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It would be a colossal understatement to say that 2020 was a challenging year. No industry was left unscathed by the sudden upheaval to our lives, both personal and professional. Perhaps one of the most significant changes was the abrupt transition to a remote work environment. In the U.S. alone, we have gone from a remote working population of 3% to 42% because of COVID-19. For many people, working from home also involved caretaking and homeschooling. Unbeknownst to any of us, the quarantine lasted far longer than initially anticipated, and temporary plans turned into longer stretches of alternate temporary arrangements, and so on.

Humans are very adaptable, so it’s not surprising that one of the side effects of isolation was self-analysis and a shift in employment. For many, 2020 was the ideal situation to reprioritize their lives and gain new perspectives. Unlike previous years, the solution was not as simple as stop-gap employment, such as Uber shifts. Necessity breeds invention, and in the case of people’s livelihoods, 2020 meant rebranding oneself entirely. 

Although it’s hard to quantify precisely how many people are deciding to follow the entrepreneurial route, the number of individuals who applied for tax ID numbers grew 32% in the first nine months of 2020. Even more astonishing was a 77% leap in applications between the second and third quarters of 2020. This was the largest quarter-to-quarter jump in 16 years of census data.

In some ways, tech-savvy people will have an easier time promoting brand awareness and getting their business off the ground. The difficulty comes in not understanding the basics of running a start-up and being too eager to jump ahead. There is a reason that approximately 90% of all startups fail within the first five years. Even with the best idea in the world, you need a solid business plan behind it. Not only will it be a guiding light for you to follow as your business grows and adapts, but it will also draw the interest of investors and assist in obtaining bank loans. The more organized and goal-driven you are with your business plan, the more people will want to invest in you. An ideal business plan should have a market analysis, complete with current and future competition. There should be a layout for how you envision your company in 1, 5, and 10-years down the road.