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When is the best time to start a business?

We all love delving into the past, if not to glean advice then for pure interest's sake. That was the reasoning behind Aldemore's most recent analysis, in which it tried to find out when was the best time to start a business.
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That specific years have been kinder to companies than others goes without saying. Recessions and stock market crashes are but a few of the factors impacting on business growth. But Aldermore wanted to know which years and seasons offered up the most success stories, hoping to find what the best time to start a business is.

For starters, its results show that the financial crisis prevented what had at the time been a boom in new business. It all comes down to luck in the end, you never know when such an event will hit the nation – even economists failed to forecast it. But what we do know is that the new business trend is picking up once more.

In fact, more new businesses have started between 2007 and 2017 than in the 1990s. Some 383,000 were created in 2015 alone, compared to the 275,000 of 2005. Now is definitely a good time to start a business.

This rise has been fuelled by Brits looking to become their own boss, said Carl D’Ammassa, group managing director of business finance at Aldermore. “It’s crucial to note though that ‘best time to start a business’ relates to more than just time of year. All of these companies started trading after a clear business plan was put in place to ensure everything went as smoothly.”

Aldemore claimed 88 per cent of SMEs – representing over 4.8m companies in the UK – which launched during the spring-time have gone from strength to strength. The concept of seasonal impact was in large part echoed by an article written by Sammi Caramela for Business News Daily. 

In it she interviews career coach Kathleen Brady, who goes on to say that “the seasons correlate to business cycles.” Before and after summer are the best times to hire, with the latter being when “department heads push for an increase to take advantage of remaining budget for the year.”

Companies set up during the early 2000s have also gone on to achieve great success. Take 2007, for example, which saw the advent of Twitter, Dropbox and Fitbit. Some 92 per cent of Aldemore respondents claimed similar success.

Our own research, from 2016, held intriguing results based on the above. Using data from Jordan’s and Companies House, we were able to find the UK’s 100 fastest-growing private companies. Looking at corporate age we discovered a surprising group of British companies that ploughed through a crisis to find great success.

The 1980s, for example, began with a recession before having what’s deemed as the “longest peace-time expansion on record”. It brought an end to double-digit inflation and gave way to the robust growth and perseverance of nine firms on the Hot 100.

The Great Depression, all the way to the mid-1970s recessions and the 2008 financial crisis, all spurred numerous firms. In fact, we could say recessions had borne almost 50 per cent of our list.

If you can hold on through adversity, then you’ll soar in times of “economic peace”.

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About Author

Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is the deputy editor of Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

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