There is never a perfect time to start a business. There is only a smart and irresponsible way to do it. You “choose” which one to adopt based on your actions.

We all know about the successes, and it’s close to impossible to know all the businesses that failed. They’re simply too many. Starting a business during a global crisis isn’t impossible, and companies like Disney and General Motors prove that. Still, just because you start a business when times are tough, it does not guarantee you will succeed in the long run. 

So, is starting a business during a global pandemic like the COVID-19 crisis a smart move? Here are a couple of things to consider. 

Why Starting a Business During or After a Pandemic Isn’t a Bad Idea

As we find ourselves in the midst of an unexpected global pandemic, many entrepreneurs start asking themselves: “Is now a good time to start a business?” Yes and no. It depends on the type of business idea you have. 

#1 The Pandemic Has Opened New Markets

The Pandemic Has Opened New Markets

With more people working from home, cutting time from long commutes, active social life, and other obligations that have now dropped from people’s schedules, consumer demand has shifted, and new needs have formed. If your business idea meets these new needs – perfect. If it solves a newly established problem – even better. 

#2 Problem-Solving Businesses Grow Faster

Problem-Solving Businesses Grow Faster

If there is one primary reason why some new businesses pick up faster than others, it is that they are better at solving a specific problem than their competitors. If you are considering launching a startup or a new business in times of crisis, you need to make sure your product or service is at the forefront of where the world is going. When times are tough, the last thing people need is a standard cafe. But they might need a co-working space that offers coffee where they could ‘home office’ if their place isn’t suited for office work. 

#3 Right Now, Many Talented People Are Out of a Job

Right Now, Many Talented People Are Out of a Job

Now is pretty much the perfect time to be looking for talent. Many companies have reduced their staff or gone out of business entirely, which means they’ve released the crème de la crème back onto the job market. There will hardly be a similar time like that when you can find highly-qualified candidates from the get-go. 

#4 Building a Successful Business During a Crisis Will Boost its Resilience Long-Term

Building a Successful Business During a Crisis Will Boost its Resilience Long-Term

If you manage to build a business in the conditions of rising unemployment and declining demand, your odds of building a resilient business model are great. Not many can achieve that, and even though launching a company during a pandemic doesn’t guarantee success, it does teach you a valuable lesson in optimizing your processes and refining your product/service.

#5 More People Are Staying at Home & Shopping Online

More People Are Staying at Home & Shopping Online

If you are in eCommerce or another digital-based industry, now is a smart time to make your move. According to research by Adobe, the online spending of consumers for the months of April and May 2020 alone exceeds the holiday spending of November and December 2019 by 7%. What is more, that’s over $52 billion more than the expected spending for that period. Given that the future of the pandemic is still unknown, it’s likely that these trends of increased online shopping are here to stay. 

Tips for Starting a Business During or Post-COVID-19 

#1 Adopt a Digital-First Strategy

Adopt a Digital-First Strategy

With online shopping on the rise, focusing your efforts on establishing a strong online presence comes as no surprise. You need a website, s strong social media presence, a persuasive brand image, and rich, original content shining through from all channels. 

If it applies to your business, think about the digital side of things first, and then move on to post-pandemic physical store openings and such.

#2 Start With Your Brand Identity

Start With Your Brand Identity

How do you want to position yourself in the minds of your customers? Do you want to be a sustainable brand or one that promotes pocket-friendly products? Are you focused on selling to businesses or private customers (B2B vs. B2C)? People like brands with a clearly defined identity that is consistent across all channels. That makes it easy for people to relate and identify with a brand.

The key is to communicate that identity clearly, otherwise, your clients will go to your competitors who do it better than you. Since you likely won’t meet your customers in person, it’s important to find ways to understand what they want and what makes them tick. In other words, you need to do your market research well.

#3 Focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 

Focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO has always been an important component of building a successful online business, but standing out in search results has become the most essential factor at times when your competitors are partially or completely selling online. The best way to achieve that is by creating a strong SEO strategy (with professional help if necessary) that draws your target clients. The best thing about SEO is that when you rank your website for the right keywords, you don’t have to convince visitors to buy when they find you. They’re already sold.

#4 Make a Communication Plan Before You Launch

Make a Communication Plan Before You Launch

The challenge with online sales is to personalize the process and interaction with the customer, as you would in a brick-and-mortar setting. Existing brands might struggle to adapt to online communication, but since you’ll be building your business plan in an online environment, you have one less challenge to worry about. 

New sales strategies are more centered around remote communication, so be sure to use every relevant platform. That doesn’t mean going overboard and becoming too intrusive, but constantly reminding your clients about you is important. You may live with the thought of them every day, but they won’t think of you unless you make them.

#5 Ask the Right Questions

Ask the Right Questions

There are many questions you can ask before starting a business, but here are some you simply must ask given the specific business environment:

  • Does my product or service meet a new need that people have as a result of the pandemic?
  • Can I serve this need in a way that’s much better than the already existing alternatives?
  • Am I qualified enough to meet this need?
  • If I lack the experience, can I find people who have it and hire them to help?
  • Can I ensure enough funding to last me until the business starts making profits?

While there are many other important questions at this stage, those are at the heart of ensuring your business is stable and has a competitive advantage. If you’re wondering who should provide those answers for you, we have bad news. That responsibility lies on you and your business partners to find them. You can always turn to a business consultant if you feel unsure of where to start. 

The Bottom Line

  • Should you start a business during a global pandemic?
  • Should you start a business post-COVID-19?

Starting a business amid a global pandemic takes courage and a killer business plan. And sometimes, even if you have both, that’s still not enough. It takes dedication, flexibility, and finding the right talent for each process. 

We hope these tips helped you get a better understanding of the topic. We’ll be updating the article as time passes, so be sure to check back with it.

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