The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly caused difficulties for many aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses, however, there has been a significant increase in the number of individuals willing to take the leap and pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. The pandemic has created an ideal environment for entrepreneurship to flourish, as many have been working from home and reflecting on their potential. Twill’s insightful “Breaking Free from the 9-5” interview series explores the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and provides essential guidance on how to overcome these obstacles.
One critical piece of advice is to view challenges as opportunities rather than threats. A survey by Kauffman found that 58% of young businesses’ entrepreneurs during the pandemic found self-doubt and fear to be a challenge. However, for entrepreneurs to succeed, it is necessary to have a mindset that recognizes the opportunities that can arise from challenges. The pandemic has provided many individuals with the chance to learn, develop and grow, uncovering their entrepreneurial flair. Alice Burrell’s start-up, Peonies from Pluto, is an excellent example of how challenges can be transformed into opportunities.
Starting a new business demands a considerable commitment of time and energy, making it overwhelming for many people. However, entrepreneurs can find ways to balance their business with other priorities. Research by Santander revealed that 27% of students currently run or plan to run a business while at university. Nadia, the owner of Nu Elefa Naturals haircare brand, has had to run her business while studying for a degree. To strike a balance between study and business, Nadia advocates creating a schedule that dedicates specific hours to different responsibilities while factoring in downtime.
Remote and hybrid working has opened doors for small businesses to build teams, expanding the candidate pool and allowing for more flexibility. However, creating company culture remotely can be challenging, making it challenging to attract and retain top talent. Alessandro Savelli from Pasta Evangelists, an artisan pasta delivery service, highlights that his biggest challenge in building his team has been creating a team culture, particularly with new people joining the business during a pandemic. To overcome this, Alessandro has introduced initiatives to get the whole team involved, whereby the chefs lead team tastings a few times a week to gather feedback on new recipes, techniques, and collaborations.