This is a good year to start your business. According to Nasdaq, the 2021 New Business Insights report of Intuit forecasted that 2022 will be the third successive year of having a record number of new small businesses and microbusinesses at 17 million. Among those who intend to start a business, 83 percent stated that the pandemic has hastened their plans. Intuit executive vice president Alex Chriss noted that these people reassessed their priorities and saw opportunities brought about by the new normal.
Microbusinesses have less than $50,000 as starting capital. These and small businesses contribute $5 trillion to the U.S. economy. They provide employment to 41 million people. Sole proprietors provide jobs for themselves, too.
There are many great ideas for small businesses that do not need huge startup capital. Many can be purely online and managed from a home office. The key is to find what people need during the pandemic. Here are just two examples.
E-commerce has been the best kind of business during the pandemic. Experts state that even when the pandemic wanes, people’s habits of shopping online will stay. People have become used to the convenience of shopping on their smartphones from home at any time of the day or night.
Dropshipping is the easiest e-commerce business to manage. You do not make the products. You do not have to have an inventory of the products. You do not have to worry about packaging and shipping. Your supplier does all those. You must have or develop expertise in online marketing, though. If you do not have the experience, there are online classes you can take.
In dropshipping, you choose products and establish agreements with the suppliers. You then set up a website or a store on an online shopping platform like Shopify where you market the products. When you get an order, you forward this to the supplier. The supplier sends the product to the buyer, and you get a commission.
Do diligent research in choosing reliable suppliers. It is best to have several suppliers whose products are complementary. This gives you more chances of cross-selling and upselling with your buyers.
Choose products that buyers will be replenishing. This will give you repeat orders regularly once you build loyalty among buyers. Offer loyalty discounts to further encourage them to buy again and again.
You will spend on your website or e-store and other online marketing efforts. You must drive traffic to your website or e-store using multiple strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO), writing guest blogs on popular sites that link back to your site, and engaging your target market on various social media platforms. Invest in an SEO service provider for best results.
The best way to market your products is to provide what your target market needs. Be informative. Provide solutions to their problems. Respond quickly to inquiries. Use formats that are currently popular such as videos on your website and social media accounts.
Insurance is an evergreen business because people will always need it. It is a requirement when people take out a mortgage for a house or an auto loan. With the uncertainties of the pandemic, people will also want to be covered by life insurance to leave something for their families.
You can be an independent insurance agent and set up your own agency selling various types of insurance policies from different insurance companies, earning a commission. By doing so, you offer your clients a wide range of choices depending on their needs and budget. They can also simplify their insurance transactions by dealing with only you for their home insurance, auto insurance, and business insurance, for instance.
You will need to get a property and casualty license as well as a life, health, and accident license, among others, to cover all policies. Check with your state licensing department and with the insurance companies you intend to represent to find out what other licenses you will need.
Each state has different pre-licensing education requirements. There are online classes you can take to qualify you for taking state licensure examinations. Once you are licensed, you must apply to every insurance company you want to represent. After you gain their approval and appointment, you can start selling policies for them. Take note that you will have to take continuing education to maintain your license through the years. Each state also has its own regulations for this.
Riding the Recovery Wave
According to the White House, the nation’s economy is recovering at one of the fastest rates on record. This has encouraged the large wave of entrepreneurship. Among existing small businesses, optimism on their performance increased from 63 percent in 2021 to 71 percent in 2022.
It is best to start a business sooner rather than later this year. This will ensure that you are established as the economy improves further and soars from there.