The only thing we know about today’s economy for sure is that it’s filled with uncertainty. While the coronavirus continues sweeping the globe, we’ve lost countless businesses.
Data suggests that among those that closed because of the pandemic, roughly 60 percent won’t return. Between the unprecedented forced shutdowns across the world and the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, the effects on the economy are difficult to impossible to predict.
Research from PwC suggests that 39 percent of companies had most employees working remotely one day per week or more. That increased to 77 percent during the pandemic, and is anticipated to remain around 55 percent afterward.
But there’s good news for entrepreneurs. You’re more important to the economy of today and the future than ever before. In the early days of the coronavirus, tens of millions of Americans were unemployed, a number that’s dropped to just over 11 million by October. That’s some promising progress as we all start navigating the path forward. It’s also a clear bat signal.
The superheroes we need now? Entrepreneurs. Today’s economy is filled with valuable opportunities for entrepreneurs to create jobs and begin carving out a new landscape for business and commerce. No one’s saying that it’ll be easy, but it is possible to not just survive today’s economy, but also to thrive in it by weaving these three key fundamentals into your plans.
Experts are calling the pandemic a “black swan event.” Rare, severe, and unpredictable by nature, a black swan has the power to decimate businesses. Those that are going to survive are the ones best equipped to pivot quickly and adapt to changing conditions.
Case in point: remote work nearly doubled during the coronavirus. Research from PwC suggests that 39 percent of companies had most employees working remotely one day per week or more. That increased to 77 percent during the pandemic and is anticipated to remain around 55 percent afterward. The businesses that were best able to get their employees up and running remotely quickly had a distinct advantage over those who weren’t able to do so.
Today’s economy is a little turbulent and change is likely. But entrepreneurs that keep agility at the heart of what they’re building will be ready for whatever might come up tomorrow. It’s the key to fast, effective short-term reactions. To rise above the obstacles that come along, which helps forge a path to long-term resiliency.
Creativity and entrepreneurship go hand in hand. You identify a problem and build a business centered around solving it. But that same creative thinking has to continue beyond getting your business off the ground. But creative thinking and innovation can’t stop once you’ve got your big idea in motion. It’s an essential skill with the potential to carry you and your business through the roughest times.
Consider how many small business owners turned to creative solutions to keep their own businesses running during the pandemic. Research from the Society for Human Resource Management revealed that the coronavirus forced 43 percent of small businesses to reconsider how they do business. More than three out of 10 have discovered new ways of providing their services and 22 percent are having employees learn new skills to go along with the changes they're making.
Jewelers streamed gem shows on social media, fitness instructors held live virtual classes, Broadway live-streamed shows for the world to see. At the center of it all is creativity. This is the spirit that entrepreneurs need to continually embrace to thrive moving forward.
Build a Strong Network
Entrepreneurs are famous for wearing different hats and performing all the essential functions needed to get their businesses off the ground. Startups often tackle all the essentials in-house. In this post-pandemic world, we won’t necessarily be able to keep the expertise we need on staff.
But, with the focus on digitization that’s leading the economy of today and the future, that isn’t a concern. Enter the network. That web of talent that you can rely on without having to hire them on full time. With a strong network, entrepreneurs can access the talent they need quickly and from anywhere. It’s outsourcing at its finest. When built correctly it provides on-demand access to top-tier talent, freeing entrepreneurs up to focus on the core of the business and day-to-day tasks needed to keep things running smoothly.
No one knows exactly what entrepreneurship or business will look like in 2021 and beyond. But recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau suggests that the spirit of innovation isn't going anywhere. Throughout 2020's first three quarters, applications for new businesses were 27 percent higher than the year before. The future of business creation looks to be strong, which is a promising sign for entrepreneurs.