With the Bank of England warning that the UK has hit its deepest recession in 300 hundred years, some people might think that starting a business at this time is the silliest thing to do.
These people are misinformed. Some of the largest names in business began during a recession.
The success of a business has little to do with the current state of the economy. The only important things to know when running any business are:
The hospitality and travel industries were hit hardest, and yet Airbnb reported spectacular profitability in the middle of this crisis.
Airbnb is definitely doing something right to convince people to book rooms despite all supposed reasons not to.
Let’s look at the restaurant industry. What is the demand that restaurants fill? Perhaps it’s a demand for tables and a specific type of cuisine. Perhaps it’s a demand for not having to cook at home, or for being well served.
During the COVID lockdowns, not all those demands could be met. But some of them could, perhaps with slight alterations.
Restaurants could offer a premium takeaway service and thereby fulfil some of the demands above. If they’re a posh restaurant, and part of their offering is the sense of fine dining, they could get a brochure put together which shows people how to replicate that experience in their own homes. (Candles, anyone? Champagne?)
The trick is knowing how to pivot.
The other trick is to be creative.
No one can predict the future. No matter how good your business plan is, you can’t plan for the unforeseen and the unprecedented.
If anything, COVID has resulted in such a different world to what was in place before that it is unlikely that the world will change so drastically again in the near future.
COVID took everyone’s footing away from under them, and everyone had to learn how to stand.
Well, we’re standing now. And people know how to weather the storms a lot better than before.
Even so, creativity and the ability to pivot are essential traits of any entrepreneur. Even if you hadn’t known what the essential tools were for your business before COVID-19, you would go and discover them when the time arose.
Entrepreneurs must be able to work under pressure and solve problems to survive. Today, it’s COVID-19 and a bumbling, fumbling, blind government with no sense of how to tackle a crisis.
Tomorrow, it could something else.
The top entrepreneurs don’t blame others. They look at a problem and tackle it head-on — creatively.
The other reason to start a business after COVID-19 is because you will likely have less competition.
Part of the character of an entrepreneur is a sense of boldness and an ability to spot an opportunity looming, no matter how faint.
As the famous saying goes: Luck is merely a seized opportunity. (Did we just make that up? I think we did.)
Be bold. Be an entrepreneur. Now is the time to start your business. Why is now the time? Simply because it is now.
The entire ethos of successful entrepreneurs is to mould the environment to their needs, not vice versa. It’s that attitude which leads to disruptions in the market.
Successful entrepreneurs don’t wait for greener pastures. They sow seeds and turn those pastures green themselves.
If the ground is rocky, they plough harder or seek better ground.
As a result of this new footing we have found, business persons are much more aware of certain essentials which must be in place for any business to succeed.
These essentials were previously considered “nice-to-haves” — such as video conferencing tools, remote-working tools, cloud-based solutions — but are now considered to be utterly crucial to a business’s survival.
So, starting a business after COVID-19 means you’ll be going into the world of business with your eyes open.
Can you imagine having started one just before the crisis, only to realise belatedly that you should’ve spent a bit more dough on work-from-home solutions?
The key things to have in place when starting your business in a post-COVID-19 world are:
If “consumer buying power” is a concern, it shouldn’t be.
The main thing is to deliver value with your product or service. If you bring value to people and save them a bit of time or a bit of hassle, they will be happy to pay for what you have to offer, even during tough times.
When to start a business is not as important a question as How to start a business.
If you do it right, you can start a successful business any time you choose to.
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