6 Reasons It's a Great Time to be an Entrepreneur Sheltowee Outpost Alex Day Sep 15 2014 I wanted to take the opportunity to write a little bit on why it is a great time to be an entrepreneur. I have spent my entire career working in entrepreneurial companies and I truly believe that the environment has never been better to be an entrepreneur. Below are some of the reasons I think this is so. 1. Technology allows access to tools that were unavailable 10 years ago- Technology has advanced so much over the past 10 years and much of that advancement presents great benefits to the entrepreneur. Today for my small company, I am running services and tools that would only be available to a large company, and I am doing it incredibly cost effectively. I have could storage, operate off of an Exchange Server, have deployed Sharepoint and have access to the entire Adobe Creative Suite. These are all tools that at the best were very expensive for a startup and at the worst, were just not available. Having access to these tools now allows a one week old company to look like a Fortune 500 company. It's a good time to be an entrepreneur. 2. Easier to access potential customers- When I was growing up, there were limited routes to communicating to potential customers. We had direct mail, print, radio and television (and only three channels on the TV). All of these outlets were expensive and all but direct mail were next to impossible to assess their effectiveness. Today we have a multitude of means of accessing customers. Social media and the internet has completely changed the playing field. A small company can now produce a high quality video commercial and target it to the potential customers they want to reach. Fifteen years ago, the video production costs alone would price a small company out of this means of delivering their message. Social media has completely democratized the ability to reach customers. If you have a product that people are excited about, you can get the word out to them with minimal costs. It's a good time to be an entrepreneur. 3. Easy to prototype- If you have an idea that is not a software product, today is a GREAT day to be an entrepreneur. In the past the cost and effort to prototype real world products was very expensive and time consuming. Today there are two major factors which have dramatically lowered the cost of entry. The first is 3D printing. With 3D printing it is possible to create prototypes for a very small investment. The second major factor is the globalization of accessing markets with the internet. You can now identify sources from around the world that can help you develop your prototype. It's a good time to be an entrepreneur. 4. It is easier to get funded- Don't walk away from here thinking that it is "easy" to get funding. It is still a rigorous and difficult process. But it is "easier" than it has been in the past. With the internet and crowd funding, there are more funding sources for early stage ideas than ever before. You can pre-sell your product on Kickstarter, or you can raise equity dollars on a site like Equitynet.com. It is still challenging to raise capital (particularly through equity crowd funding), but it is easier than ever before. It's a good time to be an entrepreneur. 5. The security of the corporate world is gone- Remember when your father got a corporate job and he knew he had that job until he retired? Those days are over. There are certainly aspects of working for large company that are very positive. But the notion of the "security of the corporate world" is a myth. The global economy has demonstrated that corporations can no longer provide the security they once did. The greatest example I can think of in this regard is General Motors. I knew people that not only had made their living working for GM, but had bet their retirement on it as well. It was not a "secure" bet. It's a good time to be an entrepreneur. 6. Its "cool" to be an entrepreneur- As the entrepreneur has become a part of the American ethos, it has become more popular to be an entrepreneur. This is definitely a case of a "rising tide, floating all boats". There are now programs on a local, regional and national basis to help entrepreneurs. These programs along with it now being politically correct to start your own business, puts more of a breeze to your back as an entrepreneur. It's a good time to be an entrepreneur. I want to reiterate, it is still not EASY to be an entrepreneur. Consumers are now flooded with marketing messages each day, investors still don't easily part with their money, and as much as politicians pay lip service to entrepreneurs, they would still rather stand on a site that is breaking ground on a major company creating a thousand jobs than to take the time and patience required to grow an entrepreneurial company. But just in case you did not pick up on this earlier in this article….it IS a great time to be an entrepreneur.