The COVID-19 era probably frightens new entrepreneurs with increased inflation, high petrol prices, expensive electricity, and governmental GDP debt. Despite the situation and governmental restrictions, the Finnish economy remains stable. (Bank of Finland 2021.) What exactly does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? Has COVID-19 affected new businesses? The entrepreneurs of Bodyplanet Oy have hands-on experience on it.
9 steps to start a new business in Finland
Establishing a new company can seem like a daunting process within the pandemic. Mäkelä (2022) states being prepared, making connections and networks, scanning the future as well as unique production of products and services are all part of creating a successful business. Well, practicing self-care is just as important. A tired entrepreneur is less likely to be productive, adds Mäkelä. Below are nine steps to start a new business in Finland (Uusyrityskeskus 2021, 4–5):
- the business idea
- business permits
- business plan
- company name
- start-up documentation
- the Trade register and the Tax Administration registers
- partners and networks (bank, accounting, business premises, etc.)
- self-employment pension insurance (YEL) and other insurances.
Bodyplanet Oy was established in October 2021, just in the middle of the global pandemic. Bodyplanet is a sports and gym facility located in Nastola Finland providing quality gym equipment, personal training sessions, group fitness exercise classes and more. Suddenly, lockdowns were forced on the entire sports, restaurant, and bar community of businesses in December 2021 (ESS 2021). Business operations came to a halt, leaving the company with nothing but a month to plan their comeback after lockdowns were lifted in February 2021 (Ojanperä 2022). The management of business at Bodyplanet revealed advice on succeeding in the fitness industry during COVID, based on personal experience (Kenneth 2022, 17–18):
- Attend to customer needs and wants.
- Prepare for work outside of opening hours.
- Passion is what drives an entrepreneur to flourish.
- Offer unique experiences and services, stand out from your business sector.
- Be organized and act on tasks as soon as possible.
Overall, aspiring entrepreneurs should be prepared for anything, it’s the risk that comes with new businesses. Things take longer due to COVID-19, yet the business start-up process remains the same. Drive, patience, creativity and knowing your target audience all build success. (Kenneth 2022, 17.) COVID-19 might have put a stop on business operations, but it has not affected the perseverance of a truly passionate entrepreneur desiring fitness industry success in Finland.
Anna-Marie Kenneth is Bachelor Student of International Business at LAB University of Applied Sciences and fitness instructor at Bodyplanet Oy.
Sari Suominen works as a Senior Lecturer at LAB University of Applied Sciences in Lahti.
Bank of Finland. 2021. Finnish economy’s robust growth being slowed by COVID-19. Press release. Cited 13 May 2022. Available at https://www.suomenpankki.fi/en/media-and-publications/releases/2021/economys-robust-growth-being-slowed-by-covid-19-in-finland/#:~:text=The%20new%20virus%20variant%20in,and%20by%202.6%25%20in%202022.
Bodyplanet Oy. 2022. 1953602118167776. Facebook. Cited 13 May. Available at https://www.facebook.com/bodyplanet.fi/photos/1953602118167776
Kenneth, A-M. 2022. The effects of starting up a business in the fitness industry during the COVID-19 era. Case company: Bodyplanet Oy. Bachelor’s Thesis. LAB University of Applied Sciences. Cited 16 May 2022. Available at https://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:amk-2022052311298
mohamed_hassan. 2020. Hassan, M. Coronavirus-virus-pelko-piilottaa-4946687. Pixabay. Cited 13 May 2022. Available at https://pixabay.com/illustrations/coronavirus-virus-fear-hide-health-4946687/
Mäkelä, K. 2022. Business Development Manager. Lahti Region Development LADEC Ltd. Interview 2.5.2022.
Ojanpera, S. 2022. Harrastustilojen sulku puretaan Päijät-Hämeessä – liikuntatilat saa avata 2. helmikuuta. Yle. Cited 13 May 2022. Available at https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-12297376?fbclid=IwAR1f88Uujh44_0o0EvwbYvsmlSK_42Q-cIpAMvPmPPwi_kr6d1vPjHC1Bno
Uusyrityskeskus. 2021. Guide – Becoming and entrepreneur in Finland. Helsinki: Suomen Uusyrityskeskukset ry / SUK-Palvelu. Cited 13 May 2022. Available at https://uusyrityskeskus.fi/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Perustamisopas_2021_EN.pdf