The pandemic isn’t dampening the entrepreneurial spirit of aspiring startup founders. Many are taking a leap of faith and joining the long list of startup founders. But launching a startup is no easy feat. Moreover, the health and economic crisis we are in is only making things more difficult. But launching a startup amidst COVID-19 isn’t impossible. If you’re planning to launch your startup during the pandemic, take our 7 tips to weather the crisis and poise yourself for post-pandemic growth.
Why Launch Your Startup During a Pandemic?
Starting a business during a crisis isn’t something 2020 invented. History is full of success stories of businesses that launched and thrived during a pandemic. A crisis is a time for innovation and creativity. It’s a time to reimagine what could be. Various market needs emerge during a crisis. Take, for example, food and grocery deliveries. They have become more essential during these times. On-demand delivery services and online or teleconsultation medical services are more examples.
If you examine closely, these seemingly new concepts are not entirely new. They have been there since the pre-crisis days but are highlighted by the current situation. The same is true for other niches and market needs. They didn’t go away just because COVID happened.
It may be a difficult time. But if you’re going to wait for the pandemic to end before you launch your startup, you will most likely lose out on many opportunities. Plus, by the time you finally decide to launch your startup, the competition would already be tight. The key to a successful startup launch during a pandemic is a change in mindset and approach.
7 Tips to Successfully Build a Startup in Times of Crisis
These tips won’t contain your usual startup launch checklist. Instead, we’ll focus on changes and approaches that will be helpful as you launch your startup during this crisis.
Adapt an Agile Mindset
An Agile mindset is characterized by the following:
- Highly collaborative
- Focus on fast and continuous learning
- Supports continuous and incremental improvement
- Focus on delivering customer value
- Ability to adapt to change
This tip applies when launching businesses in general. For startups to stay strong while the environment can be turbulent, adopting an Agile mindset is crucial. This will help you launch your startup faster. It will also help you when you think it’s time for a strategic pivot for your startup business. You can also explore Agile methodologies such as Kanban and Scrum to manage your product development activities.
Pace Your Growth
Startup founders are known for being ambitious, as they should be. That’s why the startup scene during the pre-COVID period is characterized by high and fast growth. But as we are in a pandemic, you can expect a different spending behavior from consumers. You will also see that investors are more conservative in their investments.
This is a time to pace your growth. Launch your startup with the basics covered. Think short-term financial commitments, managing expenses and costs to a minimum, and spending your cash wisely. Maintain an operational budget and stick to it. Make sure you are keeping track of your cash flow.
Plan for Risks
Risks come with any business. Mapping them out and preparing for them can make all the difference. Launch your startup with more confidence when you have a risk strategy in place. This will help you in mitigating them and responding to them if they ever become issues. You can use Kanban for your startup’s risk management planning.
Incorporate Your Social Impact Angle
The pandemic has brought communities closer together to help the vulnerable and contribute to other social causes. Consumers support businesses that have a social impact. Launch your startup and gain more traction and support from your target market by having a social impact angle. But don’t do this just as a facade to attract customer support. Look into how your social causes tie into your business strategy. Businesses need to become socially relevant now more than ever before.
Explore More Funding Options
You need to be more creative with how you acquire funding to launch your startup during this pandemic. Apart from attracting and chasing investors, apply for government subsidies and loan options for small businesses. The US Small Business Administration has different funding programs for startups like you. It’s also a good idea to explore crowdfunding sites. VCs and Angel investors may take their time to review their portfolios and recover any losses due to the pandemic. So it’s good to explore options such as crowdfunding to generate more capital.
Join a Support Group
Being a part of a startup community will be your added boost while building your empire in such trying times. You can learn new ideas from other startup founders as well as share your own. You can learn a thing or two from other startup founders and entrepreneurs on how you can better launch your startup during this bleak time. Having a community to guide you and be with you as you launch and build your startup might be the extra push you need.
Have a Growth Plan
While this pandemic may be far from over, I believe things will ease up and we will get back to or have somewhat a similar sense of what was normal for businesses before. When this comes, you must be ready to adapt and steer your business through higher growth. Launch your startup with a vision and a long-term goal. And work your way towards getting there. Have a combination of short-term and long-term planning. You can explore techniques such as Hoshin Planning for this.
Launching a Successful Startup Amidst the Chaos of COVID-19
If you’ve decided to launch your startup, take our 7 helpful tips and pave the path for sustainable growth. It may be slow-paced. It may take a little bit more time and there will be hiccups along the way. But with an Agile mindset, proper planning and budgeting, and a growth plan on your arsenal, you are poised to launch your startup successfully during this crisis. To help you achieve success even further, here are more tips on how you can avoid the common reasons why startups fail.
Here’s to your startup’s success and growth.