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By K Kobelski August 2008

Thereís a popular Chinese proverb thatís etched in the mind of many successful entrepreneurs that goes something like this: The BEST TIME to plant a tree is always 20 years ago. The second best time? Right now.

If you see yourself as the owner of a successful, thriving company twenty years from now, you need to build the foundation TODAY. Successful entrepreneurs view every moment as an opportunity. Every day they stop moving forward is a moment lost.

Itís true that a slow US economy has hurt bloated and underperforming corporations hard and has tightened credit for entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, itís an ideal time for innovative and bootstrapping entrepreneurs to cut loose.

Eric Ryan, founder of Method, said in a recent INC. article that ďStarting a business in a recession is like vacationing in the off-season. Itís a little less crowded, and everything starts going on sale.Ē Method is now a leading provider of eco-friendly household products despite getting their start in 2001 after the dot com crash.

While negative economic conditions always seem to find headlines, many of the troubles affecting large corporations arenít affecting most small business owners. The Business Ownerís Toolkit conducted a recent survey of more than 1,300 small business owners and found that they remain optimistic in 2008. Roughly 85 percent of surveyed small businesses have not experienced decreases in the demand for their products or services. In fact, most small business owners, 70 percent, said they anticipate the demand for their products to increase over the next six months. Only 5 percent expect demand for their products to decrease during the same time period.

As a leader providing incorporation services, BizFilings continues to form a steady stream of new businesses each day. Iíve had the opportunity to speak with some of these owners, such as Andrew Becker of Little Foot Energy Corporation. Beckerís company provides solar panel solutions that reduce costs for other companies. Given increased fuel prices and the cost-cutting initiatives of large corporations, the demand for new solar solutions and the outlook for Little Foot Energy has never been better.

Becker said that entrepreneursís need to be both optimistic and cautious. For example, when they launched Little Foot Energy he said they formed a corporation with BizFilings to provide limited liability protection for himself and other company principals. This separates the debts the company may experience from the personal debts of investors.

When large corporations are contracting, its an IDEAL time for new businesses to start and for small businesses to grow. They can attract better talent, negotiate competitive pricing from key vendors, and break through the clutter than exists in faster economic times.

Most new job growth comes in the US economy comes from small business Ė and the key to reversing a slow economy is investing in new and growing ventures rather than bailing out failing ones.

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