When the pandemic hit in the early months of 2020, businesses worldwide were forced to make major operational changes to comply with COVID-19 regulations. Business offices were shut down, and employees had to transition to a remote work setup instantly.
Unfortunately, until today, the fight against COVID-19 hasn’t ended yet. With social distancing guidelines and other restrictions still in place, many businesses find it difficult to attract customers and stay open.
In fact, even some big corporations in the US filed for bankruptcy last year amid the lockdowns. This shows that running a business in the middle of a global crisis has become more challenging than ever.
Still, even in these uncertain times, more and more aspiring entrepreneurs are taking the leap and launching their own businesses. The New York Times reported that there was a surge in applications to start a business in 2020. Based on data from the Census Bureau, paperwork for 4.3 million startup businesses were filed last year.
As the US economy continues to recover from the impact of COVID-19, startups can contribute and support economic growth. Thus, if you are planning to make your business idea a reality during the pandemic, it’s important that you prepare carefully and learn different strategies to ensure that your company will not only survive but thrive through the crisis.
To help you out, here are some things that you should consider before filing the paperwork for your business.
Starting a Business During the Pandemic
Evaluate consumer needs
COVID-19 has changed consumer preferences, needs, and expectations. At present, consumers are very concerned about the safety of products and services offered by companies. Building consumer trust is crucial to ensure that your business will be a success.
More importantly, you have to ensure that what you’re offering to your customers is essential to them. Conduct market research to determine which products and services are on demand. To give you an idea, here are two types of successful businesses amid the pandemic:
- Cleaning services — To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s important that homes, offices, and other locations where different people come and go are cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected. That’s why many are hiring professional cleaning services to do the job.
- Delivery services — With shelter-in-place orders still in effect, many people stay at home and buy whatever they need online. Many companies hire delivery services to ensure that their customers receive the products on time and in one piece.
Choose an original, catchy business name
You should carefully choose a company name that your target audience can easily remember. Keep it short and original. To avoid copyright and other legal issues, you can type your business name idea on Google and run a quick search.
Also, having a similar name with your competitor or any other type of business can confuse your customers. Before you finalize your company’s name, it’s best that you run it by your close friends, family, or any group of people to get their opinion on whether the name is catchy or has any unintended meaning that you might have missed.
Develop your brand identity
Once you have your business name, the next step is to create a logo, a slogan, and other materials that will help your customers recognize your brand. Your tagline should reflect your company’s mission and vision, but it should also be short and catchy so that it will leave a strong impression on your potential customers.
Your brand’s logo is crucial because it will be imprinted on all of your products and other business-related materials. If you want to make sure that your logo is eye-catching and suits your brand, you should consider hiring an agency with a team of creative brand designers. They can help you choose appropriate colors and designs so that you can achieve the overall look that you want for your brand.
Leverage digital marketing
In this new normal, e-commerce is the safest way for consumers to purchase products. Since many people are now using social media and search engines to find whatever they need, you should build a strong online presence.
To do that, create a website and social media accounts for your business. This way, your customers and prospects can learn more about your company as well as your products and services.
Ensure that you keep all of your information updated and be consistent in producing content marketing materials such as e-books, blog posts, infographics, and video clips to boost your digital marketing efforts.
Create a COVID-proof business plan
If you want to run your business for a long time, you should always create a business continuity plan. While still in the middle of the pandemic, make sure that all of your business policies comply with COVID-19 regulations.
Monitor your expenses and cash flow closely to avoid overspending. Also, invest in online tools that can help you and your staff work remotely and stay connected.
Launching a business requires a lot of time, money, and effort. With the impact of COVID-19 on different business industries, you have to be ready to face and overcome various challenges. Your success depends on how you take advantage of unique opportunities and use all the resources available to you.