2021 – A New Dawn
“What will the new year bring us?” “365 opportunities!” This was the question and answer in a cartoon that was sent to me a few days ago, showing two people sitting on a hill looking into the distance. New Year’s eve this year was not so much a celebration in the normal sense so much as a “Great, 2020 is over so now let’s move on!” But the cartoon perfectly matches my own mood and that of many of my clients and other contacts.
Every year brings new opportunities, but adversity always makes people more inventive and look that much harder at where those opportunities might be. It seems that I am not alone in my positive thinking. Whilst there is often truth in the well known saying that it is darkest before the dawn, and we are certainly set for a rough few months with all things Covid but, nevertheless, many people are optimistic for 2021 as a whole; especially entrepreneurs it would seem.
The results of a recent survey by Enterprise Nation and the government backed StartUp Loans scheme make encouraging reading. The report, entitled ‘The UK’s StartUp Appetite’ would seem to underline the fact that entrepreneurs are hardy and optimistic by nature, and are not prepared to accept setbacks. Those of us that work with entrepreneurs every day are well aware of these attributes.
Not surprisingly, it was 18 to 34 year olds that seem to be most likely to launch their own business in 2021, with more than a third of respondents stating that this was their intention. Also not surprisingly after the year that we have all just lived through, the most popular sector is health and wellbeing, because lockdowns and reduced commuting have changed peoples physical and mental needs, and opportunities abound. In the Spring of 2020 Accenture published a report stating that 67% of people were shopping more health consciously, and this was followed by a Mintel poll that found that 61% were more concerned about their wellbeing than they had been previously. Technology and businesses services were also popular sectors, with these being driven largely due to the changes to the working environment.
It would be easy to jump to the conclusion that the increase in the desire to start a business has been driven from people having been made redundant, but it would seem that only 6% of respondents had lost their jobs, and another 8% having been furloughed. Compare this with 37% of respondents that stated that they had always wanted to start their own business and 34% were wanting to set up a ‘side hustle’ and it would seem that it is just that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, and that 2021 might well just present more opportunities than most years.
There will always be those in life that seem to delight on looking at the world pessimistically and viewing everything from a ‘half glass empty’ perspective, and they are the ones that only ever see problems rather than opportunities. But for those of you out there like me that share the ‘half glass full’ and optimistic approach to life, then 2021 should be a year rich in opportunities, so use your entrepreneurial spirit to the most and make sure you maximise them.