Crises, like the one we're undergoing right now, put a lot of stress on many aspects of life. People, interpersonal relationships, businesses, economies, and international relations are all suffering under the weight of the ongoing pandemic. The coronavirus lockdowns have already demolished many businesses – and more are sure to follow.
Yet, times of crisis aren't necessarily universally bad for entrepreneurship. Some of the most successful corporations, such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Uber, have started their existence during similarly turbulent periods.
The COVID-19 pandemic currently gripping the world is undoubtedly presenting a unique set of challenges for startups. Up and coming entrepreneurs need to be extra careful to do things right to avoid falling by the wayside like so many other businesses.
Firstly, startups will need to correctly identify a niche in the market that they can successfully cater to. While physical and legal restrictions to business make some business processes more complicated, the current technology level has given entrepreneurs heretofore unparalleled opportunity to grow.
Another important, albeit cumbersome and tedious, aspect of starting a business is taking care of all the paperwork that entails. Doing so is never an easy or enjoyable affair, but hiring some practiced London accountants will have it sorted out in no time.
Once all of those essential details are all sorted out, you'll need to carefully consider all the pros and cons of starting a business during a lockdown. Doing so is crucial, as they may determine how you organize your endeavor both in both the short and the long term.
Increased Availability of Business Assets
The ongoing crisis has driven many businesses under – that much is true. While closures may be a tragic state of developments for the businesses in question, as well as their owners and employees, such an environment creates a fertile breeding ground for new endeavors. Offices in particularly convenient locations are now more likely than ever to be vacant and affordable to startups. All the equipment of insolvent businesses is likely currently being sold at liquidation prices. Unemployment has reached levels unseen since 2008, and is projected to go even higher – meaning that upstarts will have access to more and better talent than usual. Entrepreneurs should be able to take advantage of all of these benefits to make their business work.
Increased Prevalence of Remote Work
Lockdowns have pretty much forced most businesses that have been deemed non-essential or hazardous to close down. Almost every business that could afford to go digital had to do so, or adopt some sort of mixed system. Fortunately for entrepreneurs, quite a few of the new societal needs created by the lockdowns could be catered to remotely. Online courses, tutoring, and freelance work of all sorts can all be done successfully via any one of the many communication platforms aimed at business or education. Many more people are now open to working from home at least part-time – which is good news for startups looking to save money on rent and other crucial expenses, at least to begin with.
Governmental Relief Programs
There are a multitude of programs that aim to help businesses survive the ongoing COVID-19 crisis as well as the uncertainty of Brexit and the economic turmoil that both of these are certain to cause. Startups can take advantage of tax breaks, such as the ones afforded by entrepreneurs relief. Similar programs can give startups a much-needed leg-up – which is why it is crucial that entrepreneurs know all about them and take full advantage of them whenever possible. Finding every possible program that may help an entrepreneur will likely be a problem for a fledgling business owner, but it is an issue that a consultation with a good accountant could fix in no time.
Financially Strict Customers
People tend to keep their purses close to their chest when they spot signs of hard times on the horizon. This is a problem that all businesses have to contend with at the moment, and it is an issue that doesn't have an easy answer. There isn't really all that much you can do as an entrepreneur in order to convince people to give you their custom, aside from striving for excellence.
Identify a niche in the market that needs your attention and keep a close eye on it. Make sure your marketing is good and well-targeted. Provide a superior product to your competition. Doing all of this improves your business' chance of success in the current stressful climate.
Legal Restraints Imposed by Lockdowns
Lockdowns have outright disabled specific business models that include mass gatherings of people and face to face communication. While these restrictions won't last forever, it's a good idea for entrepreneurs to look into ways of making sure that their business can function in such a challenging environment. Investing in delivery services and online support for physical goods may prove costly for a startup, but it may well be the right move to ensure your business' continued success.
Difficulty Finding Investments
Both banks and private investors will be more careful than usual with their funding in the foreseeable future due to the high risks involved in any new endeavor currently. It will take a very promising business idea, backed up by a well-done presentation and a solid business plan, to convince them to commit. While this state of affairs is suboptimal, the opportunities for startups to gather funds still exist – entrepreneurs will just have to work harder to get there.
Foreign Shipments Uncertainty
Shipment delays have become a serious issue for the business processes of many companies that manufacture or supply physical goods to their customers. Brexit is unlikely to make things any easier, either – and entrepreneurs need to take that into consideration when organizing their business endeavors.
Guest post courtesy of Jessica Evans