The ongoing pandemic has upended life across the globe. Despite the unprecedented challenges, entrepreneurship is still alive and well. Even as the pandemic was beginning, Forbes was still reporting that the majority of Gen Zers aspired to become entrepreneurs.
While the desire to start a business is clearly alive and well, the path to launching a business has become a bit more complicated over the course of 2020. However, if you’re willing to take your time and think things through, you can still create a thriving business, even amid COVID-19. Here are a few tips to help you stay the course throughout the startup process.
Consider the Stress
The first thing that should weigh on the mind of any entrepreneur is how their potential business could impact both their own lives and the lives of those around them. Things like financial strain, long hours, and constant commitment can create a feedback loop of stress, anxiety, and burnout.
While these periods never last forever, it’s always good to consider if now is the right time to start a business. A few question to ask yourself include:
• How will this business improve my quality of life?
• Is the cost worth the reward, especially at this point?
• How do my intimate family, friends, and dependants feel about my desire to start a business?
• Do I have the time, energy, and resources to start a business right now?
While none of the answers to these questions should be decisive, they can collectively allow you to feel out if now is the right time to dive into your venture.
Always Remember the Basics
Before getting too far into the nitty-gritty, it’s important to point out that starting a business during a pandemic is, by and large, still the same process as it’s always been. This means you must address basic entrepreneurial concerns, such as:
• Reviewing your finances and considering if you have the savings, backing, or good credit required to fund your startup.
• Finding a partner you can dependably work with as you launch your business.
• Getting basic needs in order, such as collaborative and communicative tools, accounting software, and even a remote or in-person office space or storefront.
Don’t ignore the basic needs of your business in the name of catering to the challenges of the pandemic. Make sure your startup’s foundation is solid before addressing the other unique, coronavirus-related concerns laid out below.
Vet Your Idea Thoroughly
Next up, you’re going to want to seriously consider how your proposed business is going to work in both the short- and the long-term. In the current circumstances, these two considerations should be approached thusly:
Can your business both operate and attract customers during a pandemic? Can it market online, ship goods, or follow sanitation protocols if it requires a brick-and-mortar presence?
If you’re creating a business that is specifically in response to the pandemic, such as offering babysitting services to work-from-home parents or making masks, are you doing so intending to build a loyal customer base? Make sure you’re not trying to price gouge or take advantage of customers’ needs, as was the case earlier in 2020 when 31 million fake face masks were confiscated in China.
Along with short-term considerations, is your business going to be sustainable into the future? Eventually, the pandemic will end, and you don’t want to close up shop with it. Even if you’re catering to pandemic needs at the moment, have you considered how you’ll pivot into a profitable niche when things return to a sense of normalcy?
Prioritize Pandemic Protocols
Finally, consider the safety of your employees and customers alike in the weeks and months ahead.
Allowing your staff to work remotely is the best way to do this. However, if you’re opening a coffee shop or some other brick-and-mortar space, have a process that follows your local pandemic protocols.
This should both include a plan on how to clean your space often as well as a habit of regularly reviewing the ever-changing social distancing and sanitation protocols in your local region. If you’re feeling intimidated by this step, you can also consider hiring a professional service to provide basic cleaning as well as EVS & infection prevention for your space.
Roll Up Those Sleeves
It was Jeffery Gitomer who said, “There’s no lotion or potion that will make sales faster and easier for you — unless your potion is hard work.” As you work through the business basics along with the current pandemic protocols, remember that the process of starting any business takes time and effort.
So roll up those sleeves, start doing your research, and remember that you’re going to face an endless procession of issues and concerns as you go along. If you treat these as dead ends, you’ll likely quickly get stuck and give up.
However, if you can see them as challenges to overcome, you can become a savvy entrepreneur that doesn’t see the ongoing pandemic purely as an economic disaster, but rather an opportunity to start a business and make a difference.