Caution is wise when it comes to starting a business during COVID. After all, there are inherent risks to any entrepreneurial endeavor. Even when you can secure funding, a new business puts your career and future at stake. However, an overabundance of caution can hold us back, especially in times that feel, on the surface, like inopportune moments.
The COVID-19 era is one such moment. On a gut-instinct level, a pandemic feels like a bad time to start a new company. Although some businesses are probably long-lost artifacts now (kissing booths come to mind), others have a chance to corner a budding market. The way we’ve done business has changed, and companies that can embrace those changes from the start will have a distinct advantage. Plus, Home Independence is all about encouraging our readers to pursue changes that will bring them personal fulfillment, so if becoming an entrepreneur is one of your goals, we want to help you achieve it!
Here’s a look and guide to starting a business during COVID and how even the most cautious business owners can find opportunity in strange times:
Knowledge allows us to properly evaluate risks. The fiddly little details of starting a company should inform whether or not now is the right time for your idea. For example, you should look into what kind of business model is right for you. Do you have (or can you secure) the funds to get started? Should you work as a solopreneur? What are the rules about starting an LLC in your state? How many employees can you hire before worrying about health insurance?
Use a notebook or spreadsheet to keep these details straight as you go along. Unless you already have a really firm understanding of local business law, David Lizerbram & Associates notes that it might be worth reaching out to a small business lawyer. They can help you make sense of any confusing legalese, plus the relationship could come in handy down the line.
As we discussed earlier, today’s market is extremely different from the market a year ago. The world has changed, and businesses have been forced to change with it. However, new companies can thrive when they enact these principles from the start. Think critically about how your company will exist in the COVID-19 era. How can you build social distancing, virtual services, and remote work into your business model from the start?
Say, for example, you know you want to help people with career development. Right now, the ideal career development business could be a virtual resume consultancy. The idea hits several needs in the market right now – USA Today points out people are job hunting, so there’s a demand for resume experts. Plus, the startup costs for this type of business are extremely low. All you’ll need is a computer (which are heavily-discounted this time of year) and a cell phone, but we recommend also finding a few pieces of inspirational office decor to keep you motivated.
No one wants to meet in person, so offering virtual services makes good sense. Plus, the ability to consult online means you can work with people all over the world, so you’re not limited to people who can meet you in person. It’s always important to think critically about the market’s needs and how your business will meet them, but it’s critical right now.
Finally, your personal circumstances should come into consideration when it comes to starting your business. If you’re financially stable and you love your job, maybe right now isn’t the time. You don’t have to start a business just because you have an idea, and more often than not, the core concept will keep. You’re allowed to bide your time.
However, maybe you hate what you’re doing right now, or maybe you’re between jobs and looking for your next big break. Maybe you’re just itching for the chance to be your own boss, embrace your creativity, and make an impact on the market. The urge to get started is not, on its own, a sign that it’s the right time, but it should always be a part of the equation. Running a business is arduous work, and passion matters. You have to want it.
The pandemic is not, in and of itself, a reason to keep your business dreams on the back burner. Think of it, instead, as one piece of a wider puzzle. Look at the whole picture before you make a decision either way. When you consider it all, now might just be your moment.
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