Deciding to start a business – and that too during a pandemic- is a difficult choice to make. However, if you’re persistent, diligent, and have a well-planned path to success with realistic targets along the way, fate should be on your side.
The year 2020 came with its own set of challenges. If living through pandemics and lockdowns has taught us anything, it’s just that a lot can happen in a year. Many entrepreneurs started their businesses in Jan 2020 with high hopes and aspirations. However, as the year progressed, many of those dreams and hopes began to fade. Companies were compelled to adjust to a more dynamic business environment because of the pandemic. Only businesses that adapted to changing market situations managed to survive. In contrast, complacent start-ups and firms experienced heavy losses or shut down.
However, with vaccinations in full swing and things returning to normal as we muddle through 2021, now is probably a good time to put on your entrepreneurial hat and money-making shoes! Follow these tips to get started.
- Equip yourself with the correct knowledge
The correct knowledge can help you take your business idea to the skies. This basket includes financial literacy, marketing know-how, managerial and leadership skills, communication skills, etc. Of course, some of these are innate; some come with experience, while some may still require you to seek formal academic qualifications. For example, financial management is one of the primary reasons why start-ups fail. So, if you intend to be the CFO of your business, equipping yourself with proper financial and accounting know would help.
Fortunately, the pandemic has increased the popularity of distance learning. If you do not want to delay your plans any longer, speed up the process by completing an online master of accounting degree. The additional knowledge will help you keep track of business expenses and maintain accurate records for better financial decision-making, thereby increasing your chances of succeeding.
- Create an exceptional business plan
An exceptional business plan will be your guiding light as you walk in a dark tunnel. It will give you a sense of direction and help you allocate financial and human resources to achieve desired goals and objectives. It will also help you plan for contingencies. For example, no one could have foreseen that a pandemic would change the way businesses operate so drastically. However, companies that have a proper action plan usually tend to prepare for such contingencies in advance.
A lean business plan will help you identify where to invest your money and set SMART goals. It will help you identify your target market and develop products and services according to customers’ needs. In short, it will help you maximize the return on your investments.
- Research your target market
The goal of any business owner is to present their services/products to a rapidly increasing or well-developed market. However, competition is fierce in popular niches, making your task even more difficult. If you want to stand out in a large crowd, you must strive to seek a competitive advantage over your competitors.
Prioritize market research and learn everything there is to know about your target markets and potential customers. It would help to create buyer personas and develop products/services to match them. Also, do thorough research on your rivals. Examine the demand for your product/service and other consumer behavior patterns to polish your offerings. Doing so will help you build a better picture of your business idea’s actual potential.
- Look out for trending innovations
Don’t limit yourself to one notion. Always consider the “next big idea” that has the potential to transform the industry. Many businesses have drowned in the early stages of development and then made a remarkable recovery through pivoting. There will be times when you have to investigate other options and put everything on hold to devise a new strategy. Don’t be hesitant.
Approach any new design or plan with an open mind. If the situation calls for it, make appropriate changes to your business model. Adhering to your original business idea like a stubborn child can stifle your start-up’s growth.
- Build an online presence
It’s 2021, and more than 3 billion people across the globe are connected to the internet in one way or another. So if you do not intend to build an online presence for your business, consider yourself invisible in the marketplace. Invest in a user-friendly and responsive website. Also, ensure that your business is reachable on multiple social media platforms where your target audience spends most of its time. Consumers seek more answers than ever before because of their ever-increasing problems.
Starting a business in a challenging environment increases both the risk factor and thrill. Still, a few intelligent decisions can promise some success, if not a couple of billion dollars. Start by increasing your knowledge. You can register in online courses if you’re looking to hone specific skills. Develop a business plan that includes both SMART goals and contingency planning for another global catastrophe. Know your target market, customers, and competitors inside out. Innovation is better than stagnation. And last but not least, build a robust online presence to get noticed in a cluttered digital market.