Updated: Dec 7, 2021
This is a valuable guest post written by Carrie Spencer of thespencersadventures.net!
More than 100,000 small businesses have closed down permanently during the COVID-19
pandemic. While this is proof of the intense strain the pandemic has brought on the U.S.
economy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not a good time to start a business.
In fact, there are many advantages to launching a startup in the current economic climate.
There is less competition for resources, such as specialized talent. Changes sparked by the pandemic, positive and negative, have created new customer needs. And new businesses can take advantage of reduced equipment costs, lower interest rates, and many other opportunities to save money.
Though now is an opportune time for entrepreneurs, you must come out strong when it comes to planning your business and managing your startup capital. Here are some practical tips from Our Appalachian Homestead on how you can do just that.
Strengthen Your Earning Potential
Even the brightest, most seasoned entrepreneurs have room for improvement. The more you know and the better you are at what you do, the more likely you will accomplish your goals and run a thriving business. Find ways to learn each day, and always look for opportunities to grow your skill set. Reading leadership books, business articles, attending industry conferences, and finding a mentor are a few practical ways of being proactive in your learning.
Another consideration is to go back to school. This could be an especially smart move if you’re not quite ready to dive into your business venture. By earning a degree, you can strengthen your business acumen and add to your credentials. And you can choose from a wide array of online business programs, while learning about management and leadership, business administration, marketing, and more.
Make a Business Plan
Once you feel ready for entrepreneurship and have a business idea in mind, make sure the idea is tangible. Through market research and testing, refine your business idea to ensure it is meeting a customer need and can bring a profit. Then, start drawing up a business plan.
Business plans are vital for entrepreneurs because they help you secure funding and serve as a roadmap to your goals. If a piece of information is in any way relevant to your business, it
belongs in your business plan. Here are some examples of what your business plan should
● Mission statement and core values
● Descriptions of products and/or services
● Target audience
● Marketing strategies
● Recruiting strategies
● Financial projections
● Funding requirements
If you can pay your own way when launching your business, excellent. But most entrepreneurs must get funding to give their venture a fighting chance. Interest rates for small business loans are still historically low at the moment, so that is one of the first options to consider. You could also start a crowdfunding campaign, which would essentially mean that you pledge to offer donors a discounted product or service (or first dibs on a product or service) once your company gets off the ground.
Of course, many startups benefit from working with investors, incubators, or accelerators. Each of these comes with its own advantages; just be sure not to commit to any terms that you’ll be hard-pressed to uphold down the road.
Create a Budget
Finally, you must have a working budget for your business — and stick to it. Without a budget, you can’t maintain cash flow. Without cash flow, your business won’t make it very long.
When creating your budget, be sure to make room for expenditures that will fuel your company’s growth. For example, equipment and operational costs, payroll and hiring, technology, and soft costs should all be a priority. High-end coffee makers and extravagant decor should not be.
The pandemic has brought with it some serious opportunities for entrepreneurs. If you think this might be the time to pursue a new venture, take the moment by the horns and give it your all.
Along with heeding the advice above, keep learning about other ways that you can secure and make the most of your startup capital.
Our Appalachian Homestead is an all-inclusive group for anyone wanting to homestead,
live off-grid or already doing so. And if you need provisions, stop by our shop!
This informative guest post was written by Carrie Spencer of thespencersadventures.net! Please don't forget to check out their amazing blog!