives. Business ownership offers a variety of tax benefits that aren't available to employees. While taxes should never be your only reason for going into business for yourself, it should be one reason to add to your "benefits of business ownership" list.
5. Family and friends don't want to (or can't) invest more money into the stock or real-estate markets. That means they may be willing to finance a portion of your new venture; or the expansion of an enterprise that has proven itself over time. The main benefit is that they know you and have a relationship with you; and if you have a solid business plan that delivers real numbers, your chances of raising the capital you need increase exponentially.