One of the most read stories on Flying Solo since the start of the COVID pandemic is this one that looks at how to get your side hustle off the ground. It’s not surprising with all the talk of pivots and using our time in #iso to make brand new plans for our lives. But what exactly is it about NOW that makes it a great time to start a new business?
From a consumer perspective things have never felt more grim. Our spending habits that reached a panic buying peak back in April are beginning to peter out as we, quite rightly, sit and wait to see what happens next. According to the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment rose by 16.4 per cent in May to 88.1 points – the biggest monthly lift on record (47 years). The increase in confidence follows a 17.7 percent decline in April – the biggest monthly fall on record.
David Koch, founder of Pinstripe Media told Flying Solo recently that the best plan of attack in the face of recession was considered action: spending 15 minutes at the start of each month getting clear about our financial goals. As he said: “One of the most common questions I receive is what can I do with my money. My immediate reply is “what do you want your money to do for you”. In other words you have to decide first.”
But here’s my question: should we take the same kind of caution and planning when it comes to our business idea?
Keen to hear from the experts we checked in with 3 of the most digitally savvy soloist in the Flying Solo community and asked for their 10 cents.
Here’s what they said:
Robert Gerrish, founder of Flying Solo
“What this period has given many of us is the time to think, an opportunity to get clear on what’s truly important. Seldom do we get such a ‘pause’ as it generally only shows up during extended holiday, or conversely, times of burnout or illness. In this sense, now may well be the ideal time to launch a business, THE business that truly aligns with what you truly value.”
Kate Toon, founder of Kate Toon.com
“Like having a baby, I’m not sure there’s ever a ‘best time’ to start a business. We’d all love to have our ducks in a row, but if we wait too long our ducks will be dead, or at least very elderly. But I’m a big believer that when we are old and grey and furry, we’re more likely to regret what we didn’t do, than what we DID do. So BEMORESHARK, be brave and give it a go. You don’t have to hurl yourself into the business pond with a giant splash, you can take it toe by toe.”
Natasha Stewart, founder of Business Jump!
“Within business we always have challenges and problems to solve, yes COVID-19 is a grand challenge to solve for those affected however it will push business owners to think out of the box which ultimately could open up a whole new opportunity of growth and success that may have been missed from staying comfortable so there is never a right time. It is a do it now and figure it out as you go situation because then you’re working with on the ground intel as opposed to assumptions that might not even materialise.”
Annette Densham, founder of Publicity Genie
“There is no perfect time to start a business because there is no such thing as perfect. If you wait for the ‘right’ time, there will always be reasons to not do it or to find reasons to not do what you need to do. But right now, in the midst of chaos and global craziness, is a great time to start. People are looking for solutions to problems and if you have something; a skill, a product, a service, anything that can make people’s lives easier, do not keep that to yourself. Looking back through history, after great turmoil and major events, life changing innovations, solutions, and inventions are serendipitous. Human beings are incredible at picking themselves up by their bootstraps to make the most of bad situations. If you are thinking of starting a business, then you are in the right place at the right time. There are so many great resources and tools available at low cost or free to help you get started.”