Tons of great businesses started in a recession: Disney, Microsoft and more recently Shortlist Media to name a few. Periods of flat growth can be the ideal environment to launch. For one, it means rivals are less likely to spend money to counteract the impact of your business taking a share of the market. (Whereas when there's money flying around, competitors will be running marketing campaigns that may crush your start-up before it's even off the ground.)
If you manage to steer your business through this difficult time, then you're more likely to be successful when the money starts flowing around again. You'll know exactly how robust your business is and how much demand there is for your product when money's tight.
There may not be as much investment around right now, but to be honest, not all businesses need it in 2013. It's cheaper than ever to start a business. You can turn your idea into a fully-fledged start-up trading online in a matter of hours. Ten years ago you needed accounting payment systems, supply chain logistics and a server to run an online business. Now you can manage everything right from your PC or laptop, and store everything online in cloud computing providers like Dropbox.
Sounding great so far, but you're still not sure really how to start a business? Well, that brings me to the next point.
There's a whole community around that can help you launch a business. Don't know how to write code for a website? You can learn for free online or find someone that does - and who may be interested in becoming a co-founder - at one of the many start-up networking events that happen in every major city.
On top of this there are start-up incubators sprouting up left, right and centre, and of course brilliant business advice guides online for free, including the one you're reading right now. The support system in 2013 is like nothing the start-up world has seen before. It's time you took advantage of it.
If you're at work, stressed out by a power-crazed boss who's stealing a living in a job you could do 10 times better, or you're spending the day tapping your fingers watching the clock, then now's the time to look at doing something you love.
Take your passion and turn it into a business that means you'll by skipping into the office everyday. It may be a tough economic climate right now, but working for yourself is an exciting and fulfilling path. It can also mean working from home, picking your own hours and deciding the size of your workload.
Read our feature on turning your passion or hobby into a business for more info.
We're told on almost a daily basis that the UK's ticket out of these dim economic times is through people launching their own businesses. Respected successful celebrities and politicians from Sir Richard Branson to Peter Jones to Business Secretary Vince Cable are calling small business the lifeblood of the UK economy.
The government has a host of initiatives designed to make starting a business easier and more attractive. From the Start-up Loans scheme to the Funding for Lending initiative or the SEIS funding option. And of course there are a whole host of business bank loans and other types of business finance, not to mention small business grants (click the link to search our comprehensive small business grant database).
If you want to start a business, there are very few barriers in the way. 2013 is your year!
Hoping to start a business? Later this month we'll be launching SmartaStart2013, your 7-step guide to starting up. Stay tuned!