Covid-19 has already cost some 40 million Americans their jobs. You are fortunate if you are among those who are still employed. You cannot be complacent, though. Job security is unstable these days as more companies continue to fold or downsize.
Now is the time to take control of your financial security. Being your boss means you are not left clueless about whether they will fire you and when. As the business owner, you will know exactly how you are faring.
Starting your own business in 2021, well into the pandemic, may seem counterintuitive. It can be overwhelming. Experts believe that it is the right time to do so, though.
Your first concern will be the capital needed for a startup. If you are a new entrepreneur, you can start with not having employees. You can also keep the business home-based. These will keep your costs down. It is possible to run a successful one-person business from home.
Of course, you will still have basic expenses such as a home-based business insurance plan. This is crucial and even required in some states. If you are covered, the insurance company will pay you for property damage, lawsuits, and injuries related to your business. There are different types of insurance. Choose one based on what best suits your budget and your projected risks.
If you do not have enough capital, you can turn to investors. Those who held back last year already had enough time to assess the market situation. They are ready to put their money into the right projects.
Online and Home-based
Online businesses are the most popular ones in the new normal. People want to be safe and do their transactions online. They avoid going out even after the easing of complete lockdowns.
People expect this situation to last even when vaccines become available. The efficacy of the vaccines on a wide scale and for the long term is still under study. Many companies have thus been closing their brick-and-mortar stores and offices. They shifted the selling of commodities and services online.
Your best choice for your business would then be one that is both online and home-based. It must be online to cater to your target clients or consumers where they are. It must be home-based to cut costs and to protect you from exposure to Covid-19.
Type of Business
What home-based online business can you set up? The first question is, what do you know how to do? The easiest answer is to do what you are currently doing in your job. Whether you’re an independent consultant, a contractor, or a PSLE Chinese tuition, you are already an expert at what you do, and you know the kind of customer or client to target.
What if it is not possible to translate your current job into a home-based online business? You can instead review your skill sets. Study how you can apply these to a business of your own. It can be completely different from your job, but you can still leverage your skills. You must also check the current online needs of the market and find your niche.
Do not be afraid of competition. An online business has a much larger potential market than a physical store or office. There is enormous room for competition.
Engaging Your Market
As an online business, your website functions as your storefront or office. It is what your potential market sees. It determines how your market engages with you and vice versa.
Setting up and maintaining a website might not be among your skill sets. If so, it is necessary to invest in professional services. This will ensure that your website is attractive, easy to navigate, and efficient. It must be active all the time. It must also be accessible on computers as well as smartphones.
You can save more if your website service also offers online marketing services. They will then generate traffic for your site through search engine optimization (SEO).
You can handle your online marketing on social media sites. Set up social media accounts that link to your business. Communicate with the public with regular and engaging content. Make sure that you respond to queries promptly and properly.
Be Part of the Market
You have most likely purchased a product or a service online. This already makes you part of the online market as a consumer or a service user. Imagine how many more people out there are also online consumers and service users like you. The market is huge.
Now imagine that you are one of the sellers or service providers tapping into this vast market. Is it not much better to become part of the market on both sides?