Fresh start, clean slate, square one. Whatever you call it, a new year is a time for change.
Why not take advantage of the momentum spurred by the blank calendar and make 2017 your year of entrepreneurship?
10 Reasons Why You Should Start a Business in 2017
Cubicles Need Not Apply
Sitting at a desk all day isn’t for everyone. Stephen Twomey, founder of MasterMindSEO, an internet marketing company, sees 2017 as a great time for jobs outside the box.
“Start a drop ship business on Amazon or become a social media influencer and get paid to travel and post amazing pictures. Or learn a specific skill set, like Facebook ads, and take on clients,” he suggests. “One of the best things about these tech-related businesses is that you can be mobile.”
An App for That
And speaking of mobile: Smartphones can be a great business partner, says Ryan Battles, co-founder of Harpoon, a financial planning app.
“With apps, you can automate your bookkeeping, track expenses, manage new clients, and reach new audiences through social media and online advertising,” he says.
Low Cost, High Opportunities
Having a strong network is always a good idea, but it isn’t as crucial when it comes to launching a new venture.
“The barriers to entry for entrepreneurs are at an all-time low. In the past, you needed connections to get talent. Now, with the gig economy, finding inexpensive talent anywhere in the world can be done within days,” says Michael Reddy, founder and chief analytics officer at digitalacumen.net, a digital analytics consulting company. “All you need is a computer and an idea.”
Martin Hayman, a leading SEO Consultant, points to websites like UpWork and Freelancer.
“With outsourcing sites like these it’s going to be easy to build a small team around you — without having to break the bank,” he says. “Don’t have the skills to do everything yourself? That no longer matters.”
Knowledge is Power
Creating a new company may seem overwhelming, but Robin Graham, CEO and founder of Q Canvas Prints, a custom print service, believes that tracking down answers when starting a business is easier than ever.
“It’s an extraordinary period for self-education,” he says. “In the past, business owners had to jump through many hoops to get their questions answered. Now you can find advice online for creating a logo, building a website, or managing payroll.”
Your Best Interest
Low interest rates are what Craig Bloem, founder and CEO of FreeLogoServices, a design and branding website, sees as 2017’s biggest asset.
“Interest rates are at an all-time low, so borrowing money to start your business has never been cheaper,” Bloem says. “Don’t let the federal government’s approval to raise interest rates deter you. If you have a business idea, it is time to act.”
Raising seed money from traditional sources isn’t the only option anymore. Crowdfunding sites, like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, are letting budding entrepreneurs access the pockets of Average Joes.
Tools like these level the playing field, says Daniel Setton, owner of Shiree Odiz, a diamond dealer and fine jewelry design company.
“Crowdfunding in particular will be an invaluable tool for start-ups in the new year,” he continues. “In addition to being a phenomenal resource to raise capital, crowdfunding campaigns are increasingly being used to validate the market for new products, limiting risk for those starting a business.”
Social media not only connects people with friends but also with potential customers. This avenue can help entrepreneurs spread the word about what they do and can teach them about their target audience, says John Turner, founder of QuietKit, which provides guided meditation.
“These platforms have great ways to micro-target your audience through ads that can be started with just a few bucks,” he says. “If you’re able to acquire customers cheaply, you can scale those efforts into the millions of dollars.”
In 2017 new businesses will have more opportunities to test creative marketing campaigns, says Serena Holmes, CEO of Tigris Events, a temporary staffing and marketing agency.
“Small businesses can take advantage of grassroots marketing campaigns. This could be as simple as handing out product samples outside a sporting event, hosting a dinner party, or having a live video conference,” she says.
Grassroots marketing allows businesses to build momentum through the ripple effect. “By developing personal relationships with your customers, you can turn them into brand ambassadors,” she says.
Lemonade Out of Lemons
Life is complex, but Bryan Robertson, co-founder at Mindyra, a healthcare tech firm, sees today’s issues as opportunities.
“There are many challenges society faces: affordable healthcare, global warming, and access to education, for example,” he says. “However, these also represent tremendous opportunities for ambitious entrepreneurs. It’s an excellent time to start a business that benefits society by helping solve a problem.”
No Time Like the Present
Thinking about that idea that’s been lingering in the back of your mind isn’t going to get results. Push through your doubts, step away from your rationalizations, and commit to entrepreneurship this year.
“2017 is the greatest time to start a business because it’ll stop people from putting it off,” says Ron Stefanski who runs www.JobsForTeensHQ.com. “Truth be told, 2016 was a great time to start a business. In 2017 it’s time to take action and finally create that business that you’ve been dreaming of.”
Emily Edmonds was the editor of a business magazine for eight years and currently teaches a college news-writing course.