The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench in what had been a stable and growing economy for the better part of the last decade. Small and large businesses alike are still feeling the effects of the economic shutdown that began mid-March and the truth is that many of them may never recover.
Starting a business during a global pandemic can bring about its own challenges. The business model you may have taken months or years to develop has been completely flipped around to accommodate social distancing and support health and safety efforts to get back to business. If you are wondering if you made the right decision to keep pushing forward, or perhaps you put off launching your business because of the timing of COVID-19, we are going to give you answers to the top three questions asked when building a successful business during a global pandemic.
Is it really the right time?
There is never a perfect time to start a business. Starting a business before, during, or after a pandemic or economic recession does not necessarily mean long term success. A business will succeed when it works with the conditions it meets, and when it provides its target audience something of value. Often, you hear that entrepreneurs became successful because they persevered through the toughest times.
Additionally, great ideas spark from living in the current moment of time. While many of us continue to work remotely and shelter in place, we have been given the opportunity of time. Time to be creative and time to learn the things that may have previously been holding us back.
Building a business in today’s climate and succeeding, even by a hair, can give you a good indication that you will continue the path forward once the economy starts to improve.
Do virtual meetings and events work?
The short answer: Yes! While there is nothing like a face-to-face interaction, or an in-person event to showcase that personal touch, hosting meetings and events in a virtual space provides us a lot of flexibility and an opportunity to reach a broader audience.
There are however, a couple of key points to remember when promoting your business in an online format. First and foremost, you must be consistent with your branding and your messaging. If you have line items dedicated to hosting in-person events in your budget, you can adjust this item and use the funds to enhance your online presence. Next, we are currently living in a time where the world’s best technology is at our fingertips—use it! An article posted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shares that many retailers can replicate personal interactions through online channels, allowing customers and clients to continue to feel that their purchase matters.
Finally, hosting virtual meetings and events are a great way to connect with a broader audience. Perhaps one of your goals is to reach the entire state but living in one small city has you limited. With virtual meetings, you can literally go anywhere, and you can take your business with you!
How can I use the current climate to my advantage?
The full scope of our economic climate can be hard to see with COVID-19 shutdowns clouding our vision. However, if you take a moment to step outside the box, you may see that there are plenty of opportunities available to build a successful business. For starters, many talented people are currently searching for their next job. You may be able to find an amazing marketing, communications, or IT professional to help you get to that next level faster.
It is important to note that, especially right now, people simply want to connect with other people. If your new business can provide an opportunity to feel connected and to be a part of an impactful business mission, your company will succeed.
There is no perfect time to start a business, but with determination, grit, and integrity, starting a business during a global pandemic can be just the launching pad you need to get you through and come out ahead as our entire economy gets back to business.