Should You Start a Business After COVID?
We’re all rethinking our lives and priorities after the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s especially true when it comes to working. Americans are hesitant to return to their old jobs and are searching for career opportunities where they can control their own destiny.
In this climate, as McKinsey & Company points out, it’s no surprise that entrepreneurship is red hot. Americans started nearly twice as many businesses during the third quarter of 2020 than the same period in 2019. Many of these are small and micro-businesses started by entrepreneurs on shoestring budgets. Eye/Comm takes a look at the current climate for entrepreneurs.
Why are so many people starting businesses right now? Times of crisis have always spurred new ideas. Entrepreneurship is also more accessible than ever. Today, business owners can run a company 100 percent online thanks to remote workers, affordable cloud-based apps, and online business services. Also available online are creative platforms for your marketing needs. At Adobe.com, for instance, you can design your own logo with a free logo maker, with scores of editable templates and AI in the background to create logos intuitively and instantly.
Top industries to start a business after the pandemic
These are the industries driving business growth after the pandemic.
- Remote business applications: Remote work is here to stay and businesses are investing in software and tools that empower teams to work from anywhere.
- Virtual business services: Along with high-tech tools, companies need convenient online services for everything from designing websites to shipping packages.
- Delivery services: Consumers increasingly want on-demand food, grocery, and parcel delivery. Delivery subscription services are also growing in popularity.
- Ecommerce: It’s no surprise, then, that ecommerce growth also remains strong. Both B2C and B2B businesses stand to benefit from online sales in 2021.
- Cybersecurity: As life and business increasingly shift online, companies are beefing up cybersecurity infrastructure and driving demand for new high-tech entrepreneurs.
Top challenges facing new entrepreneurs
There’s no denying it’s a great time to start a business. However, it’s not all smooth sailing for new entrepreneurs. Here are some of the challenges you may face starting a business after the pandemic.
It’s difficult to get a business loan without a track record. However, there are other ways to secure startup funding besides a bank loan. Business credit cards, vendor credit, and invoice factoring are three options that don’t require a business credit profile. Microloans are another popular choice among very small businesses. Keep in mind, however, that some microloans require a personal guarantee — meaning, you’re personally responsible for repayment.
It’s easy to get tripped up when you’re dealing with all the paperwork you need to do to officially register your business. LLC registration, registered agent assignment, EIN registration — it’s a lot to take in. While many people use an attorney to help them prepare these documents, you can use an online formation service that can help you get things squared away with the state so you can begin growing your business. Look online for the best company formation website, and make sure you’re signing up with one that has a solid reputation.
Small businesses are also having trouble finding and keeping employees. Small employers can’t afford to offer the same perks as larger companies, putting them at a disadvantage in the hiring crunch. However, there are other ways to keep employees happy and satisfied. Take telecommuting, for example: a Fast survey found that 66 percent of Americans say they’d take a pay cut for flexible remote work. With many households living paycheck-to-paycheck, getting paid quickly is another priority. With a service to allow direct deposit with payroll, small businesses can enter timesheets, run payroll, issue payments, and even make corrections — all on the same day.
Small businesses aren’t just competing for workers. They’re also competing for customers as new businesses flood the marketplace and retail giants like Amazon continue to grow. Experts advise new entrepreneurs to focus on a niche rather than trying to do everything bigger brands are doing. A targeted approach ensures small businesses spend their marketing dollars wisely and makes it easier to pivot when something isn’t working.
Shipping costs have been a challenge for small businesses for several years. Ecommerce customers overwhelmingly expect fast, free shipping and returns. But for small businesses, delivering on that promise eats into the bottom line. Today’s small businesses need affordable solutions that help them ship quickly without overpaying.
The future of work may be uncertain, but your future doesn’t have to be. Take advantage of this time of opportunity to start the business you’ve always dreamed about. While there are sure to be challenges along the way, there’s never been a better time to become your own boss.