March 2020’s infamous shutdown of businesses across the country has created a permanent alteration in the entrepreneurial landscape. Business operations have become increasingly digital, prioritizing e-commerce and online marketing over the traditional methods of brick-and-mortar stores and paper advertisements. Thanks to this digital shift, it’s easier than ever to start a business from the comfort of your own home--there’s no better time to reevaluate your career and become an entrepreneur.
It’s easier than you think--here’s why.
A hybrid lifestyle won’t go away.
Although businesses are reopening at full capacity, pre-pandemic life won’t be returning any time soon. Most companies are shifting towards hybrid work schedules, where employees spend some days working at the office and others working from home. Many large companies such as Ford and Target have already announced that they’ll be switching to a hybrid model for the foreseeable future. This hybrid schedule is advantageous for entrepreneurs because it yields the flexibility to pursue side projects such as running a business. Whereas a 9-5 job would’ve historically taken up one’s entire day, this new hybrid model cuts down commute time, thus providing individuals with more freedom to explore entrepreneurial endeavors.
Social media is expanding rapidly.
By utilizing social media platforms like TikTok, a short-form video app, companies can create viral content that engages thousands, if not millions, of users. Furthermore, by establishing presences on beta platforms such as Clubhouse, a drop-in audio chatting app, companies have avenues for rapid, meteoric growth. While older networks such as Instagram and Twitter have become overly saturated (although it’s entirely possible to cultivate a large following, the sheer amount of content on the apps makes it hard to get many eyes on your posts), newer platforms such as TikTok and Clubhouse provide ample opportunities for growth.
Not only do business owners have the opportunity to reach mass amounts of new customers, but they also have an avenue to showcase a behind-the-scenes look into their businesses, thus establishing a sense of rapport with their audiences by providing transparent content that makes their audiences feel like trusted friends rather than mere customers. Whereas apps such as Instagram and Facebook are typically used to create curated, picture-perfect photos, many business owners use newer platforms such as TikTok to showcase candid moments that highlight their businesses’ personalities. For instance, in late 2020, fast-food chain Arby’s gained massive attention after TikTok user John Casterline published a short video displaying a secondhand TV he purchased that only displayed the Arby’s menu, and Arby’s responded with a series of witty videos that gained millions of views. This exchange became so popular that it led to the launch of Arby’s “$5 Missing Menu Meal.” This new product stemmed from a simple series of TikTok videos, showcasing the power that social media marketing can have on a company’s customer base and product mix.
People are spending more money.
Since 2013, the United States’ Personal Savings Rate has hovered around 7%, indicating that people save, on average, about 7% of their disposable personal income. However, in April of 2020, that number surged to a record high of 33.7% and has remained higher than average ever since then. In March of 2021, the Personal Savings Rate was still abnormally high -- it was at 27.7%, the second-highest number on record. For the past year, people have been saving money at unprecedented rates, and as the world emerges from a long economic shutdown, people are eager to spend their extra cash, simply because they can. They now have the means to indulge in new products and services, including yours.
Thanks to permanent hybrid lifestyles, a shift toward digital marketing, and a greater rate of consumer spending, there is truly no better time than now to pursue the entrepreneurial lifestyle you’ve always wanted. You’ve waited long enough--go ahead and start today.
About the Author
Teri Villanueva is a franchise consultant with FranNet of San Antonio and Austin. Teri helps individuals discover the possibilities of entrepreneurship through a process that matches their passions. She’s passionate about business ownership opportunities and understands not only the risks, but the quality of life and financial independence benefits that many clients seek. Her main objective is to provide education on the franchise industry. Her complimentary services help clients understand the pros and cons of business ownership. Teri is involved in the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber, New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce, ACG and National Association of Women Business Owners.