We all know that the global COVID-19 pandemic had a serious impact on businesses. The hospitality industry in particular was negatively affected, and lots of smaller, independent companies were forced to close their doors. So it may surprise you to learn that the pandemic also led to a surge of new businesses launching.
Within the UK, more than 400,000 start-ups were formed in 2020. As a percentage, the number of new businesses increased by 14% that year. This was more than double the global average of 6%. It’s also worth noting that in March 2021, more new businesses were created than in any other month since 1989, when records began. So what’s the reason for this rise in entrepreneurial spirit?
It’s been suggested that as people were forced out of work or furloughed, they decided to start up their own business as a way to earn extra income. The pandemic also offered these people an opportunity to follow their passions, perhaps for the first time.
The Rise of Entrepreneurship
In this modern age, there is undoubtedly a rise of people starting up their own companies, or even starting multiple companies and selling them on. It can be a fantastic way to make your fortune, and possibly even retire early! Of course creating a profitable business isn’t just about having a great idea, or even about executing it well. You’ll also need to put a lot of hours into the company, and ideally have a lot of useful connections you can utilise.
These days, you no longer have to pursue the career your parents did. Nor do you have to join an existing business and be unable to shape it. Becoming an entrepreneur allows you to take control, and run your company the way you best see fit.
Why Become an Entrepreneur?
Starting your own business can sound like a pretty intimidating prospect. Being wholly responsible for your income, not to mention having to do your own taxes, can be daunting. But there are a huge range of benefits to becoming an entrepreneur, which will hopefully outweigh the risks! We’ve explored three of the main advantages to creating a business below:
1. Take Control of Your Income
One of the greatest benefits of starting your own business is that you can take control of your working life, including your income. This was perhaps a contributing factor to so many businesses starting up during lockdown - there was a lot of uncertainty around wages being cut or even being laid off, so some people decided to take back control of their income.
Working for yourself furthermore allows you to have a more flexible schedule. Although you may end up working longer hours, especially when you’re first starting out, you’ll have the freedom to choose your own hours. This could mean that you’re able to work around other activities, such as picking the kids up from school, or even a second job. The time you spend on your business is likely to be more enjoyable than if you were working a regular nine-to-five job too, as it will be something you're passionate about.
2. Tap Into Undiscovered Markets
The world post pandemic isn’t the same as the one before COVID-19. More and more people are working remotely, for instance, and many people are still cautious about meeting up in large groups. For obvious reasons, there is also more of a focus on hygiene than ever before. And it’s in areas like this that entrepreneurs can step in, offering new solutions. This could be anything from antibacterial products to better technology for remote workers.
There are furthermore loads of other untapped markets that entrepreneurs can develop products and services for. Essentially, you need to find a problem that a lot of people are facing, and then create a solution to that problem. For example, with the rising energy prices, now would be a perfect time to find a cheaper way to build and install solar panels!
3. Pursue Your Passions
Have you been longing for a career change? Perhaps now is the time to really start following your dreams, rather than work for a business you’re not excited about. Entrepreneurship is also a great way to make an impact in the world - your product or service could help a lot of people, and may even inspire a few individuals to become entrepreneurs themselves.
Working in an unfulfilling role won’t be good for your mental health. If this sounds like a problem you’re currently facing, consider starting up your own business. Of course, you’ll need a great idea to base your business around, and probably a pinch of luck, but you won’t know if you don’t try!
What Skills Do You Need as an Entrepreneur?
The main thing a business owner needs is drive. You have to be passionate about your company, and willing to put in the work. This will often mean immersing yourself in research, about your industry, market, and customer base.
Another skill any good entrepreneur should have is resourcefulness. If something goes wrong, you need to address the problem straight away, and find a way to fix it. You won’t always get it right the first time, but you can only learn through making those sorts of mistakes!
Many entrepreneurs have additionally found that the key to success is a great team behind you. Making sound hiring decisions can make all the difference in terms of getting your business off the ground. Our CEO Dan Ware said his number one piece of advice for an aspiring entrepreneur would be to “Believe in yourself, but self belief and a great idea will only take you so far. You need an inner circle that compliments your skill and supports you to create a culture set to succeed.”
As a final note, it’s good to remember that while you should be prepared for a challenge, and starting a business will almost certainly take twice as long as you think it will, the sense of achievement and pride you’ll get when you succeed will be unparalleled. Becoming an entrepreneur will most likely end up defining your life and identity, so make sure you give it your all!