Did you know that despite these unprecedented times, you can start a small business? Sure, over 100,000 small businesses were shut down due to the global pandemic. However, a report showed that new business applications in the U.S. have spiked up since 2007. This is because a recent survey revealed that these courageous entrepreneurs were either laid off from work or have seen new business opportunities brought by COVID-19.
This only goes to show that crisis can sometimes lead to innovation and opportunities, and you have to strike while the iron is hot. But to set your business on the right footing, there are some key steps you’ll need to take. Here’s how to start your business during a pandemic:
- Know what industry thrives during a pandemic
If you’re looking to start a small business, you don’t immediately take the plunge. The initial step to take is to study the market and understand the context of today’s business. From there, you’ll learn what industry thrives amid a pandemic and see what particular business is best to pursue in your locality. Below are some industries you might want to venture into for your startup:
- Cleaning industry
- E-commerce business
- Health and fitness
- Digital marketing
- Home renovation
- Landscaping services
- Understand today’s consumer needs
After looking into some thriving industries, the next step to take is to study the consumers. On a more specific note, you must understand their needs and assess their behaviors. These customers may probably prefer to conduct business transactions online, need cleaning services, or want to do online shopping. That said, perform due diligence, so you’ll know your target market and be able to come up with a buyer persona.
- Assess your business interests and resources
Now that you know what industries flourish and what consumers need, you can now evaluate your interests in business and the resources you initially have. Keep in mind that there’s a lot of considerations to make—from financial to material acquisition to manpower down to marketing. In this business venture, you need to seek help and guidance from experienced entrepreneurs.
- Decide on a particular business
After having evaluated your business interest and laid out all your resources, you can now decide on what particular business to start. A perfect route to a startup is to buy a franchise since it already has a ready-made business plan set in place for you. Another good idea is to hit the e-commerce business since you can simply use their digital platform and launch your business right away. You just have to know what works for you.
- Come up with a business plan
Now that you’ve decided on a startup, you must sit down and come up with a business plan. As mentioned above, there are different areas in business you would have to strategically plan and address. It’s like creating a blueprint for your business, where you don’t want to miss out on anything.
- Set out your finances
The most crucial part of launching a startup is to establish your financial resources. You have to come up with a budget and allocate money to different areas of your business. You may need a capital outlay for all the business resources you need, including the products or services you’ll basically offer. If you need funding for your startup, the best course of action is to apply for an SBA loan from a private lender, government agency, or financial entity. Finally, you must open a separate bank account that’s exclusively for your business.
- Insure your business
Another important consideration is to get insurance for your small business. You may need this to cover your commercial property, tools and equipment, professional indemnity, and public liability. Should something happen to your business (let’s say a fire outbreak), at least you know your business will be protected from a potential financial loss.
- Use digital platforms to promote
Marketing is vital in launching a startup. But in this time and age, employing digital marketing can be your best approach. You can create a website for your online business or have one as a representation of your brick-and-mortar store. While you’re at it, use social media channels to your advantage. It’s one way to connect with your target clients or potential customers. You can engage with them, build meaningful relationships, and create an online community of loyal supporters.
- Start implementing your business
At this juncture, you can go ahead and launch your business. Keep in mind that starting a business is a risk, but you must take a calculated risk. Also, it requires trial-and-error methods. You may need to perform some necessary tweaks based on your resources, consumer needs, competitors, and the market itself. With your mind and heart put into your business, it will pay off in the long run.
Launching a business isn’t a walk in the park; it is all the more challenging during a pandemic. But with all the key steps discussed above, you can start your business right and hopefully navigate in the right direction. Who knows? With a good start, your business might just thrive and flourish in the future!