2020 has been an interesting year, to say the least. The ongoing global pandemic and the economic uncertainty that it has bought with it has wreaked havoc on numerous industries. Now might not seem like the best time to be starting a business, but as the old saying goes, ‘every crisis is an opportunity.’ Starting a successful business during a crisis is certainly possible, albeit more difficult than it usually would be. Here’s what you need to know to maximise your chances of success when launching a new business during a crisis.
Put Together A Solid Business Plan
Every business needs to have a formal business plan to work from. Many people assume that they only need a business plan if they’re going to go to the bank and ask them for a loan. In actual fact, a business plan is just as much for your benefit as it is for anyone else’s. Perhaps even more so. Your business plan will set out exactly what your business hopes to achieve and how you will go about achieving it. It will also define your key performance indicators and the other metrics that will determine your success.
As time goes on, you can update your business plan to reflect your evolving circumstances, and to ensure that your business is always aiming for something. Throughout the life of your business, you should be able to look to your business plan to help you decide what you intend to do next to move towards your goals.
Figure Out Your Financing
Starting a business during a time of economic risk and uncertainty is obviously going to be harder than starting a business during the good times. One of the first things that any business planning to launch right now should do is reduce their debts as much as possible. That means both your personal debts that will affect your ability to finance your business and any debts that your business might have been accruing.
However you decide to finance your business, it pays to get yourself out of debt first. This article from New Horizons titled 8 Tips For Getting Out of Debt is an excellent place to start. New Horizons is a debt broker with a 90% approval rate, so they are also a great place to look for financing once you have paid your debts down a bit.
Find Your Niche
Targeting users within a specific niche is easier and cheaper than trying to reach out to everyone at once. During a time of economic crisis, it plays to take the time to assess your situation and decide on the most fruitful demographics for your new business to target. Once you have defined your niche and your target audience, you can then tailor your lead generation and marketing strategies to capture members of that audience.
Build A Professional Website
No business today is going to survive very long without an online presence. A significant portion of your new users and customers will undoubtedly come from online searches or from encountering your business’s website and social media profiles. Putting together a professional website has also never been easier. There are a plethora of tools out there that will enable you to build your own website without having to spend a penny. Of course, there is enormous value in having a professional web designer to handle the process for you.
Having a social media presence is also a good idea, but this generally should not replace a dedicated website. Both websites and social media have their own uses, and it is most effective to have them working in tandem instead of electing for one over the other.
Pick Your Staff Carefully
The staff that you hire for your business will have an enormous impact on its performance. In fact, choosing the right team to work with you could be the difference between success and failure for your business. During the current economic crisis and the ongoing uncertainty about the future, it is more important than ever that you are taking the time to find workers that are skilled and reliable.
Depending on the nature of the business you are starting, you might be looking for an entire team to help you run it, or you might only need a few individuals. In either case, it is a good idea to establish a consistent recruitment process as early as possible. That means that when you are in a position to add more workers to your staff, you will find it much easier to find those that fit in with your current team.
Launching a successful business in the midst of a global crisis is definitely challenging, but it is still possible. The decisions that you make now will be crucial in determining the success and viability of your business in the long term. Make sure that you keep the above advice in mind as you proceed.
As an experienced business and finance writer I understand the corporate landscape and the driving forces behind it. Over the years I’ve shared my insight and knowledge with key industry publications and dedicated my time to showing how business leaders can make their organisations more effective.