Business tips

Why the pandemic may be just the motivation you need to start your small business.

By Ryan Gibbons on
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Is there ever really a perfect moment to take the jaw-dropping leap of faith necessary to launch a small business? After all, the obstacles you are sure to encounter would provoke fear in anyone who bothered to seriously contemplate them. Nevertheless, the age of the coronavirus pandemic might actually turn out to offer a budding entrepreneur like yourself a terrific opportunity to shine.

Forge strength out of adversity.

As is the case with many life challenges, hard times can actually become a catalyst for success in the business world. To illustrate, keep in mind that Disney, IBM, and General Motors were all founded right before the Great Depression decimated the economy in 1929. In more recent times, social media behemoths Facebook and Twitter survived and thrived after the recession of 2008. The moral of all of these stories is this: Global crises can help to highlight what products and services will become the focus of the next generations. The companies that have poised themselves to meet these needs could enjoy tremendous success.

A surplus of time.

Once the coronavirus took hold of the world in early 2020, every aspect of life was altered. Suddenly, people were spending more time than ever at home, and many who had never focused on electronic media became daily users of digital technology. Shopping, dining, education, and recreation were transformed in many ways, some virtual and others reflecting a return to old-time hobbies and pastimes, ones that had previously faded into obscurity.

Savvy, aspiring business owners can parlay these trends to their advantage, turning cultural change into future profits. For instance, someone with a passion for handicrafts could jump on the national handmade art fad to open an online store catering to knitters and sewers. 

Once a potential entrepreneur does what it takes to launch their business and accept payments with hardware and software credit card processing equipment, they will have laid the foundations for a successful enterprise — one with all of the components necessary for longevity and relevance.

The availability of human resources.

In the early days of the coronavirus when it seemed as if things would return to normal in a matter of weeks, many of us enjoyed our forced vacations. That changed when it became apparent that the virus would be a serious, long-term issue.

The truth is that no one wants to chill out on the couch and binge on Netflix indefinitely. At some point, most people are highly motivated to get back into the game and use their brains again. If you are an up-and-coming merchant who is looking for a partner or even for strong employees, the pool of potential applicants has probably never been deeper. Add to that the probability that you and your team have more downtime than ever, and you may just have hit upon the perfect recipe for a great startup endeavor.

Capitalize on virus-related priorities.

During this pandemic, all of us have learned the importance of social distancing as one of the primary ways to prevent the transmission and spread of the coronavirus. For many people, this means spending most or all of their time at home or, at the very least, ensconced in a small bubble of close family and friends. These precautionary steps have led to a laser focus on technologies such as contactless delivery and payments.

It is the companies that are able to capitalize on these priorities who will excel in the months and years to come. Even after a vaccination for COVID-19 has been successfully distributed worldwide, it seems quite likely that consumer behaviors will be irrevocably changed.

Work for yourself.

Layoffs, furloughs, and business closures are all devastating side effects of the COVID-19 ethos. That has led to millions of new entrants to the unemployment rolls and many individuals at a loss as to how to move forward. If you are one of those people and if you have always wanted to launch your dream company, there may be no better time than the present.

In fact, the hard truth is that one business’s loss can be used to the advantage of another. If you are in the process of incubating your commercial operation and bringing it to life, you may benefit from the fact that many of your former competitors are no longer open. Survival of the fittest has never been more in evidence than it is at this moment.

Tips that can help you to jump-start your new business during the pandemic.

Even when the world isn’t faced with a massive health crisis, kick-starting a new business operation is a challenge. Now that you also need to factor in COVID-19 conditions, restrictions, and behaviors, the stakes are that much higher. Even so, there are strategies that will help you to get your fledgling store out of the nest and flying competently on its own.

  • Choose a type of business that is poised to succeed during these times. Niches such as cleaning companies, delivery services, remote fitness service providers, landscapers, and telehealth entities are all flourishing during an era when convenience and social distancing are high priorities.
  • Take advantage of COVID-inspired fads or crazes. Before the coronavirus burst on the scene, few of us would have predicted upsurges in hobbies such as bread baking and jigsaw puzzles. Yet both have taken over the national imagination now that so many people are restricted to their homes. If you have a robust plan to found a company that can play off of these cultural and health-related phenomena, you may find that you are already a few steps ahead of your competition.
  • Initiate a digital marketing program. If you want to gain customers and accept payments (both now and after the virus is relegated to the history books) you need to get the word out about your new enterprise. In an era when electronic technology is more important than ever, it is imperative that you start and maintain a dynamic digital marketing infrastructure. For those who are a bit squeamish about the intricacies of these campaigns, don’t be shy about hiring a reputable company or consultant to give you a helping hand.
  • Take advantage of social media. Millions of people of all ages are connecting on sites such as Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter during their downtime. The captive audiences these sites attract are constantly searching for new stimulation and are also eager to make their views and preferences known. Therefore, one of the best things you can do to generate buzz and create a solid customer base is to establish your brand on these top social media hubs. Engaging regularly with potential customers and influencers is one of the best time investments that you can make for your new retail operation. 
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Even though much has changed in our world over the past few months, countless resources exist that can help aspiring business owners as they look to get their store off the ground. Start with any professional contacts in your network, working your way out to encompass new possibilities that you have not explored in the past. Although not all government services are functioning at full capacity at this time, you can still receive mentoring and numerous other forms of assistance from your local chamber of commerce, various state agencies, and the Small Business Administration.
  • Remain upbeat. Whenever you make the decision to take a huge risk, it is vital that you surround yourself with people who are rooting for you and want you to succeed. While constructive criticism is always appreciated, negativity for its own sake will only discourage you and drag you down. Therefore, choose associates who will encourage you as you encounter and overcome challenges, and will validate your reasons for taking this plunge.

In virtually every way possible, the international pandemic has disrupted life as we once knew it. Although it’s easy to focus exclusively on the detrimental effects of our global health crisis, it has also stirred up our culture, our behaviors, and the ways we learn, shop, work, and play. For entrepreneurs who have a positive attitude, a supportive network, a strong infrastructure, and a firm idea of what they want to sell and to whom, all is not necessarily doom and gloom. In fact, overcoming the hurdles that our current conditions have placed in front of us may just make you and your business stronger, more resilient, and better able to flourish for many years to come.