Starting a Business During the Coronavirus Lockdown
As Covid-19 continues to take its grip on the world, it's looking more likely that a recession is just around the corner. But for some industries, this would be the perfect time to start a new business.
But deciding what you should do, and how you approach it, can be a tricky dilemma. It may be that you've come up with a new original idea that will change the way the world works during these stressful times.
Getting the basics right
Starting a business during the lockdown is not much different than any other time. For example, you should still:
- Have a business plan
- Calculate start-up costs
- Develop a finance plan (will it be self-funded; will it be a bank loan, etc.)
- Work out your ideal customer and target market
There are plenty of tools and free resources available to help you get these things in place ready.
Finding a viable idea
Doing some research on your idea before starting is always recommended, to help ensure it’s viable. But with the lockdown still in place in parts of the country, doing some research around this can be a bit more difficult. It’s still important to do some research however, to ensure there is a market for your business.
Using public data sources, such as Google Trends and YouGov, can help with this part. But there’s no harm in carrying out your own research through social media - post a question to Facebook and see what results come back.
Unless this is only a venture for a short period of time, you’ll want to ensure that there’s enough demand for the long term. Remember to take this into consideration. Look at potential competitors online and see how popular they are and how well they are doing.
Still struggling for an idea? Think about your own skillset. If you have a background in administration for example, what about a virtual assistant? Or if you have skills in training and fitness, what about a virtual class?
Think about finance
Finance can be a bit of a tricky thing to conquer during the lockdown, because of the economic effect. But that doesn’t mean finance isn’t available; from Government grants to independent investors - there are options.
It’s likely your local authority will have an economic development department or similar. These can usually help signpost you to the relevant people or organisations who help with managing grant allocations.
How will you reach your customers?
Being in lockdown, either full or partial, presents a few challenges, including how to get your product to your customers.
If you run a services business, this is likely to be easily answered. But businesses that make and distribute products may rely on shops and outlets to help get their products into the hands of customers. So how can you achieve this?
Many businesses are taking this opportunity to push their business online and sell through platforms such as their own website, or even social media. Even if you don’t feel confident about selling through these platforms, they offer a great opportunity to promote your business.
There’s a lot to think about. There aren’t many changes from before lockdown in terms of what you would need to do to start a business, but there are some challenges and obstacles that you will need to overcome.
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