The latest global pandemic is sure to have a lasting impact on the world’s economy, but how much will it change the way we do business? Many things just won’t work the same after a global pandemic.
Starting a new company after a global pandemic is challenging. There are no guarantees you’ll succeed — and almost no guarantee you’ll learn everything you need to succeed.
Entrepreneurs thinking of starting their business post-disaster must be prepared to adapt to the new realities of the business economy. Hence, this article explains three DOs and two DON’Ts of starting a new business off a global pandemic.
DO Be ‘Radically’ Digital
We live in a digital world, literally. And it would be fatal for any new business now to not embrace technology from the get-go. Many well-established companies had to undergo a painful shift to digital technologies in the wake of the pandemic.
This upended their strategies and budgets, and in some cases, non-adaptability threatened the very existence of the business.
However, as a new business owner, you are starting from a clean slate. Therefore, it is helpful to integrate digital technologies into your model right from the business formation stage. That way, outdated habits and tactics would not have become dangerously ingrained.
Even if your business runs offline, there are numerous opportunities online to scale customer acquisition and service delivery.
This is not to say, though, that you should neglect the human for the technological. People still yearned for the ’personal touch’ at the height of remote meetings during the lockdowns.
A digitally innovative company is one that has mastered integrating technology seamlessly into human relationships from business to customers and employer to employees.
DON’T Ignore Customers
Therefore, it would be fatal for your business not to acknowledge this new reality of doing business.
Today’s customers are tech-savvy and want to be able to access your services via various channels and various devices.
As such, being able to streamline customer relationship management is a superpower for businesses today. As a small business, invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that helps you deliver personalised customer experiences.
Of course, this means that you must strive to understand your customers better. Research the new trends and behaviours that are peculiar to your customer demographic to keep them satisfied.
Customers are the pillars of your business, and you can’t afford to ignore them.
DO Have a Solid Risk Management Plan
Indeed, it is impossible to predict every future event, even less an event of such a massive proportion as the COVID-19 pandemic. However, having a plan in place can help mitigate the effects of business challenges, big or small.
Many businesses have suffered in the COVID-19 era because they were not prepared to handle the scale of the challenge.
Many tech giants were prepared though, considering how easy it was for them to transition to remote working when lockdowns became inevitable.
This is not to say that COVID-19 didn’t affect these large enterprises in significant ways. But the point of having a risk management plan is not to eliminate all risks but to mitigate them, not eliminate the effects of all challenges, but be ready to adjust plans as necessary.
Going forward, adaptability would be an essential factor in the survival of businesses. Before forming your business, have a detailed plan for handling and mitigating all kinds of possible risks.
DON’T Limit Your Business Vision
The pandemic has dampened the morale of many entrepreneurs; that’s not unusual. But when starting your new business, you can’t let the negative business impacts of the pandemic influence your thinking so much that it affects your business vision.
Post-COVID, there is a tendency for many new entrepreneurs to start their business with the same kind of survival mode thinking that got them through the pandemic.
Don’t be that entrepreneur.
The best entrepreneurs are known for boldly articulating their plans and pursuing their objectives relentlessly.
Of course, you should consider the current realities. But in starting a business, it is better to focus on long-term strategy than short-term tactics.
DO Move Quickly But Carefully
A number of the most successful companies today started amidst or in the aftermath of a significant economic downturn. This includes Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, MailChimp, Uber, Airbnb, Slack, etc.
These companies’ models hinged on their founders recognising an opportunity in the market and creating a product that solves that problem just at the right time.
Maybe you, too, are that founder. But there is no time to slack. Although the rate of new business applications in the US fell as COVID-19 began, it has experienced a surge since the second half of 2020.
You can’t assume that you are the only one with that big idea that has lingered in your mind. Therefore, if you have an idea, now is the time to act upon it and establish yourself in the market. However, don’t discount the role of strategy.
Conduct thorough research, have a detailed plan and implement the plan carefully to boost your chances of success.
Starting a new business after a global pandemic is never an easy choice. When the dust settles from this pandemic, there is no telling what kind of impact business disruption will have on our global economy and social fabric.
Thankfully, we have discussed some definitive steps you can take to ensure your new company stays on track and delivers successful results.
In the new business world, new entrepreneurs must embrace digital technology and speed even while paying attention to mitigate risks. Achieving this requires bold business leadership from entrepreneurs who can carry customers along in their vision.