Setting Up a Business During a Pandemic: is it Possible?

Setting up a business during a pandemic that has taken huge toll on the economy might sound crazy on the surface. That said, there are actually lots of reasons it could work.

Whether you’re setting up a business from home or on the high street, coming up with a business model to work with this crisis is possible. However, you should take legal advice before starting a new business to make sure you’re aware of all the costs and setup involved. 

Photo by Amina Filkins from Pexels

In this post, we’re going to give you some reasons why you should set up a business during the pandemic, as well as some tips on how to do it. But, before we do that, we’re going to discuss whether people are actually doing it. Take a look…

Are People Setting Up Businesses During the Current COVID-19 Crisis?

Before you decide setting up a business during the pandemic is the right thing for you, it’s good to look at whether other people are doing it.

It’s not often talked about, but the pandemic struck at a peak time for entrepreneurial activity. In the UK, for example, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor showed that in 2019 they had the highest rate of early-stage entrepreneurship recorded since the survey began in 2020.

Almost 10 percent of all working age adults were in the early stages of setting up a business, with young people aged 25-34 the most likely to be doing so. At the end of September 2020, there were 120,257 more companies registered on the Company House Register than at the end of June. 

One of the reasons for this could be low interest rates and cheap property, with lots of skilled unemployed workers around to fill your business with. It could also be the case where people have been forced to set up a business because they’ve lost their job, can’t get another one, and have no choice but to do so.

Whatever the reason, people are starting businesses now more than ever, and you need to decide whether you want to be one of them.

Should You Consider Setting Up a Business During the Pandemic?

Knowing that other people are thinking the same way as you is one thing, but whether setting up a business during the pandemic is a good idea or not is another. So, what are the arguments for setting one up? 

Firstly, there’s no perfect time to set up a business. For example, General Motors, IBM and Disney were all set up at the beginning of the Great Depression.

Crises are also the perfect time to evaluate what the next generation of problems are going to be, giving you the opportunity to set up a business that solves those problems. 

With that in mind, here are the three main reasons setting up a business during a pandemic is a good idea:

1. Building a business in a pandemic will make it crisis-proof

When the money is flowing and everyone’s happy, it doesn’t really matter how well structured your business is. Setting one up in a pandemic is different; you have to be frugal with expenses, careful who you hire, and meticulously plan its structure.  

Every element of your businesses has to be crisis-proof from the start, which will stand you in good stead for the future of your business in and out of a crisis.

2. If you can navigate the crisis, you’re on to a winner

The companies we mentioned who started at the beginning of the Great Depression all had one thing in common: adaptability. 

Setting up a business structure that can shift and change easily, with all parts able to alter course on the turn of a dime, is crucial to its future success. Setting up a company during a constantly changing crisis, where certain things are allowed one minute and the opposite the next, gets you used to the swings and roundabouts of less turbulent times.

3. Talented people are out there looking for work

Setting up a business right now gives you access to the hundreds of thousands of skilled workers who are desperate for new employment. 

Lots of these workers will have been involved in start-ups before, and could have some great advice on how to get your business up and running. Also, businesses have set up remote working, so lots of them will also know how to work from home if you don’t have an office or storefront yet. 

They can help you and you can help them by providing them with employment. Another great reason to start your business now and help out those who need it. 

Top Tips for Setting Up a Business in a Pandemic

For those of you who are now convinced that setting up a business during the pandemic is a good idea, here are a few tips to get you started on your journey. 

1. Do your market research

As much as it’s a terrible thing to see other businesses fail, a lot of these companies weren’t prepared for a crisis and were stuck in their old ways of doing things. Look into what these businesses did or didn’t do that caused them to collapse and make sure you learn from them.

For example, restaurants that were on the high-street but had no infrastructure in place to deliver their food were some of the first to be hit hard by COVID-19. When you set up your business, make sure you can deliver your service without the need for physical footfall. 

On top of this, these companies will leave huge gap in the market in their sectors that need to be filled by new businesses. Do your market research, find where the gaps are and fill them.

2. Try running your business online

The tide was already turning in the favour of online businesses before the pandemic, but now they’re actually outperforming physical store fronts by a huge margin.

Once the pandemic is over, it’s likely that people will remain in their online shopping habits because of how convenient and easy it is to do so. Especially with Christmas just around the corner, online shops are set to make a small fortune.

Take Amazon, for example; they have doubled their profits since the start of the pandemic! Although they’re obviously a huge business, anyone offering online products will likely benefit from their reflected glory. Setting up a business online is key in 2020.

3. Spend some money on security

With more online shopping comes more awareness for online security issues. Even huge companies have suffered cyber-attacks this year, which has raised people’s concerns across the online shopping world.

Setting up a business with strong online security will put your customers at ease and stop them worrying about whether they should share their payment details with you. So, make a point on your website that you have top-level cyber security, especially around online payment details and personal data. 

If you intend on setting up an actual storefront, make sure you have all the necessary COVID restrictions in place. Sanitiser on the door, compulsory mask wearing, and well-organised queues with 2-metre distancing rules. 

Should You Set Up a Business During the Pandemic?

In this post, we’ve managed to cover the increase in the number of start-ups during the pandemic, as well as the reasons why you should consider joining them. We’ve also provided some tips on setting up a business during the pandemic.

Hopefully, this now doesn’t seem as crazy an idea as it did before you started reading this post. There are enough reasons to start one if you’re someone who can be versatile in a crisis, set up a solid business structure, and do your market research.

Don’t wait until the pandemic is over before though – use the crisis as a launching pad for something people really need right now. Good luck!

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