Small businesses have always been the backbone of the economy. When local businesses thrive, the local economy flourishes. Although a lot of small- and medium-sized businesses have tried to put measures in place to mitigate the impact of a crisis, nothing can prepare them for a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic. As small businesses shut down left and right last year, experts said that any business with less than $20 million in annual revenue is more likely to feel the impact of the pandemic. How many businesses are there that surpass the $20-million revenue mark? Not too many.
But over the years, startups have proved themselves able to salvage the local economy. They provide employment opportunities. They also shift their product line and target new markets whenever possible. So, are startups actually in a better position to survive the pandemic and thrive in the new normal?
Adapting to Changes Quickly
The truth is that it is easier for startups to adapt to the changing needs of the market. They can realign their marketing strategies, come up with new product lines, and transition to digital and remote working. With a smaller capital and a small workforce, it is possible for small businesses to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic with a snap of the finger.
They have shown this ability successfully. Over the past year, startups have started to sprout. While the challenges remain, they also transitioned quickly and successfully to what the market needs and dictates. Many hole-in-the-wall restaurants and cafes closed their doors only to reopen as ghost kitchens that offer a cash-on-delivery courier option for their loyal patrons. Small retail stores added making face masks in their repertoire. Instead of disposable masks, they worked with medical experts to produce fashionable cloth masks that will also have the same protection as surgical masks.
These things are easier for startups to do because of the nature of their small workforce. In this case, having a small office is an advantage to businesses that have to transition to remote work and virtual meetings. If the company has to provide computers, laptops, modems, and printers to their employees for remote work, the investment is smaller than medium-sized businesses.
Communication Is More Personal
Work relationships are more personal in startup companies. Mostly, these are led by young entrepreneurs who have a different leadership style than Baby Boomers. Millennials and Generation Z are more adept at communicating with their workforce. They treat them as friends and family. They are also more careful with nurturing these relationships. This makes it easier for communicating strategies during such a difficult time in the business.
Springboard for Innovation
Many startups saw the opportunities in the pandemic. Instead of sticking with their traditional business model, they rerouted their resources so that they could adapt to the changes. For example, online delivery platforms embraced food deliveries with some even focusing on the deliveries of groceries and medicines. Many of them partnered with small local businesses to provide delivery services even outside the main town or city.
Retail clothing businesses also transitioned to selling live via social media. Customers are encouraged to go online at a specific time to bid for the products online. While some do this in a public network like Facebook, others do this through private Zoom conference rooms. These are new ways of selling your products, whether or not these methods will stick until the new normal remains to be seen. For now, though, it has been an effective strategy for small businesses to reach out to their market.
Ready for Tech-based Products and Services
Startups are born during the age of technological innovation. This means they are on a better path toward adapting to and embracing tech-based products and business services. You will see that in the way startups came up with apps and platforms for their various businesses. They understand that during the pandemic, customers are looking for a convenient way to browse through and order the items they need from stores. They are quick on their feet. Startups understand that time is of the essence when it comes to surviving these times.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to many that startups have a better chance of surviving the pandemic and thriving in the new normal. Startups are better adapted to modern technology, as well as new ways of managing, leading, and heading a company. They are more open to suggestions, and they quickly adapt to new demands as they come. Not many medium-sized and bigger companies can say this about themselves. It is time to change the old way of doing things in business.