The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally shifted society and business. Startups are facing labor shortages and supply chain issues and a public with different priorities than before the crisis. If you want to solidify your pandemic comeback, you must be aware of the changes and have a plan to move forward.
By DEVIN PARTIDA
New startups dropped worldwide during the height of the pandemic. The United States experienced a 22% decline in April 2020, while Australia saw 20% and Portugal 70%. Things are finally starting to rebound a bit, but businesses still have a long way to go to survive the rapid changes.
Here’s how to ensure a positive comeback in 2022 if you survived the worst of the pandemic and are ready to start building toward your goals again.
1. Revamp Your Marketing
The strategies that worked pre-pandemic may not work now. Take the time to redo your buyer personas. What are your customers’ priorities in 2022? Your base may have even shifted into new demographics.
Are you sensitive to changed circumstances? People lost loved ones, jobs and experienced many life changes during the last two years. How can you make sure you show empathy through your marketing?
2. Add a Security Plan
The pandemic taught us that you can never plan too much for different scenarios. While most threats might be related to cybersecurity, businesses would be smart to prepare for natural disasters, another pandemic, dangerous people and any other event they can think of.
It’s vital to build a security roadmap that takes you from 2022 forward. You can always tweak it along the way, but you’ll have a loose idea of how to respond in different situations. Businesses that pivoted quickly when COVID-19 hit survived the changes.
3. Raise Money
Startups may struggle to keep cash flow in place. Lack of available funds is a big reason many businesses fail. Seeking investors and new ways of raising money gives you some flexibility and a financial buffer to see you through lean times.
About 85% of entrepreneurs feel raising capital is among their biggest challenges. Successful brands overcome the obstacles by focusing more on networking, scaling back staff and taking out loans.
Create a rainy day fund so if you’re faced with another challenge, you’ll be able to easily weather the storm.
4. Get Training
The pandemic accelerated support businesses that teach companies to be flexible and get ready for the unexpected. Tap into others’ expertise to figure out how to better prepare your staff and company for issues that might crop up in 2022 and beyond.
Certain entrepreneurial approaches also help you develop new programs for your employees and go after fresh market opportunities.
5. Embrace the Cloud
If the majority of your business isn’t already cloud-based, you’re already behind the curve. Over 50% of all companies use a blend of cloud and central servers for their needs. More brands are fully embracing cloud-based computing.
There are numerous advantages to putting your business on the cloud. You can allow your employees to access information from anywhere they are, bring customers into the project process and gain security advantages from third-party cloud providers that far outstrip what you can afford on your own.
6. Find Your Essential
The pandemic forced people to do a lot of inner reflection. They realized what was truly important as they missed big events with family and friends. Many started their own businesses or chose to stay home more than in the past. Luxuries went on the backburner and essential items became something you stock up on.
Consider how your business or service offers something essential to your customer base. Why would they buy from you instead of stockpiling another package of toilet paper or canned foods? How is what you offer vital to their survival or well-being in some way?
Be Ready for Anything
In the excitement of ramping back up for profit, you may forget to prepare for anything. Challenges will remain throughout the next year or so, but with a bit of innovation and determination, startups can still grow.
Entrepreneurs must weigh every decision and choose only the ones most beneficial to their business’s current state.