I started my first business during a recession, and now, during this recession I am starting another one.
I think recessions are the best times to start a new business, especially a service business, and I am going to quickly tell you why.
#1. Rents are cheap.
You can tell yourself all you like that your clients don’t mind that you work out of your home, but I have found I get more respect, and more money from my clients when I have a professional business office. Right now commercial vacancies are high, and you can find good office space at bargain prices.
#2. Help is cheap.
Sometimes you just can’t do it alone. With unemployment at an all time high, it is easier than ever to find talented, qualified people to help you out. They are also willing to work on a temporary, contract basis, so when I don’t need them, I don’t need to pay them.
#3. It seems that everyone is willing to bargain.
I hate paying full price for anything. But often, vendors will say the price is the price. Recently I have been getting discounts on software and services just by asking. I try to give something back, and nothing talks like cash! My favorite line: Will you take $X for this if I pay you cash right now?
#4. You Have the time!
I was laid off from my job 3 months ago, and with unemployment over 11% where I live I probably won’t be getting a new job any time soon. It doesn’t take long to look and see that there are no new jobs I can apply for. So now I am using my considerable amount of spare time to get the new business rolling.
Get Great Yields From Home Conservation Projects
Investments in home-energy conservation can produce extremely-high yields in the neighborhood of 10% to 40%. In addition to the satisfaction that comes from regular monthly savings, we can also feel good about conserving energy and lessening our impact on the environment. The idea is that we treat yearly savings like earnings; we can thereby associate a yield with these home-improvement investments.
The problem that we attempt to solve is these investments tend to be small in size for many investors. With the exception of increased wall and attic insulation, most projects fall in the $100-$700 range. Luckily for us, Berkley National Lab has provided a great table for identifying a large number of the very highest-yielding home-conservation investments that are applicable to most home owners. This table, seen below, contains the estimated costs, savings and yields for the selected home-conservation projects.
The yields are very impressive. The idea is to start at the top of the list (with the highest yields), and work your way down choosing projects that pertain to your personal situation. For example, you obviously don’t want to replace a brand new appliance; however, if you where going to replace one of the listed appliances anyway, the additional expense of opting for one of the Energy Star products listed can result in a great return.
Other important considerations are the number of years before you sell the home, the increased value of the home that results from the improvement, and the yield that you get on your reinvested savings. The math can get a little messy, so a calculator has been set up where you can enter your personal situation.
There are some important foot notes in the above table that involve taxes, inflation, incremental costs of appliances, and others. In regard to the three appliances and thermostat, the yields apply to the additional cost of opting for an energy-efficient appliance.
Thanks for the guest post John! To read more about alternative energy and conservation (and how it can save you money) visit fuelefficiency.org.