Because we’re still in a weak economy with climbing foreclosure rates, tight credit markets, and low consumer demand, most entrepreneurs would think this is the worst time to start a new business. But, building your empire in the middle of a downturn can be the shortcut you need to reach long-term stability.

Obviously, many people don't believe there are millions of opportunities for you to seize in a down economy, but remember, it’s never too late to get your piece of the pie when most are still scared.

Here are some reasons why starting a new business right now is a good, no, great thing.

You Don’t Need as Much
Crafty entrepreneurs don’t need as much money to begin because overhead costs are in the basement in every market. For example, the commercial real estate game continues to endure high vacancy rates, so the rent on, let’s say, a retail store, will be yours at a third of the cost of just a couple of years ago. You can find other deals in durable goods and various types of office equipment at a fraction of their true cost.

You have a slight advantage in starting your new business in an economy that demands a great deal of frugality, which will start habits that will serve your company throughout its life. Most businesses have a bad habit of spending too much money. There’s a trick to forcing yourself to take a second look at every penny you spend.

Work Is Cheap and Plentiful
Another important resource pool to tap in today’s economic environment is people. With reported unemployment rates in the double digits, you might find at least five well-qualified people per position; now is the time to become an employer. Plus, the deep and widespread belief in a stable financial future has left most workers, even the ones employed by larger corporations, shaky about their next paycheck and more willing to work a part-time job at a start-up.

The masses are starting to wake up and see that we are all self-employed in spite of of their work relationship. If you talk to enough people working for large organizations, you’ll realize they too are working on side businesses, which act as safeguards against a drop in pay or as preparation for full-time businesses. Also, take note that most employees have experienced a massive decline in their 401(k)s and stock portfolios; that makes it even easier to recruit skilled talent for your start-up business.

Risk Isn’t That Risky
If you research some of the leading companies, you’ll see they all began during a down period in the American economy–General Electric, McDonalds, and Burger King started their businesses during hard times. For people who lost their careers in the past 2 years, experiencing a layoff is what kick-started their entrepreneurial mind-sets and will drive them to faster success. And there is solid logic behind a “don’t look back” attitude if you really think about it.

People have finally realized that this recession is different than previous ones. Before, being out of work was something of a vacation until another job came through. But now, people are seeing that the old jobs just aren't sustainable. They have vanished into thin air, and they won’t come back to be picked up again down the road. A smart business is still smart in a high or low economy. The passionate entrepreneur already understands the patterns of the business cycle; it’s a part of life.

Your Competition Is Hurting
It’s built into our genes to hold onto what we already have, and the same principle works in the business world as well. How so? In hard times, most established companies hide in the trenches, stop advertising, and work on keeping their customers instead of paying to acquire new ones. This instinct usually ends up in things going very badly, throwing a struggling company into bankruptcy and making room for a new start-up, or more than likely, creating an opening that other firms can capitalize on.

Additionally, new businesses aren’t held back by history, existing infrastructure, and expectations of what larger organizations carry on their backs. Instead, they are leaner with their products and/or services. If you have hard time obtaining credit from larger institutions, you force yourself to think about new ways to get money straight from the consumer, with the least amount of funds and infrastructure. This mind-set creates a high-functioning and focused individual. Plus, with the help of social media, you can quickly expand your market beyond your wildest dreams.

There is never a perfect time to launch your business, so why wait a second more? Get moving and see how much you can accomplish in the least amount of time.