“A big business start’s small” – Richard Branson
Truly said by Richard, in order to get big, a business owner has to make some small smart steps that can take his business towards success. Well, these steps can only be considered to be in the right direction if the leader of the company has made all his research and learned from the lessons taught by the market and its survivors.
Looking at the current situation, when all the conventional businesses have come to a halt and are facing downtime due to COVID-19 lockdown, there are still some ventures having a swift flow in their business revenue. Well, these are the enterprises that have foresighted to be prepared for such situations and took some preemptive measures by learning from the past economic history.
Analyzing these businesses and studying the changing market scenario, below are some lessons curated for the small business owners to help them make their startup stronger enough to deal with such critical situations in the future.
Business learnings for startup owners from COVID-19 pandemic
Digitization is the basic business need
With the government imposing social distancing orders on the citizens, the only businesses having an online presence are the ones having hope for their business to at least earn or keep themselves operational in one or the other way. Taking about the e-commerce market or apps like food delivery or grocery deliveries, these niches are the ones that took over the market and the only reason behind it is the online availability of their business and the easy access to their services.
Taking this as a note for the newbie owners, making the right investment in the digital infrastructure indeed becomes important for better survival in the future market. Try to focus on making an online presence of your business through marketing, making your services available to people irrespective of their geographic location by developing an app, or a website or uploading your products to online stores.
Flexible business plans
It’s very important for a business to have a plan and a business model, as that is what defines the base of business operations and goals for its workers. But as there is no fixed formula to success, there is no assurance that the same business models would work in every situation and time.
Defining a flexible business model that could be mold based on the situation and would help make the business more profitable than before is what we call smart business planning.
Learning from the example of Zomato, the food delivery app has reformed its business model based on the COVID-19 lockdown situation and has added grocery delivery and other essential delivery services to keep up the business rotation as the delivery of food was currently not operational. The exceptional thought of the Zomato team is a thriving representation of their flexible business model which helped them survive even during the crisis.
Re-skilling the workforce in a different environment
The workforce is an asset to any business. In order to make any business stronger, it’s essential to make sure that the team working behind it is ready to work in any situation or environment.
The lockdown made many businesses and their employees to work from home and adopt a way of working they have never experienced before. Taking the lesson from the difficulties that these businesses face in terms of coordination and productivity, it’s a hint for the upcoming business owners to enact such training programs for their employees which help them work under any critical environment.
Doing this, the employees working with the company will develop such skill sets and practice which help them continue with their work irrespective of the situations around and keep the business moving.
Forecasted disaster plan
Well, this is something every business owner should add to their list while planning to start their business. Disasters and uncertainty are a part of today’s lifestyle, so accepting it as a new normal, a business owner should always have a separate plan for situations like today.
Whether it’s about money, employee welfare, business failures, or natural destruction, having an action plan for it could help the business owner to make quick decisions as per the thoughtfully created disaster plans. This would also help them to face lesser drawbacks due to the conditions in comparison to what they could have faced in the absence of such plans.
Following this, many SMEs are achieving 90% business productivity even in the pandemic, as they have already calculated their challenges and have planned for the necessary solutions whether in terms of technical support or employee wellness.
Best opportunities come during the crisis
Have you ever noticed that our mind works faster in the time of trouble? Yes, the changing situations make a person think about the alternatives to do the work to maintain his/her existence. This is the period which makes us aware of the problems we would have never thought of otherwise and carve out some innovative solutions that could change the business’s future.
Talking about the current crisis, the new delivery solutions like drone delivery and the surging new app features for contactless delivery services are a symbol of the innovations that have evolved due to critical situations around the world and are acting as a solution to the problems that people are facing during these hard times.
So it’s a tip for the startup owner, to always look at the crisis as an opportunity to learn or develop something new and implement it for the business and community welfare.
Building a company from scratch is indeed a task where even experienced entrepreneurs strip down, as the only thing that can help these aspirant startup owners is perseverance, innovative thought, and the continuous lessons for the outer world.
The above-mentioned pointers are real learnings for a newbie owner. Planning and working while keeping these factors in mind can prove to be very beneficial for any business owner and his team to fight against any odds like the COVID-19 epidemic in the near future.
James Vargas is an experienced business expert, consultant, and manager at Get Everything Delivered, startup consulting, and team building services. He has 1.5-decade corporate experience and is tailoring the best project delivery and team training practices to the businesses and startups to generate great revenue for their business.