In some ways, starting a company in a recession is different. If you’ve built and sold a string of startups and made money for your investors every time, there’s always capital out there for you. But that’s a small group of people. Less than 4,000 US companies raised venture capital in 2008, for instance.
For the vast majority of entrepreneurs, this is a time to “bootstrap”. That term may date back to the 1800s, but the concept couldn’t be more timely. It means pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. For an entrepreneur, bootstrapping is about starting a business on the cheap, and growing it profitably, with minimal investments from outsiders. That’s the way most companies will get started in a recession, and it’s probably the way most companies should get started anytime.