As if starting a business isn’t challenging enough, 2020 has thrown in a pandemic. Startups established at the end of 2019 or earlier this year are not only facing the growing pains most businesses go through in the beginning, but they are also trying to survive a pandemic.
With the U.S. economy seeing the biggest contraction since 2008’s Great Recession, even established companies have had to pivot their business strategies to cope. For startups, doing so can be more difficult, especially with limited resources and too much uncertainty. But, these shouldn’t be an excuse to pack up and accept defeat. After all, you’ve already worked too hard to get your business off the ground. Now, you just have to work on surviving past this pandemic. We have tips on what to do below.
1. Focus on surviving
In normal times, startups spend their first year growing their reach and diversifying their products. But even if you achieve these, they will not matter if your business tanks. So, while the pandemic is still wreaking havoc on the economy, put aside your plans of growth and focus on surviving.
2. Manage your cash carefully
One of the main reasons startups fail is because they’ve run out of cash. If your cash flow has slowed down to a trickle as a result of the pandemic, it’s an even better reason to find ways to manage your funds carefully. Preserving cash and finding ways to cut costs are the best ways to ensure that you can have enough to survive.
3. Grow your online presence
While business growth isn’t something to focus on, that of your online presence is. Ever-changing shelter-in-place and lockdown schedules, as well as social distancing measures can make it difficult for businesses with a physical store or location. But, thanks to online shopping and delivery services, you can still cater to customers. But to do that, your customers need to know that you’re online and active. Digital marketing agencies that produce online content can help not only strengthen your online presence, but also be discoverable to potential customers.
4. Find opportunities to be of help
People’s needs when the year started is vastly different from their needs now. So, if you can find a way to make your business a part of the solution to the pandemic, do so. For example, if you’re offering organic, cruelty-free sanitary products for women, consider developing hand sanitizers and offering face masks that are still on-brand. This way, you’re adapting to your customers’ most pressing needs.
5. Be genuinely empathetic
In a time of a global health crisis, the last thing you want to do is to come off as insensitive. Kentucky Fried Chicken, for example, removed their famous tagline, “Finger Lickin’ Good” when experts started warning against touching your face and not washing your hands. But apart from being careful with your marketing efforts, consider ways your business can alleviate others’ pain. Simply sharing tips and best health practices can show your customers you care.
If you put these practices into place and adapt in the next year or so, your startup is more likely to survive. Not just that, either. Once you’ve weathered the challenging storm of a global pandemic, you’ll be more equipped to handle smaller roadblocks.