It seems every day someone I know decides that business is for them and announces their career change into entrepreneurship. Every day, there seems to be a new unicorn startup making the rounds on my social media feed, the founder now a self-made millionaire.
So, are more people launching their own business, or are we just hearing about success more often?
Interestingly, in 2016, CNN reported that the number of businesses being started in the US was significantly lower than that of 40 years ago. At the same time, Scott Shane explained that business failure rates were in long-term decline. So, there are fewer businesses and more success. Here’s why it’s easier than ever to be an entrepreneur!
Entrepreneurship’s backbone has moved
The choice of whether someone can work for a company, or work for themselves has transformed in the last few years. There’s arguably more opportunity for the entrepreneurs of today than those of yesteryear.
As the business world has gradually shifted to the online world, it has become entirely possible to form and run a business from anywhere in the world, your own home, or even mid-flight on a plane. Not only is this possible, but it can facilitate a range of industries, from manufacturing and retail to designing and marketing.
It’s now more common to see entire companies workflows being managed through computer and smartphone programs. This hyper-connectivity means the only thing that is missing from a business being pulled together is a great and organized mind.
The business formation has transformed since 2000
Work has followed almost the same rules since the early 18th century – you either work for a business, or you build your own.
Earlier in the past, it was incredibly difficult to start any type of business due to how hard it was to connect with people and get the ball rolling with all of the required workflows.
A businessman or woman would need to travel around the country, or the world in order to reach out to manufacturers, designers, marketers and more. Even when all of these people and companies are connected, there’s no guarantee of their quality. Marketing returns have been somewhat low-end until recently, and manufacturing processes were slow and inefficient until the industry started to automate most of the workflows.
Now in modern times, although the difficulty has moved from traveling and connecting to working 14 hour days and managing as many workflows together as possible – being an entrepreneur has a far higher chance of working out.
Targeting customers have become far easier
One of the most challenging tasks that business developers had to do in the past was connecting their products with the correct audience. That meant expensive market research costs as well as well as traditional channels to use for their marketing.
These old channels took time. They were slow to get the message across to the audience, and often the specific was never received. In addition to this, print media, as well as radio, was hard to monitor and collect analytics from, which made retargeting even more difficult.
Beyond 2010, so much data could be collected, almost everything could be analyzed. We now have access to so much data from our customers that we know things those before us could only guess at.
Now, we can target ads directly towards specific demographics, at a certain time. Then, we can see who looked at the ad, and hit them again with some retargeting. It’s easy to find out where our customers hang out online and even things like, what time they wake up and go to sleep are all within our grasp because of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google.
You can simply whip together a few advertisements, target their demographic and read your marketing ROI analytics.
Business Ideas that work
Today, it’s easier to look for business ideas that work. We have a wealth of information thanks to the internet; we can see data, growth and sales metrics that let us know how a product performs in an existing market.
We are also able to use collected user data to search for market gaps to fill, and create a product or service reverse engineered to fill those gaps.
There are a number of different business categories that entrepreneurs can look to for success, and those are;
- To create a new product for an existing market
- To create an entirely new market
- To copycat, a product an compete in a current market
As expected, the highest returns are within the categories with the highest risk, which is to create an entirely new market in response to the release of your product, as the iPhone did to the smartphone world.
These ideas often require active research and development to come to fruition efficiently and are therefore typically reserved for existing successful entrepreneurs who have the capital to back themselves.
Stable business ideas, however, are becoming easier to find and access. Companies like h.u.m.a.n and their healthy vending machine business create a simple way for entrepreneurs to begin a business.
Entrepreneurs who enter such a market are given the best chances of success as they are entering an existing market, and in the case of Healthy Vending, an existing business idea, such an approach eliminates the need to develop an entirely new market, product or service.
It’s simply tapping into such a large industry that failure is less likely.
Starting your own company isn’t easy, and it requires a whole load of time and investment, as well as devotion and drive. No one said it was ‘easy,’ just that it’s becoming easier. The world’s top entrepreneurs will tell you, the easiest way to start a business is to simply – do it. No matter how hard it may seem, nothing will happen unless you start.