This brief essay assesses the opportunities of starting a new business during economic depressions and tough business times. Several examples have been cited of businesses that started during economic 'tough times', and yet grew up to conquer the market.True to the adage, the darkest hour is the one just before dawn, business opportunities abound mostly when the economy is at its lowest. It is when the market is low that most businesses and investors sell of their assets and investments to avoid making greater losses (Leary-Joyce, 2004). Some people will sell off their property at below market prices, if only to salvage some of the capital invested in such properties. Almost everything worthwhile but living standards, go down during economic down turns (Leary-Joyce, 2004).It is at such times that shrewd businessmen launch their ventures since this guarantees them of low start-up cost. The conventional economic theory according to Arthur (2009), is based on a foundation of diminishing returns. Economies will always flourish and at times crush, a constant fact in economics. The fact that the market is down only guarantees that the same economy will rise again to prosperity. While being in business before a market downturn always precipitates losses, getting into business during an economic downturn only precipitates profits as the market recovers (Leary-Joyce, 2004).
Starting up a business during economic downturns means that the costs are low and opportunities are abundant (Arthur, 1990). Many businesses are always looking to sell, many innovative products crash and many skilled and highly experienced professionals are sacked from their jobs. The start-up businesses can thus buy out collapsing companies at throw away prices, hire skilled professionals desperately looking for jobs and capitalize on the big corporations that are usually cutting costs at such times (Leary-Joyce, 2004). By the time the economy recovers, the start-up companies usually have embraced growth and established their foundation in readiness to greater market presence (Leary-Joyce, 2004).As Kurnit Scott from the Mining Company (About.com) once said, with a good idea, well executed and a poor economy, great businesses are born to replace those that went down with the economic downturn (Arthur, 1990). When the US Air Force tactical Air command was near collapse in 1978, most military administrators and politicians called for its disbursement (O'Reilly & Pfeffer, 2000). General Bill Creech requested to assume command and in six years, he crafted an extraordinarily successful Special Forces Unit out of the failed TAC. What he created would be used to transform the U.S. Armed Forces at large and his legend lives today after USAF dominated the Gulf War, followed by Afghanistan and Iraq (O'Reilly & Pfeffer, 2000).
The Abbott Laboratories begun when the economy was too bad, as was Fannie Mae, Kimberly-Clark Corp., Nucor Corp., and Wells Fargo. Kroger Co. Started during the great depression as a grocery store would take 80 years to pick up but it is the largest grocery store in the world today (O'Reilly & Pfeffer, 2000). Despite its depression roots, Kroger outperformed the US market by over 10 times successfully from 1973 to 1998 (O'Reilly & Pfeffer, 2000).As the essay has documented, business opportunities abound during economic depressions. Low start up costs, capitalizing on buy outs, available man power and other advantages all work for the new businesses during the tough business times. As in the examples cited, some of the greatest companies dominating the market today started as small businesses during economic 'tough times', and yet grew up to conquer the market.