Tips for Starting a Business During the Pandemic
The entire world is still pretty much in the middle of a pandemic. When it first hit, the Coronavirus created a great deal of uncertainty for most entrepreneurs and regular people alike. The new “normal” has flipped things over, rendering a lot of business unviable. While it might be challenging to start a business during these times, it can still be done.
The pandemic isn’t the end of all business. It is a problem, and there are a lot of opportunities that come hidden within challenges. While there might have been a shift in the demand patterns of products and services, if one carefully studies the present market, there’re still a lot of opportunities to take advantage of. The only things that have changed are customer expectations and consumer patterns.
So if you are thinking of launching a new business venture of your own and feel like you need some guidance, you are in the right place. Here are some tips to allow you to get started the right way. We hope that they give you enough guidance to start a new business.
Consider the Current Market Opportunities
In times of hardship, you never want to start a business with a high chance that it will fail. This means you really have to do your homework and get the necessary guidance to start a new business. Try to look at other businesses, especially those that have started and failed, or struggled. Figure out what mistakes they made and how you can avoid them. Also, try to talk to other entrepreneurs with newly formed businesses to find out what challenges they are currently facing.
For instance, you may want to start a clothing store, but you’ve noticed several clothing shops shutting down due to low traffic. Maybe you can consider establishing your own business online, where people just order, and you deliver to their home.
There are many opportunities in the business world at the moment. At the same time, you have a lot to learn from businesses that have recently failed. When you study these businesses, and you learn from their mistakes, you will be more able to currently position yourself and your business for success. If there’s anyone you know personally who started a business during this pandemic, why not ask them for guidance to start a new business? It can come in quite handy.
Do Your Research
Sometimes when you come across a lucrative business opportunity, it’s common to feel like you have to dive in straight away and get the first-mover advantage and meet the demand before everyone else does. There’s nothing wrong with that, and acting quickly is a good thing in the business world. If you are slow, chances are high that you will miss the opportunity. However, you should never let those feelings get in the way of adequate research and preparation.
There are things that are easy to overlook when starting a business. For instance, very few people check out small business communication solutions. It’s almost always about funding and how much profit one will make. Communication and networking installation is very important for any business, but they are often overlooked. That’s why one needs serious guidance to start a new business.
The following are some of the things that you should consider before embarking on your new business adventure:
- Who is your target market?
- Do you need any guidance to start a new business?
- How are you going to reach out to them and advertise your products/services?
- How will you get your supplies, and from where/who?
- How are you going to price your goods/services, so you can achieve a balance between attracting customers and making enough profits?
- Is your business going to be trading predominantly online, in person, or both?
- What payment methods are you going to accept?
- How will you integrate Covid safety guidelines into your day-to-day operations?
- Are you going to need any special permits, or to contact any insurance agents for your business?
- How much will your business spend on workers compensation?
There are a lot of questions that you will need to ask yourself before making the first move. If possible, try to find someone who has started the same business you are planning to establish and ask them for tips and advice.
Have a Clean and Clear Plan
Having a clearly laid out plan of action is vital to the success of any startup. Therefore, you should dive into your business plan early to ensure that you navigate all the necessary steps of starting your business. Some areas that you might want to spend considerable time on include the following:
- The legal business structure you will adopt
- How your venture will fit into the target market
- How will you raise funds
One of the biggest challenges that any business will face is finding their first clients/customers and getting the money flowing in. You should therefore ask yourself how much you will need to land those customers.
While starting out with flashy business cars and those impressive high-class websites can help move your business forward, they might not be what you want to start with. Your focus should be on what’s critical to pocketing your initial sales. Once your business has taken off, then you can go back and start addressing business cards and websites.
You might also have those grand ideas of various products or services you want to offer, but as you start, try to focus on those two or three products or services then deliver them exceptionally well. That would be a better plan than delivering a bunch of things in a mediocre fashion. Remember, first impressions are critical to the success of your business.
Make sure that your plan enables you to keep your promise to customers and exceed their expectations. Once you have done this successfully, you can then go to the next step and shift your focus to growth and expansion. If you can’t draft a decent enough plan on your own, try to get the needed guidance to start a new business.
Focus on Online Sales and Services
Many people have shifted their attention from brick and mortar stores and are slowly but surely gravitating towards online shopping, especially during the pandemic. This means you will lose out on a lot of revenue if you don’t exist online.
In times when people’s movements are limited, you need to be reachable on almost every platform where people can access your goods and services remotely. If anything, the pandemic has shown the importance of digital marketing. Having a streamlined and smooth remote shopping experience will help your business to achieve the required level of flexibility, and you can continue serving customers under any circumstances.
Keeping in mind that many people would rather not leave their homes now, a successful business must focus on having a robust digital presence and efficient online shopping options. For those that are unfamiliar with the online world, there is plenty of content that will help you get guidance to start a new business.
Offer High Levels of Security
While online shopping is efficient, it also comes with a number of dangers. It, therefore, follows that everyone who sells products online should put effort into ensuring that shoppers are safe. It’s imperative to address security concerns online. Your business website must provide efficient cybersecurity, especially regarding the safety of payment information and personal data.
Security should not be online only. If you intend to have a walk-in store, ensure that your protocols are up to date and you meet all the requirements laid out by your government. If your budget allows, you can even look into commercial security systems. With proper security and safety measures, your customers will feel a lot more confident buying from you even in these challenging times.
Research Funding Options
One of the most important steps in starting a business is securing funding. There’s no way you can kickstart a business without funding. It is therefore important to do thorough research of the funding options available and get financial guidance to start a new business. Consider the following options:
Small Business Loan
The name speaks for itself; a small business loan is one of the most popular methods of getting funding for a business. This loan allows you to fund your initial costs and get your business running. You should make sure that you get a loan with friendly terms otherwise it will be difficult to make repayments consistently, and you’ll end up filing for bankruptcy.
Finding an Investor
Another great way to raise funding is to find an investor. To increase your chances of achieving this, you need a well-laid-out business plan. Depending on what you are comfortable with, you can pitch your business plan to anyone who has funding. This can even be your family and friends. You should be aware, though, that once someone invests money into your business, they will also own a fraction of it. If you are not comfortable with this, then you might want to explore other avenues.
Crowdfunding is a relatively new way of getting enough to start a business. However, during a pandemic, it could be a perfect way of raising enough to take off. You can easily start an online campaign that will run until you raise enough capital. This will also help expand your business’ reach to anyone who notices the campaign.
Have a Streamlined System
When you establish your own business, you choose how you are going to run your daily operations. This means that you have to find the best programs that will make your daily life as streamlined as possible. You can invest in CRM software which will help improve your productivity and efficiency. This type of software combines all your business’ moving pieces under one solution. Regardless of where you are, a CRM will enable you to remain productive and get things done. Unfortunately, not everyone knows about CRM, if you have never heard of it, go online and find the necessary technical guidance to start a new business.
Build a Good Reputation
It is important to build a good reputation, especially during tough times. Everyone is worried about the coronavirus and people don’t want to add more uncertainty to that. It is therefore essential to ensure that you stick to your business values and goals and deliver the best service possible, so people can rely on your business.
Stick to the Three Rs
Rapid-Recover-Revenue: This is a strategy you can use to make sure your business moves forward quickly. Speed matters in business. Whenever you see something that is not working in your business, eliminate it quickly and vice versa. If you see something that brings in more profits, amplify it. This way you can stay ahead of the competition and achieve your goals faster.
If you find that you are making a loss, don’t panic, just quickly rethink your revenue profile and bounce back as soon as you can. If you are wondering how you can increase your speed and quickly recover from mistakes and pullbacks, consider the following points:
- Start-up mindset – instead of spending more time researching, take a lot of action instead, and quickly.
- Humans at the core – you need to shape your operating model based on how your people work best.
- Acceleration of analytics, tech, and digital tools – you need to leverage technology in your business as much as you can.
Be proactive, not reactive
There is a high probability that you have and will continue, to have some extra time on your schedule. There are a lot of things you can do in your spare time if you spend it wisely. If you are starting a business, the best you can do is dedicate some of this time to reflect on the future of your business and what you will need to get where you want to go. How long will it be before you need to update your business plan and what can you do to expand your online presence, interaction, and capacity? Is there a need to take some online classes and gain new skills perhaps?
In other words, avoid easing up on the gas pedal. Utilize this time to plan properly and get your business in a prime position to stay ahead of your competition. If there are areas that you are lacking, don’t hesitate to go out and find guidance to start a new business. Just make sure that you don’t burn out. You need all the energy you can get.
We understand that going all in and kick-starting a new business can be a daunting feat. The good thing is if you manage to do it properly, it can be quite rewarding. The key to starting and growing a successful business is to prepare adequately and gather as much knowledge and tips as possible. If you utilize the tips outlined in this article, there are high chances your business will have a great future.