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Amid uncertainty and turmoil, ingenuity has still worked well, and Americans have started new businesses at the fastest rate in over a decade. 3.2 million people filed a business application in 2020, up from 2.7 million at the same time in 2019.
These "Covidpreneurs" give me hope.
These entrepreneurs show us that the American dream – the freedom to start something from scratch and pursue your personal passion – is still alive and well.
There are certainly more obstacles today than there used to be, but starting a business is always a challenge. If the pandemic is the main thing stopping you from starting a business, I am here to tell you that it shouldn't be.
Why is now a good time to start a business?
1. There is a lot of space in the market
The US lost more businesses in the first three months of the pandemic than it normally did in a full year. Hundreds of thousands of companies have permanently closed their doors. COVID-19 has accelerated the transformation process and given new companies the opportunity to embark on a new future.
2. The pandemic has brought new needs to the market.
From a widespread need for reusable masks, to better video conferencing options, to fitness solutions for the home, COVID-19 has ushered in all sorts of new needs and problems that entrepreneurs can address and resolve.
3. Crisis creates opportunity.
General Motors. Microsoft. About. Airbnb. Some of the largest and most successful companies in the world were founded during the economic crisis. In this case, if you are looking to start a business, you are in good company.
4. Many have more free time than ever before.
Chances are, the commute to your home office is much shorter than the commute to work. When work from home has freed up time in your schedule, it can be used to start a sideline outside of regular office hours.
5. People are looking for work.
Did you know that startups are responsible for creating jobs? When you start a business, you not only get a new source of income, but also opportunities for other people looking for work.
Related: Take this quiz to find the perfect side business for you
Starting a business is always a challenge, and most startups don't survive even if they started in a good time. But that doesn't mean you have to be one of them. (Besides, nothing is far worse than trying and failing!)
Follow these 3 tips to increase your chance of a successful start during COVID-19.
1. Make sure there is a need in the market
The most important question you need to answer about your company is, "Will people pay me for it?" Do your research and find out if your business idea solves a problem that people are paying to solve. Bonus points if it's a new COVID era that you need to address!
2. Learn from someone who has been there before
You don't have to reinvent the wheel. If you have specific questions about running a business, find an expert to help you. Reach out to someone in your community who runs a business similar to the one you are considering and ask them to place you on a Zoom call. Or if you're not entirely sure what kind of business you're still looking to start or how to get started in the first place, my step-by-step course, The Side Hustle Accelerator, is a great place to start.
3. Dream big, start small
There is no need to put a business at greater risk than it already is. No matter how big you hope your business one day grows, you have the patience (and common sense) to start small. Don't quit your day job, invest your savings upfront, don't be frustrated that you haven't got wilder success just yet. Focus on the next step. Track opportunities as they arise without being overwhelmed by how far you want to go.
We have been given the remarkable opportunity to see the world differently and solve brand new problems. (Hey, even I'm taking advantage. I've started three new companies in the past six months!)
As always, it takes resilience, hard work, ingenuity, and a lot of hope – but if you play things right, you can potentially do something really great.