Many of us have had the dream of running our own business, being our own boss and living off of profits, not a set salary. You can spend months, or even years, dreaming of the perfect business idea that is sure to be a success.
By IMOGEN CLARKE
The thought of setting off with this idea is exciting, but how do you set up a successful business during uncertain times such as the current pandemic? It is very easy to see the pandemic as your sign to stop, to keep working at your reliable 9-5 and throw away any dreams of running things yourself. However, it is still possible to set up a successful business even during COVID-19! You just have to structure your plan so that it is prepared for the problems that this pandemic may throw your way.
To help you with this, here is a rundown of the best pivoting strategies that will help you to prepare when planning for your new business.
Make your business remote!
One of the main aspects of lockdown that has put millions of businesses under pressure is the inability to go into an office or workplace due to social distancing measures. This has opened up our eyes to the importance of remote work and being able to conduct every part of your business form the safety of your home. When setting up a new business, you should keep this in mind and make preparations for remote working locations that can handle each aspect of your business. A really great idea is to look into converted shipping containers that can be used as pop-up offices if your large office space has to close down. These portable rooms can be easily placed in a garden which can act as a temporary location if another lockdown was to occur. You should also think about moving the majority of your business online. This way, jobs can be completed from anywhere in the world which means that employees can work from their homes indefinitely if needed.
Pay attention to other businesses
When deciding how to tweak your business plan for uncertain times, you should take a look at the activity, successes and failures of other businesses in your industry. This will give you a good idea of what works, what doesn’t and what really needs to be changed! Search for businesses reports, news stories or even try to communicate with other business owners who may be able to provide your startup with valuable advice for coping in the pandemic. Learning from others will help your business to flourish, so it’s worth doing some networking.
Ask your audience!
In uncertain times, a great way to get advice is to simply ask your target audience what they need from your business right now! At the end of the day, your audience is the people who will be paying your bills and determining the success of your company. There is no harm in reaching out to them with surveys, online questionnaires or emails with questions that will help to guide the direction of your new plan. There is no point in tailoring a plan that doesn’t work with your audience, as it needs to appeal to them more than anyone!
Make wellbeing a priority
Uncertain times can cause huge amounts of anxiety amongst staff which can have damaging effects on your business. You should implement strategies into your new plan that can help staff to deal with any anxieties, low mood or any other mental struggles that they may face during hard times. Strategies that you could implement include taking regular check-ups of your staff’s mental health with questionnaires or forms, offering a mental health service for anyone struggling or even providing training on how to cope with stress or anxiety. Even if these strategies help just one member of your team, they will be worth it. A happy team will lead to better work and a better experience for your customers.
Make any changes clear
Pivoting your business can seem scary and overwhelming, so it is vital that your new plan is crystal clear. A clear plan minimises the risk of mistakes or misunderstanding from everyone who follows it. You want your plan to act as a safety blanket for your business during uncertain times, not another reason to feel stressed. Make sure that you clearly lay out each step of the process and give as much detail as possible into exactly how each strategy will be carried out.
- ‘How to pivot your business in uncertain times’, Sifted, https://sifted.eu/articles/business-pivot-coronavirus/
- Homepage, S Jones Containers, https://www.sjonescontainers.co.uk/
- ‘What Pivoting is, When to Pivot, and How to Pivot Effectively’, The Founder Institute, https://fi.co/insight/what-pivoting-is-when-to-pivot-and-how-to-pivot-effectively