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Expert offers advice for new entrepreneurs just starting out


MADISON (WKOW) -- As many businesses were forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, it may not have seemed like an opportune time to start a business. But according to date from the U.S. Census Bureau, lots of people thought the opposite.

In July 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Wisconsin received 6,737 new business applications. That's compared to 3,287 applications in July of 2019. So in just a year, during the worst global pandemic of a generation, the number of applications more than doubled.

Entrepreneur and author Stephen Gerard spoke with Sara Maslar-Donar on Wake Up Wisconsin to explain why the pandemic has actually been a good time to start a business for people in professional settings, like lawyers, accountants, engineers, and consultants.

"Those folks found themselves at home working and wondering if there was a better way," he said. "They found themselves furloughed, or maybe even laid off. Frankly, if they put in their proverbial 10,000 hours and were expert at something, and really good at it, and had a passion to try to start their own business, it's an ideal time to do that."

He also provides some advice to new business owners from his book, Stuck in the Middle Seat. In the book, he talks about "failing forward," or as he calls it, a cute way of saying "learn by doing."

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