Are there any important startup lessons to take away from the last 18 months?
The Covid 19 pandemic changed the lives of just about every person and business seemingly overnight. But now that it’s been over a year since the pandemic started, business owners have begun to ask questions.
What has changed forever?
What’s gone (or is going) back to normal?
This article will explore startup lessons learned so that you can have the best framework to make decisions and be financially adept.
Changed: Pivoting is an invaluable skill
Rarely does everything go as planned with startups. You might have the most beautifully put-together business plan, but it will inevitably see some changes at some point. And if necessary, you would need to pivot. But now, in this pandemic-ridden world, being able to pivot successfully has become an even more valuable skill. Arguably, your startup’s ability to pivot is now necessary because no one knows when there will be another pandemic or if more significant changes are to come.
Be flexible with startup lessons in mind
Many startups across industries were forced to change their business model dramatically to keep the doors open. Usually, a pivot involved changing your product’s target or shifting to a new market that was more profitable. Today, you need to be prepared to make more profound changes, like changing your entire business model. If your startup can be prepared to make greater changes, you will increase your chances of surviving if another pandemic hits. Here are some possibilities for you to consider:
- How many industries can your startup serve?
- What is the cost of entering a new market?
- How many different problems can your startup solve?
- What else can you do with your installed capabilities?
Changed: Public Safety Sentiment is Forever Changed
Before Covid hit, businesses would primarily be concerned with ensuring their business delivered what their customers were expecting. Today, companies also need to consider any other safety concerns that they may have to accommodate.
Here are some elements that you need to pay more attention to and plan for.
- Remote work: One of the biggest shockers for countless businesses worldwide was the sudden necessity to stay socially distanced and move to a small work arrangement. Today your startup needs to be prepared to adapt to any social distancing conditions that may arise.
- How you deliver your products and services: Digital delivery, remote meetings, and using a safety-oriented delivery system (for physical goods) are the new normal. Even if things are opening up, people will remain leery of coming face-to-face with people they don’t know.
- Your team’s safety: This aspect goes along with the need to work in a socially distant manner. But you may need to plan for additional ways to guarantee your team’s safety if remote work isn’t an option for you.
Changed: Talent is at a Premium
Finding the right talent for your startup has always been a challenge. However, today there is a real shortage. In many industries, some businesses haven’t moved forward with their operations due to a lack of human resources.
This means that more businesses will have to compete for the same talent. The degree of the talent shortage varies from industry to industry, but the shortage has impacted everyone. Here are some aspects for you to consider regarding how you attract and retain talent.
- Labor shortages may be around for a while: The recovery from the pandemic will likely still take more time. Making sure that you are prepared for a competitive human resource situation is essential.
- Some people won’t be rejoining the workforce: For many reasons, it’s calculated that many people won’t be rejoining the workforce. This implies that the overall pool of talent won’t be returning to its pre-covid state.
- How you attract and retain talent will change: Due to the increased competitiveness in the HR field, your strategy for attracting and retaining talent will have to adapt to the new conditions.
Similar: Customer Experience Always Wins
Even though businesses have had to make massive changes to adapt to the new curveballs Covid has thrown their way, customers still expect the same level of service. This implies that you can’t rely on customers understanding that things are more challenging for you now. They’ll simply go to another business that can meet their expectations. For this reason, making sure that your customers have a consistently stellar experience will be critical to your growth. Here are some aspects of your customer experience to consider.
- Increase the quality and quantity of your communications with your customer: Improving your communication with your customers will help you build your long-term relationship with them. Remember that it’s always easier to keep your customers than to go out and get new ones.
- Listen to their feedback: Things have changed for our customers too. Their needs and how they face their problems due to Covid has had to adapt. Paying attention to their feedback will help you anticipate their needs.
Similar: Sound Financial Health is Key to Weathering Hardships
Every business that was able to pivot and survive the pandemic was because they had sound financials. Today it’s simply impossible to predict good or bad times, so you need to be prepared at all times for any scenario. Here are some financial considerations for you to keep in mind:
- Keep your books clean: Well-kept books are a vital and fundamental skill for businesses. Whether you need to look for funding of any type or just to know where you are financially, keeping your books clean is a must.
- Stay cash flow positive: The best thing to have when times get tough is cash. Prioritizing cash flow is always a good policy to have in place.
What startup lessons have you seen?
No one knows what the future will throw at us. But if there’s one lesson that the Covid pandemic has taught us, being prepared from an operational and financial standpoint is necessary.
Click here to schedule a call with one of our financial experts so we can help bulletproof your startup financially.