Small business owners in college towns across the U.S. are hoping for the best when students return — and bracing for the worst (Aug. 28)
Is this a good time or a bad time to start a business? What if I told you it is a great time?
I have long thought that recessions are excellent times to start businesses. The smart and passionate Marcus Lemonis, star of the “The Profit” on CNBC, agrees.
Recessions could work well for startups for a few reasons:
•Startups require passion and commitment, and those facing financial uncertainty have those traits in spades.
•Essential startup costs are cheaper in recessions, i.e. rent, advertising, labor, etc.
Lemonis added another very important reason: There is a lot of money available for startups. “With the (Small Business Administration) being more generous than ever with their guidelines and with more cash on the sidelines than there has been in years,” the time could be opportune to launch a startup.
Lemonis suggested that we all should especially support entrepreneurs who have been historically challenged.
For the new season of “The Profit,” Lemonis is casting for entrepreneurs who have been “underrepresented by the capital and educational markets.”
I loved his commitment to small business when we spoke; it’s the same passion you see on his show – and you can also see “The Profit Live” Tuesdays on Instagram.
What’s the ‘hot’ business?
This all begs the question, what type of business should you start? Lemonis suggests that you look for “voids in the market” – such as cleaning services, food delivery, etc.
Let me add one more: Online business are hot and smart.
How do you catch a fish? You throw a hook in a spot where a lot of fish congregate. As everyone and everything moves online, does it not make sense that you should throw your new business hook where the fish are? Yes, and that place is online.
The key is to have:
•A good idea (a subject for another day).
•A great online presence (a subject for today).
There are all sorts of ways to get your new business online: You could hire a web designer to build you a WordPress site, you could do it yourself for free or you could use an online service. I know of many fine ones – Wix and Shopify, among others – but let’s focus on one that I like best and which has an amazing offer: Yahoo Small Business, called Get Online.
Get Online is a free program designed to help small businesses establish and improve their digital presence. Launched to help small businesses (new and old alike) during the coronavirus pandemic, Get Online was extended until the end of the year. It can help businesses get a domain, build a website, get custom email addresses, draft a business plan and get access to Yahoo’s flagship small-business platform, Business Maker.
Daniel Reyes and his partner opened a cleaning business in 2007, but they were forced to close it five years later. In March, amid COVID-19 and job losses, they decided to try again (Lemonis’ words seem almost prophetic). The businessis Kenmore Kleaning.
Our new emphasis on cleaning equaled a new opportunity, only this time, Reyes knew they needed a differentiator: a great, professional website.
Reyes used the Yahoo offer to get online with a modern, great website (including video, Facebook Messenger and more). Reyes says he expects the new site to “separate us from the competition.”
So yes, the time is now. I bet Reyes and his partner are going to, well, clean up! And I bet you can, too.
Steve Strauss is an attorney, popular speaker and the author of 17 books, including “The Small Business Bible.” You can learn more about Steve at MrAllBiz.com, get more tips at his site TheSelfEmployed, and connect with him on Twitter @SteveStrauss and on Facebook at TheSelfEmployed.
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