The Rise Of The Covid Entrepreneur

    In Brief:

  • Covid-19 has directly led to the loss of over 50 million jobs in the U.S.

  • From July to September, single-employer tax applications have increased 77 percent - signifying a sharp rise in entrepreneurship.

  • Many Americans utilize social media and video-conferencing apps to their advantage to earn a living while remaining socially distant.

Consider the phoenix for a moment. Out of the ashes, this mythical bird of Greek lore rises again. Many unemployed Americans have found their “phoenix moment” in the months since the pandemic first began. 

In a matter of weeks, Covid-19 caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs. According to the consulting firm McKinsey, nearly 53 million Americans were faced with the very real possibility of losing their job. Since the pandemic began in March, the Department of Labor estimates that over 50 million people have applied for unemployment benefits. Workers in the travel, leisure, restaurant, and retail sectors have been especially hit hard, as their livelihoods have been deemed non-essential.

In the midst of a sudden loss of income and facing an uncertain future, many Americans now face a new normal in which their jobs may never come back – a reality that was already threatened by the rise in automation. Self-employment business applications rose 77 percent from June through September signifying a massive growth in entrepreneurship.

This sharp increase in the entrepreneurial sector coincides with the relative ease in selling products and providing services through innovations in social media. Entrepreneurs can sell their products through apps like Etsy and Patreon or provide freelance services through platforms like Fiverr.

According to the Israel based app Fiverr, new accounts on its app increased 48 percent from July through September. Entrepreneurs have largely realized that they do not need to be an employee in order to earn an income and many find that entrepreneurship can be much more financially rewarding.

Do Entrepreneurs Really Earn More?

The simple truth is that being your own boss involves long hours, lack of access to health insurance, zero employer-provided benefits, and unmitigated risk. But, many entrepreneurs in the time of Covid-19 have actually experienced a growth in income. The rise in Zoom, a video-conferencing program, has made it much easier for personal trainers to reach a wide community of clients from the safety of their own homes.

Tudors have also greatly benefited from applications like Zoom which have made it possible for them to continue teaching without a hitch. One such entrepreneur who has greatly benefited from Covid-19 is Ramona Wilmarth, a hair stylist based in Sonoma County California who was recently interviewed by the Wall Street Journal.

Ramona left her hair stylist job while collecting unemployment, deciding it would be easier to simply go into business for herself rather than work for someone else. Ramona travels to her clients’ homes with her own equipment – her monthly income is up to 40 percent higher now that she is a bonafide entrepreneur.

The Benefits of Franchising for Covid Entrepreneurs

There are many things to consider when growing a business – all of which involve some level of apprehension. Entrepreneurs, especially in the Covid era, must think of their costs, applying for financing, hiring a workforce, and much more. For entrepreneurs who do not have access to a large sum of money, franchising offers an excellent solution.

Franchisees can easily take advantage of expert support by veterans with years of industry experience. They also take advantage of national brand-recognition, access to proprietary technology, and access to national marketing campaigns that would cost millions to self-finance. With all of that being said, franchisees can essentially hit the ground running without having to worry about building their brand from the ground up – something that can take years to accomplish.

Entrepreneurs who decide to franchise their businesses also benefit from the franchise business model as well. Entrepreneurs rely on franchisees to provide the capital to establish their own franchised locations.

This means that franchisees assume the risk if a location is not successful. An entrepreneur can establish numerous locations very easily without having a large amount of capital. They can then focus the capital they do have on research and develop, hiring quality executives, marketing, and much more.