When COVID-19 struck in the early months of 2020, many businesses were in the process of getting off the ground. From restaurants that had already signed space leases and started their kitchen buildout to ecommerce brands, these new businesses didn’t know that before they could even open their doors, the entire world was going to change. Still, as anyone who has ever started a business knows, there’s no stopping once you get the ball rolling. You have to keep pressing on – but that can be a good thing.
Despite today’s strange and stressful conditions, not only is it possible to start a new business during a pandemic, but it may even be a good idea. The key is to learn from those companies that are already operating and to stay focused. If you build a strong foundation now, you’ll actually come out the other side with a competitive edge.
Built In Flexibility.
One of the biggest advantages to developing a new business during the COVID-19 pandemic is that, rather than having to rethink an existing business model, you have the opportunity to create a plan that’s founded on flexibility. This is precisely the problem so many established businesses are facing: they’re so dug in on an existing model, that it’s been both expensive and logistically difficult to change course. Even making small infrastructural adjustments, like installing glass screens at major staff-customer interfaces can be a challenge for these operations. New businesses are doing everything on hard mode – it can only get easier.
Special Program Access.
Because so many businesses are struggling due to the COVID-related economic downturn, both the federal and local governments have taken steps to provide special financial supports to keep small businesses afloat – and new businesses may qualify for some of them. At the very least, your company should apply for Small Business Administration programs, such as Economic Injury Disaster Loans. It may take some time to identify the right loans for your business, but given the special challenges you’re sure to face as you get your business started amidst a pandemic, you’re sure to benefit from your efforts.
Favorable Hiring Environment.
While the CARES Act and Payroll Protection Plan have helped keep many people employed while their employers navigate pandemic conditions, unemployment rates across the country are still at record highs. That’s bad news for those individuals, but great news for professionals in the process of starting new businesses because it means there are a lot of skilled professionals actively seeking employment. You’re unlikely to ever see such an outstanding pool of potential employees, no matter what your industry, so get your job listing up now.
Competition Is Down.
For new businesses looking for investors, conditions are tough right now – but there’s still VC funding out there. By getting your name out there now, you have an opportunity to build relationships with investors while competition is down. When funding opportunities increase again, you’ll already be on funders’ radar and will have built an operational foundation that will make you seem like a promising investment.
Starting a business in the midst of a pandemic isn’t a sure thing, but that’s the reality of entrepreneurship: there’s a lot of uncertainty involved. If you’ve got a big idea and the determination to see it through, now is as good a time as ever.