How to Start a Business During Troubled Times
By Space Coast Daily // July 25, 2020
All over the news, you’re hearing stories about businesses that have had to close due to the recent health crisis. Thousands of businesses have struggled to get by, with some reaching the point where they can no longer hang on. Seeing all this on the news is enough to discourage many entrepreneurs from starting their own businesses.
However, with some careful planning a few strategic decisions, you can start your own business despite these troubled times.
Develop a Plan
The first thing you need to do, regardless of the situation going on around you, is to develop a plan. You need to spend some time thinking about everything that will go into creating your business. This is even more important when you’re starting a business during a crisis, as you’ll have more factors you need to consider.
For example, your target audience may not have as much disposable income as it once did, meaning you would need to adjust your price points. You’ll have to edit your plan as you go along, but the more you can plan out in advance, the better off you’ll be.
Try to Work Virtually
Next, you should look to see if you can run your business virtually. For some businesses – like restaurants and beauty salons – this may not be an option. It will really depend on how much of your daily work is typically conducted via a computer.
Running your business provides a few advantages. For one, it will significantly reduce your costs. You won’t have to spend money on office space and everything that goes along with it. By working virtually, you can also find more affordable employees.
Since you don’t need to hire people in your area, you’re free to hire people from all over the country or even the world. For example, if you need someone to do data entry for your new business, you can easily find someone from overseas to do the job at a fraction of the cost.
Buy Equipment Used
Another way to cut costs as you start your business is by buying the equipment you need used. For example, let’s say you need to set up an office space with several computers.
If these computers won’t be used for anything too intensive, you can save a lot of money by buying used equipment through sites like eBay.
Or maybe you need some major equipment in order to produce some of your products. In that case, you could use a site like machinerynetwork.com to get the bigger equipment pieces you need used. As long as the equipment you buy is in good shape, you can save a significant amount of money by not buying it new.
Look for Assistance Programs
Unless you have a lot of money saved up, you’ll need some funding coming in to help you start your business. Finding this funding during tough times can be more difficult, as many banks or credit unions are more averse to giving out loans. However, there are still programs out there that can help you.
For example, there are government programs you can take advantage of to help you fund your business. You should investigate what programs are available to entrepreneurs in your state and see if you qualify for any assistance.
Make Use of Free Tools
Finally, wherever possible, you should look to make use of free tools. Many businesses rely on third-party software programs to run your business.
As you start to use more of these, the total amount you’re spending will continue to climb. To reduce your costs, look for free alternatives to the programs you want to use.
For example, instead of buying Microsoft Office, you can instead use the free Google Docs. You may not get all the same features, but if you only need basic word processing software, you could then save yourself some money. Think about what tools you use the most, then search online for free alternatives.
Another free tool to make use of is social media. Creating accounts on social media platforms is free to do and they are excellent ways to grow your brand.
Through social media, you can build a community around your company and start bringing in customers to your new business.
Don’t Let the World Stop You
Just because things are crazy all around us doesn’t mean you can’t start that business you’ve been dreaming of. Instead, you will just have to adapt to the circumstances and find other ways to get things done.
But if you can take the time to research all your options and develop a strong plan, there’s no reason why you can’t start your new business now.
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