The COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses everywhere but, for start-ups in particular, it has been an especially difficult period.
The good news is that the worst appears to be behind us, and life is slowly starting to return to some semblance of normality. And, while we may not be entirely out of the woods yet, the future looks brighter than it did a few months ago.
With this in mind, if you’re a start-up business owner, you’ve probably been asking yourself questions such as:
- Where do I go from here?
- How can I help my business recover?
- What can I do to maintain my business moving forward?
If so, this blog can help. Listed below are ideas to consider when it comes to maintaining your start-up. From refining your internal processes to making the most of technology, this blog will take you through it all. So, let’s get started.
Focus on your finances
As with any business—regardless of size—your finances have to be at the top of your priority list. After all, if you’re not making money, how can you expect to survive?
In light of the pandemic, keeping your business afloat may be more difficult than before, but that’s no reason to give up—there are still a number of things you can do to protect your assets, safeguard your company’s credit score and, fundamentally, ensure your finances are kept in order.
The first thing to do is take a long, hard look at your accounts and monitor all of your recent payment activity. Look for any services you could do without for a little while and stop all non-essential payments as quickly as possible.
While it may be nice to offer your employees a cut-price gym membership or free cake Friday, it’s nicer to keep them employed so keep an eye on all of your outgoing transactions.
Similarly, consider transitioning your business to a work-from-home environment. This will not only avoid expensive in-office overhead costs, but it’ll also allow your staff to have the freedom to work more flexibly, which could help with their level of engagement.
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Maintain your marketing avenues
With most everyone currently spending a lot more time at home than usual, why not make the most of this?
Whether you already use an abundance of specialist techniques in your business or none at all, how you manage your marketing strategy could be the thing that either makes or breaks your business.
One thing is abundantly clear: Marketing can and should be your best friend when it comes to maintaining your start-up business.
Whether it's utilizing social media, investing in paid search, improving your content strategy or implementing Keap’s automation software, the way you shape your marketing strategy will largely depend on what exactly it is your start-up does.
Say, for example, you run an independent cake shop in New York City. It would be a waste of your time and money running a marketing campaign targeting clients anywhere other than within your local area.
While you may have aspirations for your business to take over the world eventually, it needs to find its footing again following the pandemic. And, to do this effectively, it’s important to start small, dream big, and then slowly work your way up.
Hone your working from home
Before the pandemic, many of the procedures and systems used by companies were incredibly outdated, stuck in an age yet to grasp the full potential of technology.
Don’t allow your start-up to fall into that trap.
Much like the need to utilize marketing, implementing technology within the framework of your business is imperative to ensuring your systems, processes, protocols, and procedures run as smoothly as possible.
And, especially now that many of your colleagues will be working from home, streamlining your businesses’ processes is vital, since your methods of communicating with each other will look very different all of a sudden.
Rather than shying away from technology, embrace it. Communication software like Slack, cloud hosting software like Google Drive, and video conferencing software like Zoom, have transformed the idea of working from home effectively from a dream into a reality.
In fact, if research is anything to go by, your at-home team of workers could now be even more productive than they were pre-pandemic, which will only benefit your start-up.
Instead of viewing the pandemic as a problem for your start-up, think of it as an opportunity. Yes, it may have come out of nowhere and it may have knocked you back substantially, but don't lose hope. As Confucius once said: “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
By cutting costs where you can, "technologizing" your internal processes, and developing a specifically-targeted marketing strategy, you will help ensure your start-up business not only survives the pandemic, but thrives from it.