COVID, Christmas, and the Creation of Businesses: Our Data Experts Reveal the Latest Trends Regarding Starting A Business
Well, it’s been a crazy couple of years for sure, and there’s no doubt that this would have had an impact on budding entrepreneurs and when they plan to launch their businesses. Here at alldayPA, we’re used to supporting new entrepreneurs when they launch their business, especially at this time of year when getting orders fulfilled on time is crucial for Christmas.
As such, we’ve asked our data analysts to take a look at trends regarding the creation of businesses. First, our experts have assessed the creation of businesses more generally across 2019, 2020, and 2021. Then, they looked at the creation of businesses over the Christmas period to assess how Christmas, and the pandemic, may have affected launches. All data was taken from the Government’s Office of National Statistics.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the findings and what exactly the trends are. We’ll also provide an overview of what launching at Christmas entails, and how alldayPA can support new businesses.
However, if you’re keen to get started and reap the benefits of our support as soon as possible, then we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call and our team will answer any questions you have about our packages and services.
The Overall Trends Over 2019, 2020 & 2021
Before we delve deeper into the findings pertaining to the Christmas period, it’s useful to understand the trends across the full year. Our data experts looked at the creation of new businesses in 2019, 2020, and 2021 to understand what was happening pre-pandemic, during the pandemic, and then into 2021 when – arguably – things returned to some normality.
Across the years, the trend as we started the new year tends to follow the same pattern – business creation at the start of the year gets off to a slow start, but soon quickly accelerates. From the graph, we can see that for 2019 and 2021, the amount of businesses created at around weeks 12-13 increases, reaching somewhere between 14,000-16,000. The clear exception here is 2020 – figures fall drastically at around week 13, and just 8,770 are created.
It’ll probably come as no surprise that 23rd March 2020 marked the start of week 13 – this was also the date that Boris Johnson addressed the nation whilst urging us to stay at home. As the country went into lockdown, it seems that many budding entrepreneurs halted the launch of their businesses. Given that we were told that the initial lockdown period would be for three weeks, it’s likely many postponed the launch of their business at this time to wait for normality in the near future.
The reviews of lockdown measures took place every three weeks. At week 16, the creation of new businesses was still low but had risen since week 13 to 9,372. Fast forward another three weeks, and the number of businesses created in week 19 was 9,989. When considering business creation in 2020, perhaps the most interesting finding is the figures during week 20. For the first time during the pandemic, business creation had significantly increased – during this week, 14,525 new businesses were created. At this point, the Prime Minister said that people that could no longer work from home would be able to return to work, and some restrictions were starting to ease. Evidently, some budding entrepreneurs saw this as the perfect opportunity to finally launch their business!
Of course, we’ve got to focus on 2020 because the year was so extraordinary that it was bound to have an impact on the creation of new businesses. When considering 2019 and 2021 – the trends tend to be very similar. However, generally, there are more businesses created in 2021 every week, when compared with 2019. As things returned to some normality in 2021, clearly people were launching their businesses after the disruption caused by COVID-19.
Our data analysts also look at the regions within the UK that set up the most businesses each year. With 2021’s data still a work in progress, we looked at the 2019 and 2020 figures. The trend across each region seemed to show that more businesses were created in 2019 than 2020, although the difference isn’t as big as you’d expect, given the impact of the pandemic.
Instead, it seems people were making the most of opportunity to launch a business during the pandemic – many were faced with redundancies and furlough, meaning that they had the time to turn their attention to making their business idea a reality. Infact, our data shows that by week 20 of 2020, business creation had risen by 36.4% higher than the year before, during the same week. It stayed at an average of 31.63% higher to the end of the year.
As a business based in the North West, it’s great to see that our region has made the top three when it comes to regions that have set up the most businesses across 2019 and 2020!
Businesses Launching Over Christmas – What’s The Trend?
Given that we’re nearing the height of the festive period, it’s only right that we talk about Christmas! Success during the festive season for many businesses is a great indication of what’s to come, but for others an unsuccessful festive season can break their business. With that in mind, some entrepreneurs take the brave plunge to launch at Christmas, whilst others time their launch differently. For some companies though, and particularly online retailers, launching around Black Friday or the remainder of the festive season can be just the springboard to success that they need…
Our data analysts looked at weeks 47-52, which encompasses key dates like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and, of course, Christmas. As we can see by looking at the graph, there were more businesses created in 2020 across all of these weeks, despite the pandemic. This, again, suggests that people were using their spare time due to being made redundant or put on furlough to set up a new business, occupy their time, and earn their income in this way.
Whilst the data for this Christmas period and the creation of new businesses remains to be seen, it seems that – judging by weeks 47 and 48 – figures are down compared to 2020, but up compared to 2019 – 14,934 businesses were created in week 47, and 13,720 in week 48. With rising cases of Omicron, the implementation of plan B, and even talk of a plan C, it’ll certainly be interesting to see the figures for 2021.
Given that online businesses are able to operate all year round regardless of most restrictions, it’s no surprise to see that there’s been a rise in the creation of online businesses. Looking ahead, we predict that things will stay this way, this Christmas and beyond. As evident by the graph below, across all turnover groups, there has been a rise in the number of businesses that operate online this year.
How Launching At Christmas Works
Whilst launching over the festive period may initially fill you with stress, it can be a great time to capitalise on Christmas, especially if you run an eCommerce business. The key here is to be prepared well in advance of your launch, to keep stress to an absolute minimum. Then, all that’s left to do is capitalise on the opportunities that are about to come your way…
One of the most popular days for purchases, both online and physically, is Black Friday – it’s a great opportunity for small businesses to drive new traffic, gain more customers, and convert sales. As such, launching on the run-up to Black Friday could get your business off to a flying start! If this is your plan, it’s important to have an effective marketing strategy in place so that you can successfully increase brand awareness and business!
As well as Black Friday, many new businesses will launch during the festive period to make the most of Christmas and other popular dates, such as Boxing Day sales. Infact, Christmas is often a prime time for businesses to launch if their offering is specific to the festive season, or will do better during this period.
Whether you’re launching a new business over the festive season or at another point in the year, alldayPA are here to support you. Whilst our services – such as our call handling service, email management, and live chat support – are useful at any time of the year, they are particularly useful during the festive season when businesses are run off their feet! We can help logistics companies, retailers, and so many other companies to ensure that the festive season runs as smoothly as possible.
Our founder, Reuben Singh, has commented what SMEs should be doing in order to prepare for the new year:
“’Small businesses are the backbone of the British economy with over 5.5 million of them providing goods and services and around 16 million jobs. As we approach our second Covid Christmas entrepreneurs are showing the way when it comes to innovation, flexibility and resilience when it comes to looking after their customers. They’re moving online, they’re more accessible than ever embracing digital channels and social media to promote their businesses and provide customer service.“
“When it comes to Christmas and New Year many people will be looking forward to taking a well earned break. It’s important to maintain a healthy work-life balance, switch off the phone and spend time with family and friends, even if plans are being reined in again as a result of Omicron. Switching off doesn’t mean being out of touch, at alldayPA we’re open 24/7 ensuring that businesses have the support that their customers need over the festive period. There’s always a friendly voice to handle calls professionally, it’s a much better option than hoping a customer will leave a voicemail, whilst some will, most won’t. Staffing and recruitment are big problems generally and more so at this time of year and this year in particular, so it’s important to have a flexible, reliable back-up if your ‘Plan A’ fails.”
“Customer expectations are growing, especially when it comes to customer service. The online giants may lead the way, but smaller businesses can’t afford to be left behind. If you can’t provide the service, then all you’re left with is price and that can be the road to ruin. Whatever happens in 2022 customers aren’t going to lower their expectations and demands and that means businesses can’t stand still. SME’s can’t make the mistake of ignoring what’s going on around them when it comes to competition and customers. The world continues to change and you need to plan for it, you can’t just hope that at midnight on the 31st everything will change for the better.”
Recently Launched A Business? We’d Love To Hear From You!
Despite the initial dive in figures when the UK went into lockdown, on the whole there were more businesses created, each week, in 2020 in spite of the pandemic. As discussed, because a lot of people were furloughed or made redundant during the pandemic, it seems that many were turning their business ideas into reality and embarking on new ventures.
As for our analysis of the full years from 2019 to 2021, interestingly the creation of businesses increased around the time of Black Friday compared to the run-up to this date, suggesting that many new business owners had recognised an opportunity to capitalise on this period of time and the sales.
As we’ve discussed, here at alldayPA we’re on hand to support new entrepreneurs with the launch of their new business, regardless of what time of year the launch goes ahead. We’ve got a range of packages and services on offer to help businesses of all sizes, but we’re particularly passionate about helping smaller companies to get off the ground and reach their full potential with our help.
If you’d like to chat about your new business and find out more about how our outsourced customer service solutions can help you – whether that be with our telephone answering service, email management, social media enquiry monitoring, diary management or something else – then we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to call us to ask any questions and find out more!