“What makes you different or weird, that’s your strength.” — Meryl Streep
Difficulties can’t surpass our paths until and unless we let them. Yes, all that matters most in difficult times is our courage and self-esteem that let us shine in the darkest zones.
The pandemic has caused optimum losses of lives, livings, and dreams. People lost hopes of living even an ordinary life. The aftermath took many business owners by surprise, and, even worse, caused their businesses to fold.
Yelp had reported that permanent business closures have reached 97,966, representing 60% of closed businesses that won’t be reopening. Facebook had also reported 31% SMB closures depicted in the stat given below-
All things concludingly depict that 2020 was a year of ups and downs, It was basically a turbulent time for almost everyone out there.
But, as nature claims continuity, that’s how life’s supposed to be; moving. Losses were huge but time bandaged the wounds well and people with dreams are now all set to rock again in 2021 and beyond.
Are you also the one with an innovative vibe out there?
If yes, join the journey to explore the extreme that comes out of the blues.
- What do you think the crisis has provided us? A springboard for innovation?
- Is post-pandemic favorable for startups too?
- Evolving perspectives of entrepreneurship in 2021 and beyond
- Coping up with the new norms
- Managing the cash flow crunch
- Recognize evolving consumer habits
- Always be scared of
What Do You Think The Crisis Has Provided Us? A Springboard For Innovation?
Although the crisis was bad and turned out to be a depressing matter for everyone, still finding fortune within misfortunes is not impossible.
“If you stay positive in the negative, you win.”
Innovation and hopes always lighten up the paths that I can conclude now. A crisis of such magnitude would, sadly, have negative consequences for many businesses; it might, in the long run, serve as a catalyst for change.
Yes, business predictions have revised, but with significant changes in market dynamics, many passionately see this crisis as an opportunity.
A motivational example of such enthusiasts is-
ProducePay, an online food produce transaction network, was co-founded by Pablo Borquez, a Cornell SC Johnson College of Business alumnus in 2014.
They innovated their business ethics as per the market dynamics during the pandemic, the company financed $3 billion in product across 12 countries in North and South America, doubling sales in 2020. As a result, the company became one of the leading players in the fresh produce market in the region.
“Innovation always comes out of hardship. Friction points spark ideas for businesses, and friction points are never as acute as when in a crisis. I think new ideas will come out of this that would have been impossible otherwise,”
There wasn’t one, many businesses have transformed their work cultures and ethics and are doing great even in the pandemic.
Of course, a word of caution is required. With no certainty of how this current crisis will end or when, if ever, markets will restore normality, it is hard to make too bold a prognosis.
It is possible to see not only the established enterprises but also the ones that are just getting started.
What I believe is- “Embracing change as an opportunity to improvise is a sensible method of dealing with a catastrophe.”
There are many who are more and more enthusiastic and innovative to live their dream to the fullest and thrive their own mark in the business world again.
There’s just one simple message from me to you all — WELCOME.
Is Post-Pandemic Favorable For Startups Too?
Starting up a business is like living a dream that you’ve wished for a very long time. It’s quite encouraging and exciting, yet tiresome because you need to plan, execute multitudes of things, and streamline their processes in the best way possible.
Planning and executing are two different faces of a coin. You can plan effectively but cannot execute that, until and unless you have a very keen eye on every nook and corner of your plan.
A fresh business idea with a plan and a naive person can be stupefied very easily.
Very well said- “There’s no plan for success.”
Yes, you need to plan your own paths and decide your journey, there isn’t any predefined one. All that matters is your effective observation and reaction to the state of affairs you’re dealing with. Your decisions in these crucial moments are your actual plans for success or failure.
Being a business owner, I can truly share that startup guy vibe and understand well about the minor yet pre-eminent stumbling blocks. Based on my experience to date, I’m here to share a few key considerations for upcoming business owners planning a launch move in 2021 and beyond.
Let’s head on then,
When anyone talks about starting up a business, people start imagining a predefined list of factors to be considerate about-
- Your Business Idea
- Idea Research
- Proper Planning
- Business Marketing or Promotions
I understand that these are all essential attributes for a startup to grow out of its roots. But, the real picture is way more different than the scripted phenomenons.
Yes, don’t be surprised. That’s true.
Until and unless you share the same shoes, you can’t understand the pain in other’s feet.
So, instead of dwelling in the figures and facts for a business startup that’s documented, let’s discuss a few practical key points that would actually turn up your startup journey in a smooth ride.
Let’s begin then,
Evolving Perspectives of Entrepreneurship in 2021 and beyond
After a pandemic, although situations are in somewhat control, still that won’t guarantee stability. So, if you’re planning to make a move for your startup this time, make sure you’re all considerate of all evolved aspects thoroughly.
Coping Up with the New Norms
The new normal is all set to shake the foundations of predefined business strategies to trash. No shortcuts to deal with a scenario are documented to date, that’s why it is all up to your smartness and innovative thinking that will help you grow in the times.
Remote Working and Shifting Team Dynamics
Office working culture is all outdated now and the popular fads of time are WFH (work from home), RW (remote working), VA (virtual assistance), etc.
As lockdown and regulatory guidelines forced offices to close down completely, these fads mentioned above became saviors to many organizations’ future. The best part of the online work culture is being safe and working.
Isn’t that great?
Therefore, before stepping for a startup, make sure your business prefers remote work culture efficiently.
Understand Your Employee Pain Points
Pandemic or not, employees’ dedication pays more prospective outcomes always.
I know you’re starting up, you might think why am I highlighting employees?
Though really always overlooked, this aspect is quite crucial to success in the long run. I understand when you head for a startup and invest hugely, you might be expecting the outcome and often overlook your employee’s pain points.
But believe me, if you value them from the very start, they’ll become emotionally invested and they want to contribute.
Always try to connect with them and share a healthy bond. Don’t be afraid to ask your staff questions on what they think the business could do better.
Often employees are instinctively aware of issues as well as the solutions in the business, while those with an outside perspective can share ideas that you may not have thought of previously.
“Surround yourself with the best people you can and give them an opportunity to do what they love to do best,” says John Stonecipher, CEO of Guidance Aviation. “Each one of my staff and faculty is leader themselves. I cannot succeed without them.”
Having A Work-Life Balance
Starting up a business that clearly means juggling numerous tasks at once. Your lifestyle becomes busy and your schedule becomes hefty, but make sure you find a healthy room in between.
Yes, you might think.
What exactly does this have to do with my venture?
This is not important yet a prerequisite. How?
Not having a work-life balance might drag you to end up your battle soon. People who argue that there is no such thing as work-life balance frequently employ a time or energy input argument. As if life were a pie that needed to be split evenly.
But life isn’t a slice of cake. Balance does not imply that we devote the same amount of time or effort to each component. It’s not about putting in the same amount of time.
Finding a rhythm for work-life balance is finding a way to keep the scales tipped back and forth without becoming too significantly skewed in one direction for an extended period of time. Because let’s face it, if you don’t prioritize it, no one else will.
Therefore, don’t overlook it.
Managing the Cash Flow Crunch
Most startup entrepreneurs aren’t so settled or wealthy class ones. They are generally the group of enthusiastic folks aspiring to achieve.
One of the most significant issues that entrepreneurs will confront this year is funding. Many businesses rely on financial assistance from investors, and even then, it takes a few years to break even.
When your earnings grow, so do your expenses. You’ll need to budget for digital solutions, digital resources, and product development, etc. This is much more difficult to achieve when a company is trying to keep a tight grip on its capital and prevent excessive expenditures.
Startups should always be on the lookout for new strategies to maintain track of their cash flow.
It has also been observed many times that going out of funds is still the biggest reason for startup failures. You can refer to the above-listed statistic from DeSuvit depicting the same.
So, what’s the solution then?
If we talk about capital funding, you can:-
- Choose for Angel Fundings groups.
- Initiate a Crowdfunding program.
- Lend a Small Loan from a bank.
- Make use of Small Business Credit Cards, either apply for Venture Capital schemes.
All these options are way more efficient than losing your savings for high-rated bank interests.
Crowdfunding is quite popular nowadays. You can also initiate one using Indiegogo, Wishberry, Ketto, Fundlined, and Catapooolt in India and Kickstarter, RocketHub, DreamFunded, Onevest, and GoFundMe for the US.
Focus On Free/Shared Resources
Another expense lag that bounds your speed might be the resource investment. Yes, although quite crucial this investment involves your major investment.
That’s a genuine pain point when you’re starting up. Let me guide you with a few conservative techniques for the same.
Shared Resources, you might have heard of this term many times before. This is nothing but a phenomenal approach that involves capital conservation.
Working space for offices is quite hefty and a big investment for a budding enterprise. In order to maintain cash flow, you can opt for shared spaces. Yes, they can be way more inexpensive yet handy.
Not just the physical resource investment can be managed, but digital also. Yes, multiple digital resources also require investments but if you think rationally, you can save those bucks too.
Here, I’ve listed a few office management digital resources that are available for free. Opt for one and make use of-
- For Team Communication & Virtual Meetings
Skype, Zoom, G Suite, etc.
- For Outreach and Official Emailings
Gmail, MailChimp, Slack, etc.
- For Sale Data Management
HubSpot CRM, ZOHO, YAMM, etc.
- For Project/Workflow Management
Jira, Podio, nTask Manager, Bitrix24, PivotalTracker, Nutcache, ClickUp, etc.
- For In-house Data/File Management
Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
The additional effort will take its toll as the business grows.
What you believed would save you money will really cost you money since you will lose customers due to poor work quality. You can’t be a lord of all trades. As a result, assign tasks to a capable workforce or partners who are highly trained professionals.
If you decide to hire such experts, be sure to spell out the job responsibilities and qualities you’re looking for. Vague job postings on free sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, BambooHR, Workday, and others may be a far more efficient choice in attracting qualified candidates, saving you time and money.
You may also outsource it to solution providers that assist startups in scaling up their operations. This may result in higher costs, but it will also save time, allowing businesses to concentrate on their main objectives.
Drive Promotions Organically
A startup starts from the ground up. You need a marketing presence that sets you apart from the competition if you want to stand out in a crowded business.
In order to attract new customers, you’ll need a marketing strategy. As a result, it is an important investment that should not be overlooked. Many startups, however, fail as a result of a poor marketing strategy.
The most serious blunder here is failing to prioritize a marketing plan from the start. The startup will go undetected if there is no marketing buzz surrounding your product or service prior to its formal launch.
This usually occurs when the founders of the business are unsure of how to proceed with their marketing strategy. Startups lack the financial resources to test various marketing strategies. As a result, they must opt for a cost-effective approach that ensures success while staying under budget.
The solution to such issues lies in organic promotional opportunities available like-
- You can make use of social platforms for campaigning and advertisements such as Instagram Marketing & Advertising, Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, Twitonomy, TubeBuddy, Reddit, Quora, etc.
- SEO tools like Hootsuite, SEMrush, Moz, Google Analytics, Hotjar, Yoast SEO, Ahrefs, etc. can also be used to develop a strong organic presence over SERPs. Organic link building and backlinking might also help you.
- You can also try to engage your customers with pandemic themes-based promotions keeping track with Google Trends.
Online Website/Store Essentials
Its quite obvious that in today’s digital times, you will opt for a website or an online store according to your requirements.
- Because people and businesses who aren’t online, are losing a lot everyday. You may please refer to this post if you are starting something on WooCommerce.
- For hosting, you can check out Hostinger’s deal.
- For all things related to WooCommerce including plugins, marketing automation, custom development, integrations, setup, etc., go and check MakeWebBetter and make your life easier.
- For all kinds of themes and related help, give a try to 8theme.
- For migrating your eCommerce cart, here is all you will need.
- Other different good plugin resources are listed here-
1. Events Plugins
2. Most Powerful Serial Number Generator
3. WooCommerce Shipping Services
- For WooCommerce support, you may consider WPBuffs.
Recognize Evolving Consumer Habits
One of the most critical challenges that entrepreneurs will confront is this.
Adopting a digital transformation strategy is the greatest method to achieve global scalability. As consumer behaviors become more digitized with the passage of time, entrepreneurs must have a digital strategy.
For startups though, this is easier said than done. They are confronted with obstacles such as a limited budget, a lack of competence in developing a digital strategy, and so on. Nonetheless, for survival and modernization, startups will need to go digital and keep up with technology advancements.
Consumers around the world spend the majority of their days on their phones and laptops. As a result, your business will prosper more when you are online.
Because your startup’s website is the face of the company, it’s critical to invest time in designing one that sends the correct message to potential customers. Launching your services through mobile applications is another approach to make your business more visible.
So, where do you start with your website design and mobile app development?
It’s even more difficult if your staff is short in technological know-how. IT outsourcing is the best option in this circumstance.
Always Be Scared Of
Being overly optimistic about each and every idea and suggestion from your team and partners can be motivating but may land you in conflicts later.
You only have so many resources at the end of the day. You’ll become engrossed in trying to deploy too many things if you don’t learn to say no.
Because you’re overworked, everything moves at a snail’s pace at best. It’s impossible to scale a project with too few resources split over too many projects.
“One thing that I’ve slowly come to realize is that focus is so critically important,” says Dane Atkinson, CEO of social analytics company SumAll. “Saying ‘no’ to great ideas is necessary to get to the brilliant ones. At every step of the way, you have to cut towards one path. It’s such a hard thing to do as an entrepreneur because you don’t really have the confidence in where you’re going yourself.”
In the worst-case scenario, nothing gets done, and growth comes to a halt.
Better yet, learn to make decisions and respond appropriately.
Not Having A Backup Plan
Always move in with a Plan B handy. Yes. As the future cannot be predicted and assumed, it’s better to be prepared for the worst always. This is being progressive.
Don’t Fear Larger, More Established Competitors
You’re new in the field, but that doesn’t mean there’s no chance for your growth. Don’t be stupified with such thoughts, just be true and transparent with your policies and have firm belief.
You’ll win for sure.
Don’t Hesitate To Ask For Help
Asking for help is sometimes misunderstood by entrepreneurs as a sign of weakness. They believe that begging for aid exposes their fragile underbelly to predators, who are waiting eagerly in the shadows for the opportunity to devour them.
Because they had a vision, the most successful leaders were able to attain success. They encouraged others to help them get there, and they knew when to seek assistance in order to make their dreams a reality.
Steve Jobs spoke with the Santa Clara Valley Historical Association in a video in 1994, just a few years after re-joining Apple, about the importance of asking for help:
“Now, I’ve actually always found something to be very true, which is that most people don’t get those experiences because they never ask. I’ve never found anybody who didn’t want to help me when I’ve asked them for help.”
Be Ambitious and Don’t Be Frightened of Mistakes: Quitters Never Win.
Finally, it is up to you to determine the trajectory of your enterprise. You need to get your business in front of as many people as possible if you want it to flourish.
There may be some setbacks along the way, but nothing will impede you from accomplishing your objectives if you keep moving forward and learning from mistakes.
All the Best.