With COVID-19 forcing businesses to downsize or close down, you’d ask yourself if it’s even possible to start a business in the middle of the pandemic. And no, we’re not talking about the dubious practice of “disaster capitalism”, but starting an actual legitimate and pandemic-resilient business. Short answer, YES — it IS possible to start and even grow a business during a pandemic, but there’s a lot of limitations and factors for you to consider in order for you to pull it off.
Moreover, business tips or even growth hacking tools from 2019 may no longer be applicable or sufficient, you’ll need to adapt your business to our current circumstances. As such, we’ll be taking a look at some vital factors that can make or break your business as it starts in the midst of a pandemic.
- Know What Consumers Need
It shouldn’t be a surprise that consumer habits have changed due to the pandemic. As people are staying in more, the demands for take-out food, home fitness products, and even pets have drastically increased. Instead of experimenting in the market or doing the “create a demand for your product” approach, it’s much safer to research and capitalize on what consumers need right at the moment.
- Check for Pandemic Startup Grants and Loans
Financing your startup may seem like one of the biggest challenges during a pandemic, which is why it’s necessary to look available grants and special loans that you can take advantage of. Some agencies, organizations, and local government units provide grants, loans, and emergency financing programs for eligible small businesses and startups. So do your research and don’t hesitate to apply, you’ll need all the help you can get in order to finance your startup and even reduce risk and potential losses if things don’t pan out.
- Bank on Digital Marketing
With travel restrictions and social distancing protocols in place, people are connecting with their friends, families, and colleagues digitally through social media and email. That said, it only makes sense for you to focus your marketing efforts through social media content marketing, email marketing, and optimizing your website. Likewise, you can also make use of digital marketing and growth hacking tools that have proven to be effective and well-reviewed by other businesses during this pandemic.
- Be Flexible and Prepare for the Worst
According to Forbes in 2018, around half (45-51%) of small businesses survive through the five-year mark. In the middle of a pandemic, this statistic may have changed drastically. As such, it’s only prudent for you to be flexible and adaptable in your business plans and goals, and also to have a back-up plan in case your business isn’t able to weather through the pandemic.
- Get Professional Help
Due to the limited resources and higher risk of failure, startups don’t have a lot of room for guesswork, experiments, and mistakes. As such, it’s best to consider consulting and hiring a professional, particularly with digital marketing which is an entire job on its own. Known online businesses such as LegalMatch even continue to look for marketing and sales experts to boost their sales and grow their business in the middle of this pandemic.
Starting your own business during the coronavirus pandemic won’t be easy, but if you’re able to make the smart decisions and get all the help you can get, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to survive and thrive. So, best of luck!