By Hiro Taylor
There has never been a better time to start a business than now.
The abundance of tools and resources available for entrepreneurs has skyrocketed in recent years – and will continue to throughout this year.
Numerous aspects of starting a business have become easier. Everything from finding real estate to uncovering freelance talent is now right at your fingertips.
Here are my top five reasons why 2017 is the best year to start your own business.
1. The funding environment is great
Funding is the lifeblood of your business. Statistics tell us that 8 out of 10 startups fail, and the primary reason for failure is running out of cash.
Thankfully, 2017 is a prime time to raise the capital you need to run your business.
Additional resources like 500Startups, YCombinator, Fundera, Lendio, and Nav are still relatively new and novel ways for startups to raise funds, giving you more opportunities to raise those previously elusive funds.
2. Freelance help is easy to find
Typically, startups begin as tiny teams, with each teammate wearing several different hats and getting spread pretty thin. It can therefore be easy to get worn out pretty quickly.
Luckily, freelance help is incredibly easy to find.
Whether your startup needs a web developer, a programming wiz or a marketing guru, there is bound to be someone on an online platform that’s suitable. Better yet, the prices are surprisingly low.
The ability to search for and strike up conversations with experts in pretty much any function, regardless of where they live, is just one major benefit to living in 2017.
3. Crowdsourcing ideas is simple
You could spend ages trying to come up with a catchy name for your company or developing an eye-catching logo. Or, you could crowdsource ideas from experienced designers.
Taking the guesswork out of developing a brand identity is easy with websites like 99Designs, Crowdspring and DesignCrowd. These platforms bring together graphic artists, designers and all sorts of freelance creatives to brainstorm the different elements of your brand.
The ideas generated via this type of collaboration are typically exponentially better than what someone can come up with on their own.
From logo and website to business card and even t-shirt design, they’ve got you covered.
4. Working virtually is the new norm
The arrival of the internet almost immediately ushered in the concept of remote work. Now that working virtually is the new norm, entrepreneurial startups can meet, co-work and tap into global talent pools from anywhere in the world.
Working virtually holds huge benefits for startups in terms of cost-efficiency and team effectiveness. Not only does it remove the need to pay for office space, it typically increases employees’ work satisfaction, making them more engaged and effective.
And let’s face it, with no need for a motivation-killing commute, you can get to work earlier – with far less stress and your favourite coffee cup in hand.
In 2017, we should expect to see more and more businesses going virtual. The website 1 Million For Flexibility allows you to sign up to a global forum dedicated to making work flexibility an everyday reality.
5. Real estate is being reimagined
Having a great workplace environment is essential to having a happy, productive team. If you don’t think a virtual office is right for your entrepreneurial project, consider opting for a co-working space.
Co-working spaces are set to become increasingly common in 2017 and continue to provide startups with relatively inexpensive offices with plenty of perks to boot.
Co-working spaces reimagine, reconfigure and repurpose traditional work spaces into bright, breezy offices with a focus on fostering creativity and collaboration. They provide access to everything you would normally find at an office – printers, faces, phones, conference rooms and more – for a fraction of the cost.
In addition to the traditional amenities, co-working spaces typically run office events and networking mixers… meaning the person you need to find to achieve a business goal could literally be right on your doorstep.
Places like WeWork provide access to office space at rates that are significantly cheaper than traditional offices. And with perks like leisurely common areas that look more like living rooms than offices, it’s easy for startups to make a home.
When we started our company HeroPay, we took advantage of all the reasons listed above that today’s environment is perfect for entrepreneurs.
We then went out and bought a domain on GoDaddy to establish our web presence. We signed up for affordable shared space at WeWork. We communicated through Slack and Skype and broadcast our messages externally through nifty PR and other marketing tools.
The point is, we used all of the technological advantages at our fingertips to get our payment processing comparison company off the ground, and in 2017, you can too.
If you need more proof that there are infinite tools at your disposal, here’s a handy little infographic of our top picks in more than 10 categories. Like the credit card processors we partner with on our platform, we’ve thoroughly vetted all of the companies we’ve listed here.
So whether you’re just starting out or have years of professional experience under your belt, the time has never been better to take the entrepreneurial leap.
If you’ve been thinking about starting a business and have been waiting for the right time, hopefully this list has given you some more food for thought and helped convince you that 2017 is your year.
Guest Author: Hiro Taylor is Founder and CEO of HeroPay. Hiro is a former Visa executive having spent 4 years in Asia helping build payment systems in international markets. As Visa Country Manager of Myanmar, Hiro built the country’s electronic payment system from zero helping enable $300 million in commerce despite the country’s antiquated telecommunications and banking infrastructure. During Hiro’s tenure, Myanmar was Visa’s fastest growing market globally.
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