Every crisis is laced with opportunities and I strongly believe that COVID19 has brought along with it a transformative opportunity for companies and start-ups, globally. We have always been aware of the fact thateconomic downturns, although challenging, can provide an opportunity for launching new companies and products. If you haven’t rolled out your business, you don’t necessarily have to put your dreams on hold owing to the COVID disruption. However, adapting to the new realities of the post-COVID business world and then preparing for the challenges that may come with it, is advisable. NOW, the ground is fertile for you to sow the seeds of your business, nurture it and watch it grow! Let us discuss some imperatives, which should be a part of your plan before launching your dream business:-
- Create a solid and resilient business plan – COVID19 has taught everyone a lesson never to be forgotten; to expect the unexpected and be prepared to manoeuvre your way out accordingly. Before March, no one could have predicted that the entire world would have to adopt change, reboot and strive to survive and thrive back again. Scores of businesses were left in a worse spot than they had anticipated or planned for. Hence having the needed resources to keep your business afloat in turbulent waters, is a must; as they rightly say – hope for the best but be prepared for the worst! Be cash-flow sensitive, have a lean organization, create a realistic and conservative operational budget, and make sure you don’t deviate from it. You must manage cash cautiously and set your organization up for survival.
- Research well and approach investors intelligently — I believe that one can only solve a problem when one is aware about its existence! Reading the present market conditions well, will help you in figuring out if potential investors are adventurous or conservative and what are the changing needs/expectations of prospective clients. Be transparent with them about your company and the challenges you may be facing.
- Raising capital for a startup during a recession or economic reboot may be challenging- If your goal is to fundraise within the next year, start by asking yourself if your product or business is still relevant in the current environment. Also, be brutally honest about the survival percentage you can gauge about your business, if launched. Being transparent with investors will help in getting them onboard with your business plans.
- Lookout for a mentor – It is always helpful if you can learn from the experiences of others in the same business as yours. Rely on a board of advisors or even that single mentor with experience in running startups to provide guidance as this will hand-hold you through the initial problems you might face.
- Be hopeful about 2021– I strongly believe in the saying, “Let your hopes not your hurts, shape your future.” It is easy to look back on the last year and wonder if 2021 will be any better. After all, scores of small businesses will likely never come back because of the pandemic. While your trepidation is justified, you must see challenges as a catalyst for pushing for success. I think we all agree that there is something about a new year that inspires hope and gives us the freedom to imagine all that life can and will be different or change for the better.
So good luck to you as you flag off your dream venture and emerge victorious!