The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. Many businesses have folded thanks to the fallout from the pandemic, and even more are still working hard to keep themselves afloat. Whether you’ve had to take a break because of the pandemic, or you’re hoping to start a whole new business, the post-COVID world is looking very different. You will need to factor in all the changes from the past year and prepare for any more curveballs the pandemic might throw our way. Here are some of the ways that you can kickstart your business and find success even after COVID-19.
Ways To Kickstart Your Business
Consider Funding Options
There are plenty of funds available to businesses that have faced hardship because of the pandemic. It may help to look into the funding options and see whether your business will qualify for them.
If you are launching a new business, you may benefit from start-up loans and grants. They are often issued by the government at a State or national level. It’s worth doing some research to find the funding that will most benefit your business.
The best thing you can do to kickstart your business is ask for advice. For example, you could talk to governmental or State organizations that can give you the most up to date advice on how to get your business off the ground. It may also help to talk to other business leaders who have weathered the storm. Ask them what they think they did that helped their business stay viable and incorporate their recommendations where you can.
It may also help to discuss your plans with a trusted friend or relative. Talking through your options can be the best way to practice self-reflection while getting feedback.
Assess The Impact COVID Has Had
Do research into the impact that COVID-19 has had on your specific area of finance. For instance, if you specialize in providing financial advice to small businesses, you might find that a large number of your client pool has little money to spend at the moment – or have even gone out of business.
Researching the current demand will help you get an idea of how your business needs to adjust. You may find that you have to offer different services to be viable.
Rethink Your Business Plan
You will likely need a completely different business plan compared to pre-COVID times. Consider how the day-to-day operations of your business have had to change and what that means for your business model.
It may help to look at how the financial industry has coped with COVID, what changes have been made and how you can incorporate them into your own business model.
Expand Your Horizons
You may need to offer a broader range of services compared to pre-COVID times. FinTech is one area of finance that has continued to grow during the pandemic. You could consider taking some training to receive a FinTech certificate for your business. A short course could be a good option to give you an idea of whether investing in FinTech could work for your business.
You could also start offering more varied services by taking on additional employees. It may seem counter-intuitive, but investing more in your company and people will give you a better chance of success. Consider finding new hires who can provide a range of professional financial services to complement your business’s existing knowledge.
Reach Out To Clients
It may help to network or reach out to previous clients to let them know you are back in business. Let them know that you are operating in a COVID safe manner and are taking on clients once again. For instance, you could provide services via Zoom and phone instead of in person.
You could also incentivize returning customers with a promotion or discount when they use your services again. It may also help to provide COVID-specific financial services to help those who are struggling with our new normal.
Factor COVID Into Your Budget
You will need to prepare for the additional costs that COVID will bring to your business. For example, you may end up needing larger office space to allow enough room for clients and employees to safely socially distance. There will also likely be increased cleaning costs and other unexpected costs caused by the pandemic.
It may also help to invest more in advertising and marketing to help get your business noticed in the post-COVID world. The pandemic has seen most of us embrace the digital age rapidly, so having a strong digital advertising strategy is crucial.
Future Disaster Preparedness
The past year has shown us that there is a great need for all businesses to be prepared for the unexpected. While no one can predict if and when an event of this magnitude will happen again, it is still a good idea to have some disaster preparation in place in the event of more common disasters like floods or fires.
Consider putting into place a business continuity plan. This could include emergency funding, backups of your essential documentation, and keeping some supplies and essential equipment in a safe place.
You could also look into insurance that will cover your losses if disaster strikes. This can help ensure that you will still have money to pay bills and wages if your business cash flow is interrupted.
Make Your Offices COVID-Safe
If you plan to return to the office, you will need to ensure that it is COVID-safe. You can do this by having the place thoroughly disinfected regularly, providing plenty of hand sanitizer for staff, and putting clear dividers between any desks.
It may also help to have a strict mask-wearing policy to help prevent the spread of COVID between your employees and clients.
Embrace New Ways Of Working
You could consider embracing the growing trend of working from home. Many businesses have found that their employees can work just as effectively from home compared to in the office. There has also been increased employee satisfaction thanks to reduced commuting times and greater work-life balance.
You could consider allowing flexibility in working hours and remote work permanently. You could also save money on renting commercial office space.
Cut Out Inefficiencies
Many businesses have had to significantly pare down their operations over the past year. In 2021, there is no room for inefficient working. So you will need to ensure that all of your processes are as efficient as possible. For instance, you could eliminate manual tasks like sending payment reminder emails and invoices and instead have these automated. What might once have taken hours can be achieved with the click of a mouse, leaving your staff to get on with more high-value work.
Starting or relaunching a business in 2021 may feel like a monumental task. There are many hurdles that COVID has created for business owners to overcome in order to kickstart their business, but there is also a lot of help and advice at hand. Therefore, it is essential to take stock of your business needs before making any decisions and consider the ways that you can adapt to the new normal we’re living in.