The Covid-19 pandemic might have turned the business world and our lives upside down, but it came with several lessons for businesses. Your business might not be performing that well during the pandemic, or it must be tough and unfortunate enough for the business to go down. You might also have had the opportunity to start a business.
Whatever it is, once you overcome the adversities of this year, the experience from this period will offer you some insights for better operations of your business. If you are an upcoming entrepreneur, here are lessons from the Covid-19 you need to learn for the survival of your startup:
Be Ready For The Unexpected
The onset of the Corona Virus was unexpected, so was the fast-spreading that led to lock downs across the world. The lesson: you never know what is around the corner. As a startup owner, you should be ready at all times for the unexpected. That means having up to date records of the business and its operations, a contingency plan, a continuity plan, and saved money to cater to business operating costs when there is no revenue coming in.
Always Be Flexible
As an entrepreneur, you need to be always flexible and ready to make changes. This is one of the biggest lessons from the pandemic; you must be prepared to make decisions in a split second. It would be best if you also kept an open mind and creative to achieve this.
When countries implemented lock downs at the start of the pandemic and social distancing measures were put in place, most businesses were forced to find ways for their employees to work without going to the office.
This led to working from home measures, with businesses finding solutions for their employees to access the company’s information from outside the workplace. Entrepreneurs in the hotel and restaurant business had to find other ways to make money without closing down. Those that were flexible enough introduced online delivery systems and signed up on delivery apps.
Building on the earlier point of flexibility, businesses that already had e-commerce systems in place had an easier time redirecting their customers there for online purchases. Companies that did not have e-commerce platforms had a rougher time.
Taking and tracking manual orders from a multitude of customers is not that easy. It comes with a lot of concussion, mismanagement, and loss of time and money.
Also, considering we are living in a generation of individuals that spend most of their time in front of a screen, e-commerce sites made it easier for businesses to reach a wider customer base.
Most customers want to access all the information regarding your services from their phones or laptops, without having to call or come to your business’s physical location if they can place their orders from those sites, the better for them.
Online retail giants like Amazon, Uber Eats and Etsy were proof of this before the pandemic. During the pandemic, businesses have learned an e-commerce site is a must-have.
One of the health concerns during the pandemic was contact between individuals with governments and health organizations asking businesses to move from cash payments to cashless payments methods.
With a website, you can incorporate payment methods, like PayPal, credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, among others. Although many businesses were already moving towards digital payment methods, the pandemic has amplified its importance for health purposes.
This trend will most likely keep on even after the pandemic. Besides, digital payment methods make it much easier for you to manage your startup’s cash flows compared to dealing with cash.
Provide Your Employees With Health Support
While your startup’s customer base matters, so do your employees base. Without your employees, you would probably not have such a strong base of customers, suppliers, and relationships with other third parties.
This pandemic has taught businesses to care for their employees and show it. Whether it is providing them with health insurance covers, giving them more hours to rest and spend time with their families to providing mental health support.
Reports show companies that run a trail of a 4-day working period instead of 5-days reported an increase in productivity and reduced stress levels, leading to increased profitability.
Whatever strategy you plan on using, your aim to show your employees that they matter and the company cares about them.
In conclusion, as we all try to weather the storm that is 2020 with the hope of a better business environment in the coming year, it is best not fully to ignore the happenings of the year. Bad as it was, the pandemic has brought a learning chance to many startups, especially those that have not been through an economic meltdown before. Support your employees, always be flexible in decision making, be prepared for the worst and most importantly, take your business digital.