The Path to Entrepreneurship in the Post-COVID Era: A How-To GuideToni VanDoren
Article By: Chelsea Lamb [email protected]
The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t just shake up global health systems; it also impacted economies worldwide. Many people took advantage of this economic evolution to start their own businesses. According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, startups have boomed in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic. If you’ve always dreamed of becoming your own boss, seize this unique moment to make your move.
Guiding Rural Innovation & Development (GRID), supports innovators and entrepreneurs in Wisconsin’s Northwoods region, providing practical resources to guide their startup journeys. This article provides pointers on founding a business on the heels of a pandemic.
Decide on the right business model.
Your odds for entrepreneurial success will increase if you choose a business that aligns with your personal talents, interests, and resources. In the wake of COVID, online businesses capable of withstanding a pandemic may be a smart choice. Marie Forleo provides tips on how to narrow down the options when it comes to choosing a business model. Start by asking yourself how big of a business you want to manage and who you will serve.
Establish your business as a legal entity.
Establishing your business as a legal entity like a limited liability company or corporation offers a few advantages. It can help streamline your bookkeeping and tax filing, for example, and offer liability protection in case your business gets into hot water. Research from Columbia University reveals that the United States is the most litigious society in the world, so it can bring your great peace of mind to take a proactive approach against lawsuits.
Get the educational credentials or licenses you need.
Before you start your business, you may need to gain additional credentials or licenses. For example, if you want to start a graphic design firm, learning the latest photo editing techniques and tools can be beneficial. The good news is that it’s easier than ever to get an education. As the OECD Forum explains, online learning is on the rise, providing easier access to diverse educational resources.
Figure out your overhead costs and find funding.
Most businesses require startup capital to cover the cost of tools, property, and other essential resources. Make a list of all overhead costs, like commercial rent, computers, mobile phones, utilities, and business-specific tools. With this information, you can determine how much startup capital you need. Possible sources of funding include bank loans, angel investors, and grants. For example, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers grants to people who start businesses in rural areas.
Hire the employees you need.
The right employees can help support your business’s success. Never hired anyone before? Don’t stress. Constellation provides a comprehensive guide to recruiting for small businesses. They recommend starting by assessing your hiring needs and then writing detailed job descriptions specifically crafted to attract appropriately qualified applicants. You should also conduct interviews as part of your hiring process.
Use technology to streamline business processes.
As your business grows, you’ll want to make sure you maintain well-organized, streamlined operations. For example, payroll is one time-consuming task for business owners. A modern payroll platform will be able to handle multiple tasks, from logging employee hours to handling same-day check deposits. Direct depositing payroll for employees spares you and your workers stress. Quickbooks is one option: It’s really just a matter of entering relevant employee information like hours worked and sick days taken and processing payroll before the 7 AM cutoff.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people reconsidering their values and lifestyles. If you’ve been inspired to start a business in the course of your own self-reflection, don’t let fear hold you back. Careful planning as outlined above will help support your success.
For more practical tips to promote successful entrepreneurship, head to The Grid. We provide business owners in the Northwoods region of Wisconsin with education, events, and other resources designed to help them thrive. Find out more.