Entrepreneurship has always been a challenge, but what after COVID?
Entrepreneurship is not something you do lightly, it is an intense commitment, which takes considerable energy and can generate significant financial resources. But it is also giving life to a project, which can be that of a lifetime.
In order to succeed, you have to study it, build it, confront it with reality... and dare to jump in at the deep end. This requires going through preliminary constraints that are too often underestimated: market study, marketing plan, financial plan, choice of legal form, registration with the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (BCE) …. We will discuss some general subjects in the following paragraphs.
What about entrepreneurship in 2021?
An important thing that you as an entrepreneur must take into consideration is momentum. Due to the COVID-19 virus, we are at a critical moment that must be taken into account.
We are slowly emerging from a long, deep and global crisis that will leave its mark on the business world.
Some sectors have been hit harder than others. The culture, events, passenger transport, tourism, advertising and graphics sector as well as the hotel and catering industry are the most affected victims. Many bankruptcies can be expected in these sectors in the following months.
On the contrary, freight transport, construction, the food industry, the (bio-) pharmaceutical industry, the digital and gardening / DIY sector are doing quite well.
What are the opportunities for entrepreneurship?
Where there are failures, there is also room for innovation and revival. And where there is resilience, there can be prosperity. It is up to you to estimate your entry into the market. Here are a few key points to which Trends Business Information would like to draw your attention to before you take the plunge:
· The location of your business
For certain activities, the location can be decisive for the success of your project. If this is your case, dare to question it before you start. For example, should we still start a business in an office district, when companies are likely to generalize teleworking? Shouldn't we instead consider settling near residential areas?
· The supply chain
Businesses have suffered during the crisis. There is a severe labor shortage and supply problems for several raw materials or semi-finished products. How are the suppliers with whom you had planned to work when developing the project? Are they still able to take you as a new customer and deliver the quality you expect on time? Can they also confirm their prices?
· Your clientele
Whether you have a B2C, B2B or mixed project, the question of whether your future customers have changed their behavior must arise. For example, we all know that the market share of e-commerce has increased in a sustainable manner. Some clients got poorer, others got richer during the crisis.
· Payment terms
Since 2019, but even more so since 2020, payment terms have lengthened considerably. If your customers impose extended deadlines on you, what will be the consequences on your ability to pay your own suppliers? Can your customers repay their short/long term debts?
· Your financing
Chances are, you asked your bank to support you when you launched your business. Depending on the answers to the points mentioned above, make sure to check if the amount is still sufficient to finance your project. Take a look at the validity date of the credit offer. Interest rates are on the rise again and it would be tragic to get started without financial certainty.
Getting out of a crisis is usually a turning point in economic life. This is a good time to get started, as long as you are well armed with the right information and understand the behavioral changes that this entails. The health crisis is no exception to this rule.
New companies have no experience, no customers, and therefore have not yet proven anything in terms of added value. But they start off with a blank slate, without dragging any old historical certainties. They are therefore agile and often more attentive to emerging markets. They find new opportunities more easily, even in crowded markets. Customers always follow those who are right at the right time.
So yes, you have to study your file carefully, and set your goals. But the opportunities are real. Either way, in all markets, even the most difficult ones, there are always entrepreneurs who stand out.
More than ever, the future belongs to the daring.