Evans the standard answer to this question is that recessions are a good time to start a new business. I think this is true, on the basis that companies hve time to spend on new ideas (not always the case when they are running flat out) and are keen to try to things that either save money quickly, or provide a higher-quality outcome. A colleague of mine left ICI (then one of the lworld's argest chemical companies) during the 1990-4 recession, and relatively quickly built a 100-strong team in the field of analytical chemistry. So it definitely can be done. But its hard work, and you need to be very clear about your Value Propositon, and what it offers specific prospective clients versus existing offerings, and very focused.