The news is rife with Aussie small businesses struggling and even closing during the pandemic, but in many ways there’s never been a better time to start a business writes Alec Lynch, Founder and CEO of DesignCrowd & BrandCrowd.
The last year has been a very challenging and uncertain time for many people in Australia and around the world. It’s also been a very difficult time for many small business owners. Many small businesses in Australia have struggled with lockdowns, while others have shut their doors for good. According to the ABS, 277,674 businesses ceased operating from 2020-21.
As 2021 drew to a close, there was also a lot of talk about the Great Resignation about to sweep Australia. Apparently, many Aussies are contemplating quitting their job in search of something new. Some want more flexibility, others are feeling burnt out.
So, many Aussies are probably trying to figure out “what’s next for 2022?”
One option: start a business
Whether you have an idea for your very first business or you’re a serial entrepreneur, whether you’re about to quit your job or you’re straight out of university, now (as Australia and the world grapples with an ongoing global crisis and the uncertainty from the latest COVID variant) could be the perfect time to launch your new venture. Here’s why:
Periods of adversity create opportunity
In 2007, I quit a comfortable job to start my own business (DesignCrowd.com). A few months later, the global financial crisis started. Fourteen years on, DesignCrowd now employs close to 80 people, we have launched a second product, BrandCrowd.com, which is now bigger than DesignCrowd and we are planning for an IPO.
I look back on launching DesignCrowd during the GFC and I believe it actually helped my business. People were looking for new solutions, new ways to save money and they found that my business could help. Investors were looking for new places to invest and startup investing was beginning to become popular in Australia.
The truth is, a period of global crisis and adversity can create opportunities for those willing to take the plunge and start a business.
Over the last two years, we have seen another global crisis that has affected just about every aspect of our lives. Consumer behaviours have changed – the way we shop has changed, the way we holiday has changed, the way we work has changed. New challenges have appeared and new needs have arisen. Many incumbent businesses would be vulnerable and some businesses have closed altogether.
All this change creates opportunity for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
There is extra support for small business
The pandemic has also shifted consumer sentiment positively for small businesses, with a study showing 85 per cent of Aussies are now actively looking to support small local businesses.
There are also plenty of federal and state government initiatives to support small businesses through the pandemic.
Funding for businesses
In 2007, I funded my own business with three credit cards and loans from friends and family. Today, there have never been more options.
Interest rates are sitting at record lows. As a result, getting a low-interest loan to fund your business has never been easier.
The second effect of low interest rates is that cashed up investors are looking to put their money to work. If your new business might need an angel or venture capital investment, the Australian fundraising ecosystem is stronger than ever.
It’s never been easier to start a business
Today, there are so many ways to start a business. It’s never been cheaper, faster and entrepreneurs have never had more options. You can even start a business from the comfort of your couch. All you need is an idea, a laptop and a credit card.
If you’re on a budget, there are a plethora of free services available. You can set up a free website, a free e-commerce store, or a free logo in minutes. There are loads of free options out there and also many COVID-19 discounts and deals for new businesses.
Your own business gives you freedom
One driver of the Great Resignation is that people want more flexibility. Well, if you’re starting your own business, you’re the boss. Want to go 100 per cent remote? Approved. Want to work part-time? Start a side hustle. Want to work from a remote island? No problem. Launch a lifestyle business.
And if you’re serious about your business and if you can make it successful enough, you may never need to work again. That’s not just flexibility or great work-life balance, that is freedom forever.
As Australia opens back up in 2022, new small businesses and startups can help Australia recover from the pandemic. They can create new jobs, new innovations for people to enjoy and new exports for our country to prosper.
So, c’mon Australia! Start a business. Quit your job. Take a chance. Create something new. There’s never been a better time to start. And fortune favours the brave.
The post was originally published on Kochie’s Business Builders. You can read the original here
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