Your guide to starting a business (even during a pandemic)
Many people find themselves at a crossroads right now. The pandemic has played havoc with some of our careers and left us either unemployed or furloughed. It has plenty of people thinking about their future when the pandemic is over and no doubt some of you see this as an opportunity to hit reset and try something new.
It might be a change in career or an aspiration to start afresh. If you’re one of the people thinking about starting a business – be it as a side gig or full-time career – we’re here to pass along our advice. It will be tough, but with an entrepreneurial spirit, you can slowly begin to build something new, without needing a large investment. It’s time to plan for the future now. Here are some things to keep in mind.
What do you know?
Start with the skills you have. This might be something you’ve picked up during your career – such as sales or marketing expertise – or something you’ve worked on in your personal life – such as baking or writing.
Do note though that the former might be better. If you have worked in that field before, you’ll have insight into expectations. You will be more attuned to the pain points of your audience if you’ve had the chance to address them before. Whereas if you’re monetising a hobby, you don’t necessarily know what people expect of you.
Having knowledge of the field will also help you with the business side of things, meaning you can offer prices people actually expect. This is something you could always find out with some market research, but already knowing the information ahead of time will mean you can hit the ground running.
Who do you know?
The old adage still holds true – it’s not always what you know but who you know. In the case of starting a business, the relationships you have might benefit you in a couple of ones.
For one, these could be potential clients. Over the course of your career, you might have built up a network of professionals who you can now approach and offer your services too. You have an advantage in that they will be warmer to your proposal since they know you. And you know them, so you know what they want (bringing us back to our point above about their pain points).
If they aren’t clients, they could still be useful in offering advice. Other business owners will have tips to help you jump over some of the early hurdles and might even have contacts of their own that can help you. If you have a good working relationship, these people will likely help you out of good will.
What do you have?
You preferably want to start a business with as little capital investment as possible. You should never invest more than you can afford. Instead, work with the tools you already have.
A phone and a computer are more than enough at the start. Even a tablet can be used in place of a PC. As for software you might need, there are plenty of free alternatives available. The Google suite of tools is popular for this very reason.
With a big focus on working from home right now, you don’t have to worry about investing in an office. All it takes is an entrepreneurial spirit and some hard graft. As we said at the start, now is a difficult time to start your own business. But that isn’t to say there isn’t an audience out there for you. Do your due diligence, find your niche, and be a part of rebuilding our economy.
Look out for part two of our advice to starting your own business where we cover the types of business you can start without a lot of capital. If you want advice about starting a business or need a helping hand with your accounts, get in touch with Big Hand on 0161 327 2911.