KSL INVESTIGATES

How uncertainty in the economy can fuel the entrepreneurial spirit

Aug 22, 2023, 11:02 PM | Updated: Aug 23, 2023, 8:27 am

SALT LAKE CITY — From designing and selling blankets to creating leis and tropical floral arrangements to selling plant-based, vegan-backed goods, entrepreneurs in Utah and around the country are forging ahead in this somewhat murky economy.

“People are generally optimistic about getting those businesses up and off the ground,” said Laura Goldberg, chief marketing officer with Constant Contact, a company that specializes in handling marketing and communications for small businesses.

Goldberg says they have found rough economic times can actually spur the entrepreneurial spirit.

“People say, ‘OK, I can’t go find a job here where I might have normally looked. I’ve been doing this thing on the side for a long time, seems like now is the time.'”

Thirty percent of people surveyed by Constant Contact say they would start a side hustle in a sour economy and 45% said they would start their own business or suggest that path to a friend or relative.

And even in economies saturated with big box businesses, Goldberg says new services or products can still find markets, whether it’s raspberry shakes, or protein bars with the chief ingredient of crickets or soap made from goat milk.

“It may be that it works great, or it smells great, or it looks great, or whatever it is, there’s always an angle and space for small businesses,” she said.

While startup costs are a big barrier, about 45% of those surveyed said they could launch their own business or side hustle with $10,000 or less in their savings.

Two things Goldberg says an entrepreneur needs in a good or bad economy: the ability to sell, so consumers know your service or product exists, and passion for what you’re doing.

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How uncertainty in the economy can fuel the entrepreneurial spirit