Here at Digital Doctor, we often feel swamped by the constant influx of bad news about the pandemic. The hospitality and travel and tourism sectors are in decline, job creation is non-existent, retail footfall has obviously taken a beating and unemployment is rising just about everywhere. And we know it's not just the UK - a recent BBC article tracks what is happening in the world's economy.
But wait, we were watching BBC Breakfast today (consuming leftover panettone from Christmas) and there was good news for business to report.
Between June and August last year, Companies House saw an additional 59,358 new companies being registered compared to the same period in 2019. Whilst the period October to December 2020 saw the number of incorporations slow down slightly (45,870), this still demonstrated a 29.4% increase in registrations compared with the same quarter in 2019 and the largest Q4 increase since 2012.
Towards the end of 2020, analysts were predicting a potential annual increase of around 12% in new startups - the biggest year-on-year increase since 2011 (and to fact-check how long ago that was - it was the year Kate and Wills tied the knot).
In real terms, that equates to almost 90,000 new startups conceived in 2020.
The BBC Breakfast's Nina Warhurst goes on to say that last year's trend is still on an upwards trajectory with 31,423 new ventures recorded this month. With the benefit of newly reported statistics, the Centre for Entrepreneurs reports a 14% increase from 2019 to 2020 in new business formations.
What accounts for new startup data in the midst of a global pandemic?
Part of the reason is that people are setting up side ventures to operate alongside their existing job - perhaps a project or hobby they're passionate about and wanting to see if it can fly. The Centre for Entrepreneurs also says part of the increase can be attributed to individuals having taken stock of their lives and using time in lockdown to scope and pursue their business dream.
Either way, more and more of us are re-evaluating where we're at and from a business perspective, are doing something about it.
Matt Smith, director of policy and research at the Centre for Entrepreneurs:
“The pandemic has unleashed a wave of entrepreneurship across the UK, with people testing new ideas and responding to new demands”.
What business should you be in?
You want to be part of this startup growth? Let's look at which industries are gaining ground in this era of the 'Covid economy'.
Well, tick if you're a manufacturer or supplier of medical and pharmaceutical equipment and services. Tick again if your business is involved in the provision of cleaning supplies and services. Online retail startups supplying computers, sporting products, games and toys are all reporting strong growth. Takeaways and mobile food outlets are bucking the trend of most of the hospitality arena and some sectors of the UK travel industry (if you're offering UK-based accommodation) are reporting an upsurge in activity.
Are you feeling inspired to start your own business?
Because if, by reading this blog, it's given you food for thought then also check out the BBC Business article - and why new entrepreneurs have decided now is a good time to realise their dream.
At Digital Doctor we particularly like this article as it focuses on individuals rather than corporations. We like the fact that these entrepreneurs have found a niche - whether that's to help the local community or develop a hobby or skill into a revenue earning concern. We also cheer on those that have transferred their skills to a new service or market. And best of all, we celebrate those that see the potential of doing all this online - and appreciating how social media can potentially grow their business baby.
This is all core business to us and a new business needs a brand, a message and a consistent online presence. Engagement with your client base in the social media circle is a prerequisite and we can help you with that too.
We've found this blog on 100 business ideas (well 96 ideas actually) that might inspire some daydreaming at the very least.
This blog from Xero provides practical advice for budding entrepreneurs and signposts all the steps along the way. It's a big read but well worth adding as a bookmark in your web browser.
Get talking! We'd love to hear from you!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a steer on the digital aspects - it's not as daunting as you may think.