Entrepreneurs looking toward a post-COVID future are launching start-ups. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, “Americans are starting new businesses at the fastest rate in more than a decade, seizing on pent-up demand and new opportunities after the pandemic shut down and reshaped the economy.”

So how should you start and grow your small business post-pandemic? Here are 8 timely ideas:

1. Find a Need and Fill It

Too many entrepreneurs fall in love with their solution – instead, says expert Bill Flynn, fall in love with the problem you want to solve and the customers you will help. The pandemic caused some businesses – like home remodeling, backyard pools and golf courses – to boom. Why? How have habits changed? Find a need that you can fill now.

2. Overcome Your Fear of Failure

Small business expert Henry Lopez says what causes most small businesses to fail “is the fear of the embarrassment of failure.” Are you mentally ready to launch your own business? Listen to Lopez’s advice in this inspiring podcast.

3. Don’t Ever Run Out of Cash

Many small businesses confuse revenue with cash flow. Then they are surprised when they run out of cash. Cash flow expert Chris Miles explains how to carefully manage your business – and your cash – so you have time to get your business off the ground.

4. Be Transparent

Consumers expect transparency, like when Domino’s shows your pizza leaving the oven. Don’t think you have the tech? Try simple solutions like snap a before and after picture of the job you’re doing. Listen to ThinkLikeAnApp’s Neal Polachek describe why you must be transparent, authentic and immediate.

5. Think About Your Taxes All Year

“Most people only think about taxes during tax season,” says tax expert and Certified Public Accountant Mike Jesowshek. The best tax strategy is one where you think about taxes throughout the year to turn after-tax expenses into pre-tax expenses.

6. Customer Service

Customer service is always in fashion. Listen to Dr. Kelly Henry describe how if you can improve client retention by 5% you can improve profits by up to 95% – because loyal customers are profitable while customers who churn cause your business to fail.

7. Build Your Brand

The word “brand” conjures up expensive Super Bowl TV commercials, but according to Ross Kimbarovsky, CEO of Crowdspring, great design can be achieved for a few hundred dollars, and will build important credibility for your budding firm.

8. Follow the Money

Know where you can tap into critical funds. Experts like Barry Moltz, Brock Blake, Ami Kassar, and Gene Marks can give you the guidance you need to access private and public sources of loans and investments.

Even if you don’t feel 100% ready to launch your start-up, with vaccines coming, weather improving, and the unleashing of pent-up consumer demand, your timing is propitious. Get started and good luck!