The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered the way businesses operate. The changes have meant that entrepreneurs need to think differently before they start a business post pandemic.
For example, nearly all new firms will have to accommodate remote workers and online sales. In-person businesses that would have been successful in the past are less likely to thrive in the future.
If you’re thinking about starting a business, here are four essential tips to make it work in spite of all the changes imposed by COVID-19.
1. Build yourself a high-quality warehouse
You need to aim to become as self-sufficient as possible. Set yourself up to take care of your business needs at home wherever possible.
For example, metal buildings made from steel can be purchased as kits from suppliers located around the globe. Just like a shed, a metal building can be erected and set up as a new construction fairly quickly.
The U.S. economy is extremely unstable right now. Businesses like storage facilities and warehouses are usually solid during hard times, but they might not stay in business if enough people lose their jobs.
If you rely on any third-party services to operate your company, you may find yourself wishing you had your own space if these outfits go under.
Don’t wait to build your independent warehouse
It’s vital to get your building constructed immediately. If the U.S. goes into another lockdown, the government might prohibit private construction the way it did the first time.
If that should happen, you’ll be stuck with either no warehouse or only a partially completed one. In that situation, licensed contractors are not apt to risk their license by working against government orders.
2. Rework your business idea until it can run 100% online
Under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t need to run your business entirely online to stay afloat. However, in the COVID-19 era, you have to prepare for potential lockdowns.
The benefit to running a business entirely online is that you can operate smoothly during COVID-19 restrictions.
Officials are saying the pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon. This includes the possibility of another lockdown, depending on what part of the country you’re in.
If you don’t have a plan for running your firm entirely online, and a lockdown gets imposed, you might not stay in operation for long. When your business can be managed completely online, from customers to employees, you’ll have an economic advantage if another lockdown (or two) occurs.
3. Focus on communication strategies for your remote workforce
Communication is always crucial, but when you have a remote team, the potential for things to go wrong increases. When you can’t get clarification in person, it’s imperative to have seamless communication strategies and channels.
However, you have to make sure you focus on personal communications, too. For example, a contributor for Inc.com pointed out the positive impact of asking everyone on the team how they’re doing when they show up to a Zoom meeting or jump on a phone call.
This might seem small – let’s just admit that it is – but still, it can make people feel appreciated.
When you’re building a tech company, make sure to design communication strategies that create a feeling of inclusion for all your workers. Working remotely can feel isolating and lonely at times, so considerate communication is a huge morale booster.
4. Build a private home office
Lockdowns are just one reason you ought to have a private home office in the COVID-19 era. Even when you’re not locked down, it’s beneficial to stay at home as much as possible and avoid contracting or transmitting the virus.
When you work remotely, it’s easier when you have a genuine office space in your home. One may work from the couch or the bed, but working at a desk set to the proper height is better for your posture and overall spinal health.
If you don’t have a home office and you’re out of spare rooms, why not build one in your backyard? Technically, you don’t even need to do any building.
You can buy a temporary shed from your local hardware store for a few hundred bucks. Have it delivered and set up, run an extension cord into the space, and you have an office.
Build something people will find useful in any economy
In an uncertain economy, it’s critical to build something people will find useful no matter how the economy shifts. For instance, monthly software services are great when people can afford to pay the bill, but if they lose their jobs, you’ll lose your customers.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t build software. But if you don’t already have a burning idea for your tech business, create something that people will use during a depression or recession.
No tech business is recession-proof, but you can get pretty close. Don’t let the COVID-19 pandemic hold you back from bringing your dream to life.