Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have had an epiphany for a business idea. Embarking on your startup business in the middle of a health crisis may be daunting, but it can also be promising. The rise of the pandemic has brought out many needs that may have not been addressed before, giving startups the avenue and the opportunity to fill in the gap.
However, starting a business before the pandemic has never been easy. It is certainly not easier now. With so many challenges and safety precautions to keep in mind, starting a business amidst the pandemic may demand more of your grit and perseverance.
Know your why
Before you embark on starting your business, think of why you want to do this. It can help you set your business goals. Is it because you want to help your target customers through your unique business idea? Is it because you want to share your passion hobby with the community? Or is it because you need an alternate source of income due to the economic volatility brought by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Whatever your reason may be, be honest with yourself. Set clear business goals based on your drivers. Set short-term and long-term goals that will serve as your guide as you begin to create your business plans.
Think of the current needs of your customers
As you start with your business plan, think of what the customers need right now. You must fit your offerings to the current needs of your target customers. Business solutions provider eLakeside, for example, offers help in the medical, healthcare, and food industries. Aside from their main product offerings, they provide COVID-19 support products to adapt to the additional needs caused by the pandemic.
You may also need to think about the current buying habits of your target customers. With the threat of the virus, many have embraced e-commerce for its convenience and safety. Developing your business ideas with current consumer habits in mind can help make your business more resilient and relevant.
Do not quit your job yet
If you are one of the lucky people who still have a full-time day job, you may want to hold on to it for a while longer. Many successful businesses have started as a side hustle. Cultivate your startup business while keeping your day job. Starting a business is never a guarantee that it will give you a steady source of income. Businesses can fail, and some do. Even businesses that have made it big can close down all of a sudden. It is a risky venture, so having a primary source of income is beneficial for you.
For instance, it will be easier for you to apply for a loan to finance your business. Lenders will be more confident to loan you your capital because whatever the outcome of your business may be, you still have the capability to pay your financial obligations.
You may apply for a small business loan through the US Small Business Administration. Once approved, the SBA will connect you with its available pool of lenders.
Take your business online
Digital marketing has helped many businesses stay afloat despite lockdowns, travel restrictions, and health threats brought by the pandemic. Creating a good digital marketing strategy can help you spread the word about your new business.
Take advantage of social media. With most people on Facebook, it is a good place to start. Social media is a great way to introduce your offerings to your prospective customers. You can start with your own network of friends and test the waters. Your friends and families can even help in spreading the word about your business and help you grow your customer base.
Create a Facebook page where you can share your products, communicate with your customers, and update them about your offerings. It is free but has lots of opportunities to help you grow your following.
Identify the tasks that you can delegate
As your small business attracts a following and starts to grow, you may find that you cannot do everything on your own. Identify the tasks that you can do and the ones that you can delegate.
You can focus on the essential tasks that only you must do. For instance, if are offering made-to-order cakes and pastries, you can focus on creating all your sweet and delicious desserts and cakes. You can have someone else do the deliveries, social media management, and other administrative tasks needed to run your small business.
If you do not have sufficient funds to hire full-time employees, you can hire freelancers. You can hire one for your bookkeeping, logo and graphic design, and social media management. You will only pay them for the work that they have done for you instead of a salary, which is more cost-efficient for you.
Times are tough, but with a sound business plan and clear business goals, you can jump-start your dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. Be adaptable with the times and have a positive mindset. Your business can thrive despite the pandemic.