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When conditions around the world seem uncertain, many people, understandably, have hesitations about starting a business. But I am here to tell you that that notion is flat wrong. The list of successful companies that started when times were storm-tossed and difficult to predict is, in fact, incredibly long. General Motors, Uber, WhatsApp, CNN, Hewlett-Packard, Airbnb and a myriad of other large and small companies started in times of recession, of global challenges and uncertainty. Such conditions actually create a wealth of opportunities and situations for the right person and concept to thrive in. It does not matter if the idea has a “disrupt” focus or simply embraces the goals of a well-run service, there has not in recent memory been an environment of supporting opportunity quite like this one.
Your time to shine
Put simply, when everyone else is afraid to jump into the game, that is your time to step up — even while knowing that the road will be challenging, that you will have to be resourceful and that setbacks await. When epochal changes crash over markets and societies, such as the Covid pandemic, it’s vital to recognize that you can be in a unique position to provide new-company solutions, keeping in mind the following questions:
- Is there a value that needs repairing?
- Can we do this cheaper, easier or faster?
- Are there customers that are not getting the message?
- Is there a solution to a problem that has not really found its way out there?
If you have affirmative answers to any of those, you are on the right track.
Today’s entrepreneur has access to a wider variety of tools and technologies than ever before —typically more cost effective and easier to use than they’ve ever been. Previously, people with a marketable idea often faced a lockout based on a lack of access to technological knowledge. Because, of course, getting a business rolling often requires basic programming knowledge, setting up a website, an email system, a mailing list, sales integration software and more. If you did not have that know-how, you had to invest in hired services, which is a significant investment.
Today, the tables have turned. Mobile web, social media, instant ecommerce solutions and automation technology have emerged in ways that put previously unheard-of power in the hands of a single individual or small group. Now, you can launch a basic site in an afternoon, and have the broad strokes of ecommerce and shipping logistics figured out in a day. You can launch a page on Facebook and begin running ads to bring in customers in under an hour, and go to Google to get a simple ad campaign going in the same amount of time. You can even farm out logo design, hire an app builder, order business cards, set up virtual phone systems and enlist workers from the comfort of a living room couch, at a price that was impossible just five years ago. It’s an environment in which dreamers can create rapid, cycled experiments, and to try, fix, and iterate elements like price, message, model, feature, etc… developing solutions and adaptations faster than ever.
When opportunities meet readiness, good things happen. Various market conditions show that there is massive potential for business climate rebound:
- Interest rates are still historically low. Cheap cost of borrowing means more mileage is possible out of an investment.
- Commercial real estate is booming in many areas. This continues to be a hot market and there are potential opportunities for buyers, sellers and agents to thrive.
- In the web sphere, tools and automation make it possible to bring customers easily and cheaply into a sales process and to carry them forward into conversions. Whether it is an email marketing list, ecommerce, enterprise sales or whatever your model may be, tools are accessible to make it happen.
- Consumers and businesses continue to drive up demands for goods and services — a continually growing demand for options and services that are easy to find, access and purchase.
- Technology will continue to drive a constant stream of new industries and opportunities. Just as segments like virtual reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning have become multi-billion-dollar sectors over the past decade, there are future billion-dollar industries just now getting started, and are greenfield opportunities for innovators.
Get ready, now
Doing business is now possible for more people than ever before, but it means that competition is likely to be considerable. Entrepreneurship is a race of resilience, sacrifice and navigating risks, and success lies on a road that is flatter and wider than it has ever been. The catalyst for opportunity today is the entrepreneur’s mind, but to tary is to risk your precious contribution. Start planning now!