If you’ve been thinking about starting a new business, the pandemic and civil unrest gripping the nation may have given you pause. There's no doubt COVID-19 has significantly impacted small businesses; but where cynics see crisis, entrepreneurs see opportunities. Maybe you're currently out-of-work or you've watched local community businesses shutter after months of closure. Regardless, at heart you're an entrepreneur and this could just be your time to start the business you've been dreaming of.
But where do you begin? What do you need to know? How do you raise the necessary funds to get your idea up-and-running? How to Start a Business Now will guide you through all these questions -- and more. Chapter by chapter you will equip yourself with the information necessary to ensure you've correctly set-up your business structure, defined a marketing plan and built out a crisis management plan, should you need one.
Beginning today, and running for 16 weeks, this blog will provide you with a link to the latest chapter in How to Start a Business Now. At the end of each chapter you'll find a quiz or worksheet or a checklist to help you gauge your readiness to move on to the next chapter. Finally, at the end of How to Start a Business Now, you can download all your assessments to use as a guide on your journey to starting your new business.
Read the eBook to learn how to:
- Evaluate your business idea
- Create a business plan
- Raise funding
- Set a budget and manage finances
- Create a marketing plan
- Hire employees
- Care for customers
- Prepare for the next crisis
In many ways there's never been a better time to start a business.
Why? COVID-19 is creating opportunities
Take a glance at the statistics, and anyone would agree the coronavirus crisis has had a devastating effect on the U.S. economy and the small businesses it supports:
- The unemployment rate surged to 14.4%, leaving more than 20 million people out of work – more than twice that of the Great Recession of 2007-2010
- More than 100,000 small businesses permanently closed during the outbreak
- Experts predict the pandemic will cost the U.S. economy $8 trillion
But, it’s not all doom and gloom. Lost in those disheartening stats is the fact that the pandemic has caused a shift in customer needs and expectations, paving the way for new businesses to disrupt the market and flourish into major enterprises.
Such an era of innovation isn’t unprecedented. If history teaches us anything, it’s that dedicated entrepreneurs will find a way to leverage current circumstances into winning business models. Take these billion-dollar businesses that emerged from the Great Recession:
- Uber didn’t invent taxi services, but it leveraged the gig economy to turn an existing model on its side
- Airbnb didn’t invent travel accommodations, but it found a way to turn homeowners into overnight entrepreneurs – while expanding unique lodging options for travelers
- Venmo didn’t invent digital payments, but it found a way to eliminate fees for peer-to-peer money exchanges at a time when cash was tight
The next wave of billionaire founders will undoubtedly leverage current circumstances to revolutionize industry, including:
- A shift toward remote work and collaboration tools
- Customer conveniences, such as door-to-door delivery and curbside pickup
- Safety concerns, addressed by contactless shopping, PPEs and other initiatives
- Increased reliance on ecommerce
- A desire for at-home entertainment
- Greater emphasis on health and wellness
- Digital classrooms
- Rediscovery of outdoor recreation
- Focus on financial planning
- An expanded gig economy
Now is a time for innovation, but you don’t need to reinvent the wheel: rather, you need to adapt to consumer needs and deliver a product or service that fulfills them.
Packed with timely insights and real action steps you can take now, each week of How to Start a Business Now will bring you one step closer to realizing your dream of entrepreneurship – whether you want to open a hometown restaurant or launch the first vacation resort on Mars.
You can do this. Deluxe can help. Get started here.
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