Many people grew accustomed to working independently during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some were laid off from their jobs and forced to find freelance work. Others discovered they enjoyed working remotely for their employers and were reluctant to return to the 9-to-5 office. If you are one of these people, you might be considering starting your own business. Before you test the waters of entrepreneurship, here are some tips to consider: 

1. Save Money Like Never Before

You’ll need to tighten your belt and save money. Save personal finances, but also set up a business savings account1 to begin accumulating an emergency fund. The more cushion you have, the better position you'll be in if things don't work out or if business emergencies occur. Even if business is temporarily slow, having savings to turn to can help keep cash flow from becoming a major problem. 

2. Make Sure You Have Reliable Partners

If you go into business with partners, make sure they are reliable people who won't let you down as the business gets going. If partners aren't working together toward common goals, problems will likely arise, and some may be hard to fix.  

"Be very careful about the business partners you choose," says career and executive coach Kathy Caprino, who has experienced troubled partnerships in the past.2 "Look more deeply than just the surface, and make sure that they have the kind of integrity, honesty, compassion, strength and openness to make a great partnership thrive."

3. Be Honest With Yourself

It's important to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. How good are you with managing money take? Do you take care of matters in a timely fashion or procrastinate? Can you admit when you're wrong? Is it easy for you to bounce back from setbacks? If you lie to yourself or try to trick yourself into thinking a situation is better than it is, you’ll be setting yourself up for trouble. You'll need to stay honest and use your knowledge to make educated decisions. 

4. Find Appropriate Financing

Figure how much money you're going to need to get your business off the ground. If you need help, talk to your banker about a business loan3. Nevada State Bank offers a variety of small business financing options, including SBA loans financial, business lines of credit, term loans, equipment leasing, and agricultural financing. The bank also has a Small Business Diversity Banking Program4, providing access to capital3 to businesses owned by minorities, women, and veterans.

5. Learn to Lead

Being a business owner requires leadership skills, so if you don't have experience leading, it's time to learn what makes a great leader. Have clear goals and figure out strategies that help you achieve them. Improve your communication skills, try new ideas, and know when to drop a product or service when it’s not working. Learn how to develop employees to be effective team members. Read books about successful leaders and entrepreneurs.

6. Set Yourself Up for Flexibility

Now that you've lived through a pandemic, you've seen what damage unforeseen circumstances can do to a business that isn't set up for flexibility. As you create and execute your business plan, always look ahead at the future and craft your operations to be as agile as possible so that you're prepared for whatever life throws your way. 

7. Know When You Need to Hire Help

Entrepreneurs almost always try to take on too much on their own. While it is critical, especially at the beginning, to be able to run virtually every aspect of the business, you must also recognize that you are going to need to hire employees if you really want to be efficient. Learn to recognize when roles become too burdensome for you to handle while still performing other tasks effectively. 

Some people might feel trepidation about the idea of starting a business after experiencing what happened in 2020, but this could also be a great time to become an entrepreneur.5 Depending on your field, you may find less competition, and your experience with independent work is an asset. If you're ready to try your hand at entrepreneurship, feel free to get started on the right foot by talking with Nevada State Bank  about your financing options. 

1. Please refer to the Deposit Account Agreement, Account Disclosure, Deposit Rate Sheet and the applicable schedule of fees, or speak with a banker for more details regarding business savings accounts.

2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathycaprino/2018/09/01/5-things-i-wish-i-knew-before-leaving-corporate-life-and-starting-my-own-business/#76e3ceda66c0

3. Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. See a banker for details.

4. Subject to eligibility requirements and credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. See a banker for details.

5. Click here for an article on why now might be a great time to start a business.