The pandemic has been going on for a year now. Every month we hear more predictions about economic crises around the world. We’ve seen companies go bankrupt because of the lockdown. It doesn’t seem like the best time to start a new business, right? Despite this ongoing global situation, great ideas haven’t stopped coming to us – with or without a virus raging outside. So how is it possible to create a thriving startup in 2021 despite the challenging market situation?
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Is 2021 a good time to start a business?
Many experts say “yes”. It may not make much sense at first, but there are several reasons they say aspiring business owners shouldn’t postpone their plans. Let’s take a look at the recommendations for people who want to start a company during the coronavirus pandemic.
A proactive approach can be a treasure. A lot of clever people see the crisis as an opportunity – it doesn’t break the economy, it transforms it. New habits are created. Customers start to demand products that they weren’t aware of before. It’s important to observe the market and respond accordingly.
Although many of us have become fatalistic during the COVID-19 outbreak, the changes have brought new opportunities. We have to remember that there’s no “good time” to start a company or create a startup. Obstacles and difficulties will always be part of the process. Listening, reading, researching and collecting information is crucial for starting a business in uncertain times – like 2021.
Next, it’s time to take action. You’ve probably heard at least one story about someone who lost their job and decided to follow their heart – selling handmade goods or becoming a freelancer. If you already know what kind of services you want to offer and you know that the market is ready for them – don’t hesitate. You’ll only be wasting time and the competition might beat you to it.
How to start a business during a pandemic?
You already know starting a new company can be profitable if you prepare yourself well. In times of economic decline, the importance of planning, well-thought-out strategy and analysis is undeniable. Here are a few questions you can answer to get a clearer picture of the value you can offer potential customers.
Who is your potential customer?
Creating a customer persona is one of the first activities that should be done at the beginning. Take some time to describe groups of potential customers in detail – how old are they, where do they work, how do they spend their free time? Focus on their needs – what are their pains and goals in their personal and professional lives?
You can create more than one persona but think about each one very carefully. The more precise the image of your customer is, the easier it will be to develop your product or service. You’ll have a clear idea of what they expect from your business.
What problem do you want to solve?
Another important thing to consider. Your business has got to provide value to your customers – that means it has to solve a specific problem. Whether it’s providing entertainment, booking appointments, or allowing people to share their memories and thoughts.
You don’t have to re-invent the wheel but…
What’s your offer’s unique selling point?
You need something that makes your company stand out. We’ve heard way too many times that “everything’s already been done ” and “there’s nothing new to create”. That’s not really true – after all, we have multiple social media platforms, several forms of financial apps, etc. And they all have their differences.
Your goal is to have that one special thing that’ll make people choose your app over others. Think TikTok – it has messaging, a like button and a commenting feature like every other social media. But the type of uploaded content is different from Facebook and Instagram – that’s why it’s become so popular. It gives users the tools to easily create short videos with music. This draws us in even though we have profiles on other platforms.
What resources are needed to succeed?
You’ll need some funding to create a digital product that supports your idea, but we don’t think you need an enormous budget to create a successful business. You might also need a team if the project requires advanced management, marketing and testing.
There are a few options to choose from. Hiring your own team can give you more control but can also be expensive and time-consuming. Outsourcing is often a favourite for business owners looking for an experienced partner that will help them execute their project from design and development to quality assurance and maintenance.
Think through your requirements. What are the pros and cons of all available solutions? We recommend outsourcing – collaboration with an external team can give you a new perspective, not to mention you’ll get access to specialists when bringing your digital project to life. That’s priceless.
A few tips for aspiring business owners in 2021
Times are… unusual to say the least, so your approach has to be innovative. Here’s some advice for every future business owner that wants to begin their journey in 2021.
Don’t go for a high-investment idea
It’s better to start small and focus on step-by-step growth. If you try to start a company that needs a lot of funding from the beginning, collecting enough could be challenging.
If you want to create a software product, go with an MVP (minimum viable product) first, then further develop it once it gets accepted by potential clients.
Plan and strategize the upcoming months or even years
And create a plan B, C, maybe even D. You need to be prepared and know what to do in case an emergency occurs. What will you do if there’s another full lockdown? Will you be able to deliver? Is it possible to survive for a few months without constant revenue?
Your plan has got to consider each of these possibilities and more. Don’t be too optimistic – be aware of risks and dangers. Precaution might just be your biggest advantage.
Look for savings everywhere
As 2020 has shown, the future is unknown. It’s better to save money than to spend recklessly. Switch from business travelling to online meetings. Instead of renting office space – start from your own home. Don’t hire your own team; outsource IT needs. Use money-efficient marketing methods like social media, content marketing and SEO.
Starting a new business doesn’t mean you have to spend loads of money. If you need equipment, you can even buy a used computer, printer, or other hardware. Be smart – use your resources for things that contribute to growth and expansion.
Test monetization options wisely
Your main goal is to provide value to customers, but making money is important too – it’s the purpose of every business. You have various monetization options – freemium, subscription, ads, in-app purchases and more. With that being said, no single one of these is suitable for all digital products.
You should choose one or more ways depending on your niche, personas and business model. Test them to see how users respond and pick one that will be the most effective for your company.
Digitalize your business as much as you can
During a pandemic, digital products and services are appreciated more than ever. Home deliveries, mobile apps, online retail – anything that can be used from home during a lockdown has the potential to succeed.
People love convenience. For example, banks that conduct customer service through video and text chats and don’t require in-person branch visits are chosen more often by young people that use the internet daily. COVID-19 has made more people aware of digital product possibilities, so the profitability of this trend will keep on growing.
What kind of business is destined to succeed during a pandemic?
Some industries can benefit from our current situation more than others. One of them is healthcare – especially telemedicine solutions. While hospitals are overcrowded, facilities prefer to solve everyday problems via phone call or video chat. Web and mobile apps that connect doctors and patients have a real opportunity here – but they need to offer exceptional quality and be compliant with specific regulations.
Any kind of delivery service could also be successful in 2021. We want to stay safe at home during a lockdown, so we want alternatives to traditional shopping. Ordering food, clothing and other things online is convenient, but also saves us time and energy.
The fitness sector is also worth mentioning. Doing home workouts and buying gym equipment have become more popular than ever. People want to stay fit and healthy despite the coronavirus outbreak. The industry has seen an enormous increase in sales – so if you want to create a product that will support your customers in that area, it could have great potential!
Some other types of business ideas worth mentioning: remote entertainment such as games, audiobooks and podcasts, self-learning apps, communication and social platforms, organization hubs and m-commerce products.
So there you have it, starting that business in 2021 might actually be a good idea. Of course, you have to be aware of the usual risks associated with starting a business, but pay close attention to those brought about by COVID-19. If you have a thorough plan, a reliable business partner for your IT project and the resources needed to begin and to survive – don’t hesitate! The current situation could be an opportunity to achieve something unique and valuable.
We can help – contact us to discuss your idea, and our team will collaborate with you to create the perfect digital product for your customers.