Despite what the world looks like at the moment, the Covid-19 crisis seems like a peak time for entrepreneurial activity. And how do I know this, you may ask? Because I launched a business right in the middle of the crisis. And I wasn’t the only one.
In the UK alone, one of the worst hit places around the world, there were more than 51, 269 more businesses started by the third quarter of 2020 as compared to 2019. With more businesses still wondering whether they’ll ever reopen, starting a business, particularly a brick and mortar type of venture, might seem like the most unthinkable move at the moment. However, it can also be the best moment to set up and launch your business idea.
Of course, some industries will face stiffer challenges than others and therefore, and may struggle to recover from the crisis and may need to completely reinvent themselves. The trick is to analyse the opportunities and to act right away.
When I started, I had a rough plan in my head and I wanted to give a year long window to this ‘project’ and see if it can work out. I hadn’t planned all the details, but I know well what I wanted to sell, how to do it and how I want to be seen. Some might say that the gallery world is saturated in London, but in my mind, there is always room for innovation, look how this current crisis has pushed us to our creative limits!
Spot the Opportunities in Your Industry
No matter how grim your industry may look, there’s always a silver lining. The current crisis has presented a number of opportunities for several industries, including the art industry.
The stay-at-home effect of the crisis has prompted many art galleries to shut down or switch to online galleries and auctions. However, there’s no better time to set up a gallery, or a business in general, than the present moment. As others watch and marvel at the crisis, you can step up, move forward, and gain some traction before the Covid-19 storm eases.
In the art world, for instance, there are a number of opportunities. It’s also a little easier to get the right kind of notoriety and publicity at the moment. With the right idea, taste, and art collection, you are bound to get noticed. Wouldn’t you pay attention to someone crazy enough to set up a brick and mortar business when we are elbow-deep into a global crisis?
Here are some more reasons you should take the big leap right now; despite the pandemic;
1. Building the Right Entrepreneurial Skills for a Stronger Tomorrow
Setting up a successful business in the middle of a crisis will guarantee a stronger future. You will most likely to learn how to be more frugal, hire the right people, and use the little resources you have to get your business off the ground and to keep growing. If you need to delegate and work in a new sector, you need to understand what tools you need to work with, how to read and understand them and how can your team work better with them.
2. Less Competition for Resources
Depending on the industry, there will likely be less demand for resources and the materials you would need to start and grow your business. Therefore, it’s a good time to get a perfect head start before a return to normalcy.
3. Lower Lease Rates
Landlords badly want to fill out empty spaces and idle facilities. Therefore, there’s a good chance you can secure lower lease rates nowhere near what you’d normally pay. You can find great bargains for purchase or rental deals for gallery space, and a great location to get you off and running.
4. Access to Top Talent
With both small and large companies laying off their staff members, the market is rife with talent. Many talented individuals are already looking for their next challenge. In fact, it’s a great time to identify a cofounder or team member with invaluable expertise to help you get things started.
5. Don’t forget about your exposure, experience and your ‘calling’
Yes, it is important to adapt to the current changes in work and life, but, let’s not forget about exposure and experience. If you have experience and insider exposure in a particular field, chances are you will be better at what you do and you can develop things easier because you understand the sector and you have the right network. Don’t just fall in ‘what is current and trendy’ trap. Following a niche and sector because there is demand is good, but following your knowledge and familiar sector is the best!
“I like to tell the story of how I made my first art sale at 3. While the other kids at kindergarten took their afternoon drawings home, I took them to my Dad’s shop and tried to sell them. Instead of a signature I painted the price on them. I actually managed to sell! I had a goal, no matter how unusual or strange it seemed and I got there, I succeeded. I was luck to be exposed in such a creative environment and find my calling” David adds.
5. Being at the Forefront of Change
Crises, such as the Cocid-19 pandemic, often present opportunities to reinvent consumer markets and to set new trends. Due to their agility and laser-sharp focus on their customers, it’s small start-ups that almost always trigger new market trends and chart new pathways.
Therefore, starting a new business could set you up as a pacesetter or trailblazer, and bring the necessary publicity, brand credibility, and all other first-to-market advantages.
The global pandemic has forced us to re-examine many aspects of our lives and how we interact with each other. In a time of need it is also easier to build alliances. People help each other out and If you come up with an initial offering, others will follow because everyone wants to find a way out of this.
It’s also a great time to build your network which is extremely important in the art world. Don’t let the crisis hold you back from making the great leap.
About the Author:
David Kovats, was born in 1982 in Budapest, Hungary. He has over fifteen years experience in the art market working as a gallerist, auctioneer and entrepreneur. From an early age he was surrounded by art, as his father, Lajos Kovats founded one of the first private auction houses in Hungary in 1991. Soon after school graduation, David ran his own gallery in Budapest. He focused on contemporary art and introducing international artists to the Hungarian market. When David first came to London in 2009 he wanted to work for Sotheby’s one of the auction house giants. It was probably the worst time to do that – just after the Lehman Brothers crash, Sotheby’s vacancies weren’t even public then and they put a stop on hiring anyway. Still, with no connections, just determination and hard work I got a call in the end and they offered him a position. Thanks to his great experience in one of the top international auction house, David aims to conquer the global art market by introducing emerging talent from Europe via his new gallery.