The ongoing pandemic has shown us what is absolutely essential -- other than our basic needs. It has also shown us which startups are going to thrive in the post COVID world, and which needs a major overhaul.
While the world has been changing at a rapid pace, even without the global pandemic, our needs aren’t changing. What’s changing though, is the way those needs are fulfilled, keeping in mind the restrictions that we have to overcome in our daily lives.
The suddenness of the corona virus has caused some VC funding to be dropped, leading to disruption in supply chains and slow market activities. However, after a month in 2021, there’s a steady increase in market activities, just like a steady increase in demand. This has shown that startups can actually thrive in all market conditions, but they need to redefine their structure.
As long as the startups have a customer-centric approach, with proper systems and processes in place, the unique ideas can be executed to have an edge in providing value. Now is the time to strategize, and implement -- so that we can learn and adapt quickly to overcome the changes being faced by us as a whole.
The startups who can think out of the box, and embed their core values with a solution-centric mindset will find themselves pivoting even among the worst marketing conditions. So, what is a smart mindset? Let’s have a look at some ways a small business or entrepreneur can redefine the startup ecosystem.
There’s a pandemic going around, and all our preconceived notions are thrown out of the window. So, it’s time for a hard reset of your mindset. Let go of the old things that you were trying to implement.
Depending on your business niche, you will be able to find a solution in the problem itself. All it needs is an unbiased view point. For example, a teacher might not be able to teach his/her students in person, but it can be done through video conferencing. All it takes is thinking of a way that has never been tried before, or taking the path less travelled.
Before you take any step, reassess your business. This is not because of the pandemic, but because you need a clear plan of action. If you don’t know the points to improve on, you’d never be able to improve them.
We live in a probabilistic world, and small actions can have huge consequences. WIth a startup, assessment or reassessment, at each stage makes it easier to stay on course.
Even without the pandemic factor, there are some ongoing changes that may affect your business, which you need to prepare for. Anticipating a situation before it happens, is an amazing result of reassessing your business. That way, you can have systems in place to counteract any negative situations that might arise.
We reimagine our goals and ambitions daily. Just that we do it unconsciously. However, when you are trying to implement it in your business, you need to do it consciously. Never be afraid of roadblocks or changes. A great way to know about the market changes would be to study the trends, and keep an eye on your competitors.
How do you think the market trends will affect your business? What needs to change to provide a better form of service or product? These are some of the questions that can help you re-imagine the whole idea.
Thinking helps you find a common point in your business. One of the most important strategy exercises that entrepreneurs can perform is to compare the present form with the vision. For a second, let go of all the details of the business -- money, customers, systems and processes.
Close your eyes, and check out the overview of your present business. Does it match with your vision? Chances are, you will find some common points. If that is the case, you can pivot, even during the extreme conditions, unless there is an acute situation.
However, if there is no common point -- you don’t see anything common between your vision when you started and the present scenario, it is time to rethink about your business, and its implementation. Here, you have two choices -- fix what’s broken or start something new.
Once you have found out the pain points, it’s time to make the changes. Due to the nature of the pandemic, cutting down on financial costs would be a great way to reduce the burden. Let’s see how you can do that.
If you have discretionary expenses, cutting off those would be a good solution. For example, the coffee machine in your office is a great way for employees to mingle -- but you don’t need it in a pandemic. Look around you, and see what you can cut off, or live without for a few months. And, then let go of that.
Instead of firing your employees, or offering them pay cuts, think of how you can redeploy their skills. Revenue generation is something any startup needs at all times. So, if you have a sales team, make sure that you utilize the team’s skill set to optimum level. On the other hand, if you have an administrative personnel who has reduced hours, offer him/her with other options based on your business model. Rather than letting go of these experienced people, when you redeploy your assets, you are saving on training costs.
A startup or small business cannot survive without revenue. To stay on top of the market, you need to find new sources of revenue. If you are hitting a roadblock, hiring a business strategist and consultant would be a good option. That way, you also get an unbiased view of your business systems in place, and the changes needed.
Find out pitching opportunities and teach your team to tap into those markets for revenue generation. At the end of the day, your strategy matters more than your implementation for a sustained and continuous revenue generation method.
When it comes to business solutions, there is no ‘one size fits all’. Depending on the market condition, your niche, your employee strength and the finance, you can create an optimized strategy. However, the steps of assessing, identifying, imagining and thinking will help you to understand where your business is. It’ll also help you to plan out a course of action to pivot your business.
Keeping a customer-centric mindset, and compensating your team, would help you go a long way to stay afloat in this unique time.
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