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Is 2021 the Year of the Entrepreneur?

Amie Parnaby
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You might have heard that 2021 could well be the Year of the Entrepreneur. What has led many economists and business commentators to make this claim? In some cases, the global economic rebound will demand the creation of new companies to counteract the loss of jobs, business collapse, and the monopoly of the massive business complexes. From a different perspective, the business landscape has changed significantly. Previously saturated niches have new space for entrepreneurial spirits.

People Need New Jobs & New Roles!

Did you know that 2020 saw the obliteration of 255 million full-time jobs worldwide? That means potentially 255 million people looking for a new role. Even if only 1% of those people push forward with their ideas for running their own business, that’s 2.5 million new entrepreneurs that could emerge in this new landscape. 

Not only did businesses and industries collapse, but, even for those who kept working, employment confidence has become less secure. Consequently, people with a desire and a nebulous idea for the future have to consider how they would cope without their job security. What can they do to mitigate any future upheaval? Not only have many employees had to take a hard look at their futures, but the job market has become more competitive. Are all those people now looking for work? Someone will be ready to fill your shoes if you aren’t giving it 100%.

If you think you can do better, and your internal entrepreneur is screaming to get out, perhaps it’s time to measure your options.

Changing Situations and Trends

2020 didn’t just put people out of work or destroy businesses; it also changed how many people purchase products, access services, and live their lives. New approaches to health, fitness, wellness and more have opened up various alternative ways that people WANT to live and work.

Digitisation has changed several industries (for the better and worse). Largescale and massive collective businesses are losing custom to smaller, more localised providers. It is safer in the current climate to reduce the number of people with whom you congregate. However, there’s the additional personalisation of smaller groups and individual attention.

The year 2020 left gaps in the market, hidden niches exposed by a system that couldn’t work under pandemic conditions. Now, they are exposed to the light of day, and people want more.

Why is 2021 the Year of the Entrepreneur?

There are a few reasons. 2020 was a bad year to begin a business because of the continual upheaval and shifts in the economy, global markets, and commercial trends. Now, well into 2021, the wild fluctuations of 2020 have settled, and new trends have either begun to solidify, or disappear.

We have more information available to us, we can see through the maze, and a few other things too. 

Unprecedented Times Call for Unique Actions

The wholesale shift in social interaction, remote working, and new communication methods have opened up previously unexplored business opportunities. That’s not to say that there haven’t been challenges along the way, but there have also been advantages. 

Flexibility and adaptation have been crucial to maintaining supply lines, public services, private enterprises and everything else in between. Different industries have jumped on board the digital train and are using it for all they are worth. Restaurants that have always resisted the “takeaway culture” have had no choice but to join their brethren on the food delivery bandwagon. However, there has been an explosion in the niche for healthy food provision, entirely for the takeaway market.

Online tech for a dozen different markets need the skills of marketers, designers, and developers. Work-from-home parents need new and engaging activities for their children (an hour a day of classroom time on Zoom doesn’t fill an 8-hour workday). The students behind in their studies need tutors. And as people, we need safe socialisation and entertainment – Netflix can’t cut it for everyone.

People with a creative approach to any of the emergent niches can make a name for themselves in the coming times. Even when we approach what we hope to be our usual way of life, these expansions to provision will persist even if the result is a hybrid of old and new models.

You Already Know How to Motivate Yourself

Working from home has been a learning curve for many people. However, putting in a full day of work (or perhaps even longer) has forced you to motivate yourself. Without your boss looking over your shoulder or keeping an eye on your toilet break time, you have had to keep an eye on yourself to keep your productivity up. You have become the master (or mistress) of your own productivity. If you can do it for “the man”, surely you can do it to get your own business off the ground.

Not only do you know how to motivate yourself, you already have a work from home space. You can use it. Your entrepreneur spirit already has a home workspace; it would be a waste not to use it for your own benefit.

Your Skills Can Work For YOU

You have spent years in your industry, learning from the ground up. Suddenly, you are in a position where you think “Why am I using my skills to benefit the massive corporation when I could be using them to build my business?” 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, when everyone started talking about supporting localised businesses, many people are significantly more aware of their spending habits with massive corporate entities. If they can, they would much rather deal with a local and human business to which they can relate.

If you feel undervalued or hard used by a current or former employer, can the local market take your independent business? Do you have a new direction in which you can offer similar services or products to your clients Has a new niche opened up that you can exploit, which the existing businesses don’t cover? The answer to that one is probably “Yes!” 

Technology and Digitisation Went BOOM!

If the COVID-19 pandemic situation of 2020 did anything positive, it was to take digitisation across all industries to new heights. And 2021 is for the entrepreneur in you to take advantage of that technological boom. 

Any business that can operate online, by phone, or even by text, is a business you can run from the comfort of your home, a tablet or mobile phone.

The technological developments in the past year have been incredible. As technology such as 5G networks become more mainstream, more tech development will also emerge. Greater data streaming capacity will present more opportunities for digitisation, international remote working, and so much more.

Let’s not forget that all the information you could possibly need to implement your business plan is available online. For the lesser-known information, you might have to dig a bit further than page one of the Google SERPs, but the data is there for the taking. The video tutorials, webinars, and one-to-one coaching are there for you to access. With a tap on your phone or a click of your mouse, you have the keys to your business plan available. It’s all their to develop your inner entrepreneur.

Freedom to Build Something for You

Building a business for yourself is not just a way to pay the bills or make your skills make money for you rather than a faceless corporation; it’s also about freedom. 

  • The freedom to implement the ideas you’ve had to fight for in your employment – even when you know it was in the company’s best interests. 
  • The luxury to use an old idea in a new way, not bound by a management team’s traditions with no innovation vision. 
  • The Autonomy to take a risk you believe in.

There is also the aspect of building something that is all you. The chance to put your heart and soul into something you could call your “legacy”. Maybe it’s is just the chance to say, “I built my own business, I was/am a business owner”. Whether your venture ultimately dives or thrives, it’s an achievement you can look back on and feel proud.

What Will YOUR Inner Entrepreneur Bring to 2021?

Whether it’s a simple side hustle that fills a tiny niche in your local area or a grand scheme that will bring employment to many, plan well. Use all of the lessons learned from failed businesses. Identify any weaknesses exposed by the catastrophic effects of a stagnating global economy, and plan for them. Yes, 2020, we’re talking about you again

Not every entrepreneur that emerges in 2021 will survive for the long haul, and that’s okay. However, those who succeed will help their local economies to rebound and grow from the ashes. A solo enterprise could become the future employer of hundreds both locally and across the world. Technology will allow recruitment across borders, enabling new companies to employ the best team for their enterprises. 

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