Updated: Aug 30, 2020
Starting your own business or becoming an entrepreneur can seem intimidating to many.
The perception of risk and exclusivity of being a business owner tends to put people off because it can be a bit scary.
However, funnily enough, if you have been sitting on a potential business idea whether it is a long held dream or an opportunistic venture, now might be the perfect time to pursue it!
This concept might feel counterintuitive but recessionary times breed start-ups and have done for decades. It is best displayed by what’s known as the Shopkeeper Effect. This is where an unemployed individual with little job prospects chooses to be or more so pursue self-employment instead.
It is not a requirement to be unemployed, as there are numerous reasons why now is the right time to make that call.
1. Job Security Has Decreased
One of the main benefits and attractants to the 9-5 Monday to Friday job life was the security.
With nearly 20 million people out of work, approximately 5 million more than the worst parts of 2009, employers are not able to offer the same loyalty to staff as they used to be.
Unfortunately we’re not out of the woods yet either. Countries around the world are seeing continued pulsing of the Covid-19 cases and economic shutdowns which add further challenges to security. With the irregularity of unemployment insurance, the opportunity cost of starting a business is a lot closer than it has been for a long time.
2. Business Opportunities are Constantly Emerging
The one thing that has remained constant over the past 6 months has been change.
Many people have been made redundant, shifted to remote work places or had full changes in the businesses you have worked for.
The level of change we have experienced is unprecedented but it has created major demands for new products and services.
Think about it.
What is important now that wasn’t this important last year? Extreme demand has been placed on delivery services, sanitizing lotions, video conferencing software and more. These products only scratch the surface of what people have and continue to need to facilitate all this change.
Everything from face coverings, hands free door openers, remote workspace desks and many others represent underserved needs and there are so many more.
Try dissecting what inconveniences people, what they are tolerating and how you could relieve them!
3. Markets are Ready for New Products and Services
Brand loyalty and convenience has been a mainstay in our pre-Covid-19 lives.
Our purchasing patterns rarely changed unless we wanted to try something new.
With everything that has gone on, a few important changes have occurred for new start-ups. People have new demands and people are more frequently using the internet to satisfy their exact need.
The importance of this shouldn’t be overlooked.
Customers are not going into a giant chain store for their solutions and instead are searching online to see if their demand can be resolved without having to be in-store.
This has gone some ways toward evening out the playing field. Between this reduction of barriers and customers expecting and needing new products, the agile start-up is well positioned to satisfy timely demands.
4. Competitors are Reducing
Undoubtedly, there are clear and obvious concerns to start a business while many companies are shutting down. However, as mentioned, a start-up has the vital benefit of agility and ability to pivot.
One of the major issues with a large company or chain is that they are typically quite cumbersome and slow to adapt to change. Between the inability to change or restrictions in serving different locations, we are seeing the reduction of competitors in different fields.
Take Starbuck’s for example. The coffee giant is shutting up to 400 stores down all across North America. I can’t speak for everyone but I don’t like coffee any less since this started.
It wouldn’t be reckless to assume that there might be 400 opportunities to supply customers with coffee and tasty treats across the US.
They are not the only ones struggling but where a large company has failed to meet new demands, a start-up may be the perfect antidote for the consumer.
5. Talent Acquisition just got Easier!
The unfortunate economic circumstances have placed many extremely talented people into the unemployment pool. While this is a disaster to some, it can be to the benefit of a new entrepreneur.
The availability of top quality potential employees gives start-ups a major boost as talent becomes more affordable. Coupling this with the newfound ability of most people to work remotely, there is a significant opportunity to find highly motivated, capable employees who are crying out for an opportunity.
Previously you may have needed a head-hunter to capture some of the best talents in the market and still been limited by geographic location but now you are only a video call away from the talent you need.
6. Supports are More Readily Available
Starting your own business used to mean the individual had to figure everything out for themselves. This often led to entrepreneurs getting stuck concentrating on the wrong side of this business.
That no longer needs to be the case.
The increased proficiency with video conferencing has increased our networks. We can now benefit from business advice from coaches all over the world.
If you have a start-up and know there is something similar in Australia, for example, you can now shoot that business owner an email and book some time to chat. Of course it depends on their willingness to help but the opportunity exists.
Similarly if you have found business coach fees in your region are too expensive, you can now avail of the services from someone cheaper anywhere else in the country or world.
It doesn’t have to be business advice either. The same applies to any service you may need. Your marketing team could be from Washington while your I.T. people could be from Indiana while your business is in Wisconsin. The most suitable service provider could be cheaper or better elsewhere giving you cost savings everywhere.
7. Technical Solutions are Increasing
The advent of video conferencing in the mainstream working world is not the only video solution to be relied upon in all of this.
How many of you have looked up YouTube guides of how to make and fix things over the past while?
There has been an explosion of free content on how to solve various problems. This is well-complimented by various new software options making life easier. Whether you need to project manage, file share or sorting out taxes, there are various software models available to improve the efficiency of each task. Whereas before there was time wasted building your own solutions or trial and error problem solving, there are now copious options helping you stay focussed on your business.
8. Marketing has Become Cheaper
Marketing was typically a relatively expensive pursuit often with intangible results. The increased use of smartphones and subscription TV has significantly reduced newspaper and TV advertisement expenditure.
Social media, as it currently is, has not yet been commandeered by huge corporations as an advertising space. In fact, relatively few have fully embraced the marketing abilities of Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Snapchat and Facebook.
Rest assured, they will eventually.
For now though, paid social advertising remains inexpensive with a Facebook ad having the potential to reach significant amounts of people for as little as $25. It is also easy to track your metrics to see what posts have been successful in driving traffic to your website.
In order of their average expense, these are the least expensive advertising avenues:
4) Google AdWords
9. Funding will become available for start-ups
The multiplier effect in economics is well documented for stimulating growth. It states that if, for example, the government builds a new highway and employ 500 construction workers who will spend their wages in grocery stores, restaurants, refurbish their own houses.
This means that the wage for 500 people can sustain them and every business they spend their money in as a result multiplying the effect of the investment.
This can also be applied to entrepreneurship. By creating financial stimulus packages for start-ups, you improve the chance for someone to employ themselves and then possibly employing others.
This follows the Schumpeter effect which suggests that self-employment reduces unemployment overall. Keep an eye out for potential stimulus packages funded by governments, incubator and accelerator units.
10. You Need a Change!
If we have collectively learned anything recently, it is the value of our time and happiness.
Without being too wishy washy, the recent months have given us extra introspective time to assess our lives and career paths.
Many of us have come to the realization that our time is very limited and that we should do things that we enjoy and are excited by.
The work life balance has come firmly into focus. Our careers may have stagnated in the grind of the 9-5 life and the need to make a change is compelling.
If you have been holding back on your realizing a dream for too long, this might be the perfect time to act on it. The potential positive impacts on your future, your happiness and the overall vitality of your family could be the exact lift you have all needed.
Starting your own business is challenging and often scary. However, as unusual as it may seem, this could be the perfect time to do so. The world is in a state of constant change and anyone who is able to offer solutions and relieve the pains of others is in demand.
The persistent flux we live in, coupled with the availability of new staff, technology, business coaches and many other supportive entities provides ideal conditions for entrepreneurship.
Now might be the perfect time for you to act on the dreams you have had for a long time or a gap in the markets that you have recently spotted. To do so, the best thing to start with is writing down your idea and doing a little research on who might be your customers, what exactly their pains are and how you can solve them.
Now is as good a time as any!