The Truth About Starting A Business During COVID-19
It’s no secret: the pandemic hasn’t been easy on our economy. With many small businesses over the past year being forced to close their doors for good, things may appear bleak at first glance. However, now might actually be the perfect time to finally take the plunge and try and get that business idea you’ve always dreamed of off the ground- and, due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been seeing a huge rise in the number of businesses who’ve been trying to do exactly the same thing.
So, why now?
The catastrophe that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought has undoubtedly been life-changing for many, but that doesn’t mean there are no positives to be taken away from the situation. The number of new business applications in the past year has dwarfed all others, suggesting that now is, indeed, the time to take the leap. The truth is disaster breeds the opportunity to rethink, rework and reconfigure the way we see and act in the world. It’s no wonder this past year has brought so many of our world’s systemic inequalities to light- once something as destructive as COVID-19 strips away some of our bells and whistles, we start to realise exactly how deep some of our inequalities run, and wonder what we can do to set them straight.
Chances are, if you’re considering bringing your business to life during these unprecedented times, you’re committed to the idea and willing to accept the risks of failure- and that attitude is vital. The majority of the businesses that fail fail due to a lack of passion and vision at the head. It’s important that you are meticulous and focused, to make sure you give yourself a fighting chance. Starting and running a business isn’t easy, and as long as you’re prepared for the challenges ahead, you’ll find that many doors will open for you.
Your business, your niche
Most importantly, your business has to be something people want or need in their lives. At the end of the day, those exact people are the ones who are going to keep you afloat, so you need to make sure you can grab their attention and hold onto it. Have you spotted a gap in the market? What sets your business apart from others which may be able to provide the same sort of service? And, most importantly, why should people even care?
Consider the types of businesses that have thrived during the pandemic. From video call platforms to hand sanitiser manufacturers, we’ve seen a whole host of unexpected sectors hit some pretty astonishing jackpots. Small businesses specialising in food and crafts have seen particularly successful launches from the throes of lockdown as our cultural attitudes have shifted.
While not every new business right now is going to be able to make a killing manufacturing rubber gloves or lasagne, it’s important to consider the extent to which your market needs you at this precise moment in time. If your business specialises in world-class tourist experiences, perhaps it would be wise to wait a little longer before investing in it too heavily. Alternatively, there’s always room for experimentation: how can you augment your proposal into something more pandemic-friendly? The potential your idea might be hiding may surprise you, and shouldn’t be written off.
Speak to your audience
Now, more than ever, we’re turning to the internet for our personal lives, professional lives, and everything in between. With our interactions moving to the virtual sphere, any new business has to be able to traverse this very landscape with ease. Make sure you’re familiar with the inner workings of social media marketing and don’t hesitate to contact people directly through platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.
It’s important to have an idea of who you’re trying to reach, and what your average client looks like. The way you communicate with an audience of 25-year-old male bachelors is going to be vastly different than the way you would reach an audience of 60+-year-old women. Our virtual lives are a blessing and a curse, so it’s important to remember that not all demographics will have equal access to, or understanding of the internet, which could make or break your business from the start.
However, thanks to the internet, it’s astonishingly easy to reach consumers all over the world, so there has never been a better time to start networking. Consider reaching out to colleagues, friends, or family you think would be interested in helping you out. Do you have any old coworkers, friends, or family with expertise in your business area? How about experience in managerial tasks, online marketing, or finance? Calling upon these connections is vital, and being backed by a solid and supportive body of workers can make a world of difference later down the line. Not to mention the internet’s luxury of gathering feedback quickly and easily from targeted demographics, something which is invaluable to making sure your eventual launch is as seamless as possible.
Build a bankruptcy-proofed plan
Even if you have the biggest and brightest business idea of this generation, if there’s one thing we’ve learned as of late, it’s that circumstances can change dramatically at the drop of a hat. This sort of change can easily catch out the ill-prepared small business owner, so it’s important to make sure that you’ve got contingency plans should disaster strike.
Consider consulting professionals for input on your business plan preventatively- second opinions are extremely valuable, and a fresh pair of eyes is often a source of untapped wisdom. Should worse ever come to worse, and you find your business is struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional such as attorney David W. Tidd sooner rather than later, as getting help promptly can spell the difference between collapse and recovery.
Once in a lifetime opportunity
The times we live in are providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make decisions with the potential to change the course of your life. Starting a new business at any point in time is scary, let alone now, however, the rewards are incomparable. If you decide to take the plunge, success may be waiting right around the corner.