It could feel a little counterproductive to think about starting a business during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, with more and more people working from home, and more time to focus on other things, with holidays, parties, meals out, and classes cancelled, you could have the time to finally sort out the business that you have always wanted to start. How we work has changed significantly, so why not change that to working for yourself from home, rather than working for someone else? Having more of a work and life balance is something that more of us are seeing, as a long commute is a thing of the past. So it can be a good time to think about the things that you want from life, and could be the boost that you need.
If you are looking to get started with a business from home, then where do you start? And during a global pandemic, what is the best procedure? Here are some of the things to think about.
Starting a business during coronavirus pandemic
The only difference to starting a business now, rather than at any other ‘normal’ time is that you need to think about what will work. A restaurant, gym or a coffee shop doesn’t seem like the best idea right now, as those are things that are impacted through a lockdown. So other than a business in that industry, starting a business is no different.
One of the first things that you need to do is to draw up a business plan. You can do this by working out the costs of your start-up, which can be quite minimal if you plan to run the business from home. You should also think about financing your business. This can be a little more tricky in a pandemic, depending on the business model that you choose. You may have very little by way of costs, as you might just need to use your computer and an internet connection, and then you’re good to go online with online tutoring, for example. If you are thinking of an online store, then you will need to think about how you will finance your inventory or get certain equipment or software, for other kinds of businesses.
Marketing your business is another important aspect to think about. If no-one knows where to find your business, then how will they know that your business exists? This is something that can take time, especially if you are new to it. However, making the most of a website, SEO, and social media can help to give your new business an online presence. There are some other ways and ideas that you can market your business, found in this article: entrepreneur.com/article/283832, so it could be worth a read through.
Working from home
With a business from home, you will save a lot on costs, and will even be able to claim some expenses back, from using your home for work (such as a portion of your energy bills). However, there can be some downsides. If you want to be taken seriously as a business, then will having a residential address look professional? You may also not want to disclose your address as a return address for your online shop, for example, which is where a website like physicaladdress.com comes in. You can then get a real address for work parcels and packages that get forwarded on, rather than disclosing where you live personally. It can definitely make a difference and give you some real peace of mind.
When creating a business, it pays to think about who your ideal customer is. What do they look like; how old are they? What problem do they have that your business solves. When starting out with a business, especially at a time when people are being careful about where they spend their money, you need to be meeting a need, and have an ideal customer in mind. When you know what your ideal customer looks like, then you can market specifically to them, and focus on that. A business aimed at teenagers or those in their early twenties might benefit from having a TikTok profile, for instance. For a business serving local customers, flyers delivered locally, as well as local Facebook groups, could be a good choice.
When you go through your plans, there are regular business considerations to think about. In the current climate, though, make sure that you have plans in place to make a COVID-safe business. If someone is collecting something from you, for example, make sure that you clearly state what the social distancing procedures are, to keep everyone safe.