Global shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic have forced many businesses to close their doors. At the same time, the rapidly changing economic landscape is opening new avenues for entrepreneurs.
As of July 2020, 18 million Americans were unemployed. It’s not ideal, but losing your job can give you the time, opportunity, and motivational kick to pursue your untapped business ideas.
Unless you’re already an experienced entrepreneur, you’re probably wondering how to start a business from scratch.
Here’s the good news:
The steps involved in starting a business are pretty straightforward. If you build a good foundation, you’ll be ready to rise to the challenge of creating a long lasting and prosperous business.
Here, we’ll give you tips on how to start a business from scratch during the age of COVID.
You’ll learn how to:
- Mitigate financial risks
- Position yourself for success in a socially-distanced world
- Enlist skilled help without breaking the bank
1. Don’t Quit Your Day Job (If You Still Have One)
It can be tempting to quit your job and jump full force into your new endeavor.
Not so fast.
That’s not how to start a business from scratch if you want it to succeed.
Don’t expect money to come rolling in immediately — it can take years for your businesses to become profitable. You’ll need a way to cover your living expenses while things get going.
While it’s possible to earn an income before your company starts turning a profit, expect money to be tight.
Now you might be thinking: I’ll just live off my savings while I’m giving all my energy to my business.
But, most businesses need an upfront investment. If you spend your savings on living expenses, you have less to put toward your company. Even if you run a business with low start-up costs, you still need to invest capital into your company for things like marketing and legally registering your business.
2. Keep It Digital
Even as the world slowly reopens, epidemiologists warn that social distancing measures are here to stay — at least for some time. That means non-essential brick-and-mortar businesses are likely to continue struggling.
Put simply, now is probably not the best time to open a restaurant business.
Want to know how to start a business from scratch during a pandemic?
- Start an agency for writers or graphic designers who can work remotely.
- Build an eCommerce website.
- Create online courses that feature your expertise.
However, your specific business dreams might need to exist in the physical world. If so, consider how you can include a significant digital component to the way you do business.
For example, if you want to open a custom bakery, focus your marketing and ordering online, offer contact-free delivery, and curbside pickup.
Whatever you do, don’t bank on the world returning to normal quickly.
The world’s shopping, socializing, and working habits have undergone a drastic change. Once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, people may never be the same. Don’t lose your shirt trying to predict how things will be in six months — react to how they are now.
Businesses that can fare well in a socially-distanced world include tech startups, eCommerce stores, agencies, and coaching services.
Some eCommerce industries have even seen increased consumer interest during COVID, including:
- Home improvement
- Pet products
- Home beauty
3. Don’t Try to Do Everything Yourself
You may be an equally talented strategist, web developer, graphic designer, accountant, and copywriter — but you’re probably not.
As you’re learning how to start a business from scratch, it’s important to be realistic about your capabilities. Know when you need help, and learn how to pick the right people to work with.
Instead of trying to do everything on your own, consider taking advantage of the booming gig economy. Enlist the help of skilled freelancers that can fill in your gaps. Freelancers can take on specific tasks, like developing your website, managing your email campaigns, or writing web copy.
Contractors are generally less expensive than employees since you aren’t responsible for payroll taxes. They are also a good short-term solution until your business can afford full-time employees.
However, be sure to remain on the right side of the law. If you need someone to do work a specific way, on a specific schedule, then it’s time to hire an employee.
Despite the hardships the current pandemic has unleashed on the world, clever entrepreneurs have an unprecedented opportunity to turn these obstacles into lucrative businesses.
The drastic shift to digital has made it easier than ever to open a home business. Moreover, there is a growing number of freelancers available to help your business grow.
If you’re wondering how to start a business from scratch, there might be no better time than the present. Roll up your sleeves, set up your website, and get cracking on your brilliant business idea.
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