Starting a Business During Uncertain Economic Times
Launching a new business venture during a strained economy could actually make more sense than it seems at first glance. The same factors that we've been dealing with for the past twelve months during the pandemic can also create an opportunity if you are considering starting a small business.
Problems create opportunity
For one thing, fewer businesses in the marketplace can mean fewer potential competitors. For a start-up company, that can be good news.
Also, a slower economy can mean cheaper prices for certain goods and services you'll need to get up and running. As companies close branch offices, they may be willing to sell office equipment, furniture, electronics, and other items at discounted rates. Commercial property managers have tons of empty space with no rent income. They may be willing to cut you a deal.
Skilled labor is also more readily available in a slow or uncertain economy. With today's employment outlook, skilled workers may be willing to take lower salaries, at least for now. As your business prospers, you may be able to ramp up salaries and offer other benefits.
Some time-tested suggestions
If you're thinking about starting a small business now while the short-term economic outlook is still slow or uncertain, here are some time-tested suggestions:
Start small. Test the market for your product or service without risking too many resources. This could be as simple as a concept test that you share with a few prospective customers. Or it might be creating a pop-up restaurant with pick-up or delivery only. Not only does this approach take less money, it also develops a proven business model you can then present to bankers to possibly obtain more funding when you wish to expand. So consider taking it slow and letting it build.
Under promise and over deliver. With customers hard to come by in some industries, consider wowing your customers even more than you normally do to try and quickly gain their loyalty. Remember, success is not always defined by what you do or make, but how well you do it.
Seek advice. Find other small business owners and pick their brains for suggestions about overcoming obstacles, keeping the business focused, and prospering during hard times.
Look for jump starts. Sometimes there is a similar business that could use your help or is willing to sell at a reasonable price. Starting out with a book of business and systems already in place can save a substantial amount of time and money.
Create a plan. Start with a feasibility study of your idea and then translate that into a well-developed introductory plan. This review and road map will help you succeed when starting your business.
Build a team. Successful businesses have great accountants, legal advisors, and trusted suppliers. Start networking to build your team. You'll need your team both in the short-term as you start your business and in the long-term as you look to grow your business.