We are currently living through a strange and historic moment for businesses. As restrictions are lifted on various aspects of public life, those businesses that survived the COVID-19 pandemic are finding ways to navigate this liminal period of widespread uncertainty – and those businesses are the lucky ones. After all, many others, unable to adapt to the changes necessary to operate amidst social distancing requirements, filed for bankruptcy over the last year.
Given these facts, it’s hard to imagine that this would be a good time to start a new business. The economy is still working to recover and while employment numbers are up, consumers are still getting back on their feet. What’s more, many people who would have been in a position to start businesses pre-pandemic are likely to have less disposable income or be less inclined to take out a loan than they were before. That’s what prevailing logic would suggest, anyway, but it may not be true. In fact, many suggest that this is the perfect time to start a new business.
The Mid-Pandemic Surge
One of the first indicators that this may be a good time to start a new business is that, even in the middle of the pandemic, a substantial number of new businesses popped up. Despite overall economic conditions, entrepreneurs took advantage of the needs that consumers expressed during this time to define and develop services for new business niches. Established businesses also undertook this work, but it’s often easier to develop a new enterprise than to rethink the services of an existing business.
The Post-Pandemic Moment
Turning, now, to this post-pandemic moment, there are a number of reasons why prospective business owners see this as the best time to take the leap. Though there are several possible motivations, a few stand out.
First, there’s evidence that unemployment may drive entrepreneurship. Why? Outside the bounds of traditional employment for a time, unemployment will, of course, spur people to look for new jobs, but it also gives them a chance to dive more deeply into their passions. They may brainstorm ideas, build connections, and even look at real estate. Unemployment can be stressful, of course, but it also means that people have time to do research into what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, perusing sites like StepsToStartABusiness.com. Having time to dream is the first step of many.
Another reason that this moment, in particular, may be a good one for entrepreneurship is due to the impact of the recent stimulus program. This is particularly true in minority communities, where people typically have less disposable income and a lower net worth. We’ve seen this in practice in Black communities, where numerous new small businesses have opened even amidst the pandemic. The added income from the stimulus, though negligible for many, may have pushed some over the edge in terms of encouraging innovators to follow their passions.
An Independent Future
Whatever motivates someone to explore entrepreneurship, it’s important to remember that this is a long journey. Success requires developing new daily habits, engaging in continuing education on business topic, networking, and much more. Still, the pandemic has placed a spotlight on small, local businesses, and more consumers are interested in supporting local business owners. Though businesses are still struggling to navigate a variety of new challenges, this really may be the ideal moment to start a new business.