Instead of feeling daunted, those who harbored dreams of being their own bosses charged forward.
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“Although times were tough for businesses over the last year, it’s clear that many entrepreneurs also saw opportunities,” says Adam Witty, an entrepreneur himself and CEO of Advantage Media, which helps CEOs, entrepreneurs and professionals build their authority in their fields by publishing a book.
In 2020, even as pandemic numbers soared, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 4.3 million new business applications were filed nationwide, up 23 percent from the 3.5 million in 2019.
In May of this year alone, 500,219 new business applications were filed across the country, according to Census Bureau reports.
“When you’re determined to launch a business, you can’t let the potential for unexpected twists and turns stop you because the future is always uncertain,” says Witty, who is also the ForbesBooks co-author of Authority Marketing: Your Blueprint to Build Thought Leadership That Grows Business, Attracts Opportunity, and Makes Competition Irrelevant.
“What you can do is plan carefully, gathering facts and data that can help you reduce risk, though not eliminate it.”
Tips For Entrepreneurs Itching To Start New Businesses
Witty offers a few pointers for anyone interested in taking the business-ownership plunge.
Find a need
It’s more of a challenge to enter a crowded market space or to try to provide a product or service that there’s little or no demand for, Witty says. Instead, he suggests finding a need that’s not being met, which is what he did when he launched his business. One day Witty was talking with his mentor, Pat Willams, a motivational speaker and former senior vice president of the Orlando Magic. Williams told Witty that every motivational speaker needs a book, but most don’t have one. “It was his suggestion that I start a book publishing company to serve people like him and fill that need,” Witty says.
Try to keep overhead low to start
Witty launched his company in 2005 in a spare bedroom. While such a humble beginning wasn’t unheard of at the time, it is even less unusual now as remote work has become common and, for many businesses, offices have ceased to be a must-have. “This certainly saves you on your startup costs because you can avoid the expense of renting space,” Witty says. “At some point, especially as your business grows, you might still want a physical office away from home, but to start out you may find that’s not necessary.”
Be ready to adapt to changing circumstances
One reason even established businesses can fail is that they stubbornly stick to old ways of doing things while consumer behavior and the market are changing, Witty says. The pandemic provided everyone with first-hand evidence of that, as businesses had to adapt to swiftly changing consumer habits. “If things start going well for you, it’s easy to get comfortable,” Witty says. “But the way you did things yesterday is no guarantee of success tomorrow.”
“A lot goes into starting a business and you absolutely will make mistakes,” Witty says. “The important thing is that, instead of feeling overwhelmed and defeated by those mistakes, you need to learn and grow from them.”
About Adam Witty
Adam Witty, co-author with Rusty Shelton of Authority Marketing: Your Blueprint to Build Thought Leadership That Grows Business, Attracts Opportunity, and Makes Competition Irrelevant, is the founder and CEO of Advantage Media. Witty started Advantage in 2005 in a spare bedroom of his home. The company helps busy professionals become the authority in their field through publishing and marketing. In 2016, Advantage launched a partnership with Forbes to create ForbesBooks, a business book publisher for top business leaders. Witty is the author of seven books, and is also a sought-after speaker, teacher and consultant on marketing and business growth techniques for entrepreneurs and authors. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily and USA Today, and has appeared on ABC and Fox.