It may seem risky to pursue entrepreneurship in the midst of a global pandemic, but some experts believe this could be the best time to start a business. Not only is there less competition today than there was in January of 2020, but there are endless business opportunities to be explored.
If you’re thinking of becoming an entrepreneur as we emerge from COVID-19, these five tips from Nancy Rubin will help you to reach your business goals. Keep reading to learn more about starting a small business in the age of the coronavirus.
The pandemic has changed our lives in many ways, including how and where we shop, do business, work out, eat, gather with others, and live our lives. And while some of these changes have been negative, they’ve also opened the door to a plethora of new business opportunities. As such, it’s important to choose a business idea that meets our evolving needs during the pandemic — such as home delivery services, pet products, educational toys and products for virtual learners, and online workout classes.
Online formation services have been around for a while, but they’ve become even more convenient in the age of COVID-19. ZenBusiness, for instance, makes it a breeze to form a legal entity in your state, apply for an employer ID number (EIN), and secure a registered agent for your small business — all without having to visit your local Secretary of State Branch Office.
You can also register a “doing business as” name for your startup. Commonly known as a DBA, assumed name, or trade name, your “doing business as” name allows you to market and sell your products and services under a name that differs from your legal name or registered company name. It’s also useful if your desired domain is unavailable, or you wish to expand your offerings down the road.
While it’s true that a large chunk of small businesses has closed since the start of COVID-19, several funding opportunities have become available to those who wish to launch new businesses. Here are a few places to look for funding for your startup:
- Grants.gov. Here, you can search for federal funding opportunities for small businesses, nonprofits, government organizations, and other eligible organizations.
- SBA.gov. The Small Business Administration can be used to apply for funding under the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program, Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program, 8(a) Business Development Program, and other SBA programs.
- Nonprofits and corporations. Depending on your demographics, industry, and geographic area, you may be able to secure funding through a corporation like Walmart or an organization such as WomensNet.
As you get your business up and running, there are several professionals you may wish to hire along the way. A few of them include accountants and bookkeepers, web and graphic designers, and digital marketing specialists.
An accountant, for instance, can help you to choose a business structure, understand your tax obligations, and set up your bookkeeping systems — while a graphic designer can design your brand identity. A web designer or developer will create your business website, while a digital marketing professional can set up your social media accounts, create an email marketing campaign, and develop a marketing strategy. Check out freelance job boards like Upwork to find the startup help you need.
On the topic of marketing, every entrepreneur who wishes to start a successful business during the pandemic needs to promote their products and services online. Start by creating your free Google Business Profile, optimizing your website for search engines, obtaining reviews from former customers or clients, and adding your business name and URL to your email signature.
You can also save a lot of money (which you can then redirect back into your business) by using free resources whenever possible. For instance, advertise on social media as much as possible, and use free tools to convert JPG to PDF online when you’re sending out a marketing campaign via email.
The pandemic will one day come to an end, but if you play your cards right, your business will survive long after COVID-19. By choosing a business idea that appeals to you and meets the evolving needs of today’s consumers, you’ll be sure to succeed in entrepreneurship.