04/04/2012 01:50 pm ET Updated Jun 04, 2012

It's a Good Time to Start a Business: Five Things You Need to Know

The economy is improving. Private company sales and profit margins are up and steadily increasing, GDP is growing, and there are signs of life in the real estate markets. However, while the unemployment rate is declining, it is still too high. Now is the perfect time to employ yourself by starting a business.

Here is advice on the five things you need to know before you get started.

1) Do what you love. Find something that you know and something that interests you.

2) Start a low capital business. You're not going to get a loan from anyone. Start small and build slowly and steadily.

3) Find something that is really needed in the marketplace. Do something that people don't want to do or cannot do themselves.

4) Keep your overhead low. Hire slowly and do without.

5) Follow the customer. Value and listen to your customers -- your best source of market research and the reason you're in business.