Managing a startup is difficult at the best of times, but the coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down in 2020 and made life very difficult for businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Startups are having to adapt to survive and it will require careful management and planning, entrepreneurial spirit and support in order to come out the other side.
Here are a few key survival points for startups during the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the biggest changes that has occurred as a result of the pandemic and lockdown is that millions of people are now working from home. This can bring benefits to both the employer and employee, so you may want to think about continuing with this in the future too. The key to succeeding with remote working is learning how to manage employees remotely and to make sure that you have the best tools available.
The Government has rolled out various support schemes which will be critical to startup survival so this should be looking into immediately if you have not already. This includes a furlough scheme that will help you to keep staff on as well as an interruption loan scheme to provide financial support to small businesses.
Following this, business funding is changing as a result of the pandemic with newer finance models which could help you to manage during this difficult period. This includes loans such as a business cash advance, which involves making repayments via an agreed percentage of future card transactions as opposed to a fixed amount each month. This is helpful in times like this where sales will drop and fluctuate heavily.
Communication & Transparency
These are clearly troubling times for everyone, so it is important as a business leader that you are communicating and being as transparent as possible with everyone related to the startup, including staff, customers and suppliers. You need to keep them informed on developments relating to the startup, provide reassurances where possible and give support.
In times like this, one of the first steps that you need to take is to free up cash where possible by reducing costs which could help you to survive throughout a difficult period. Remote working will already be helping with this, but you could also reduce supply expenses, eliminate unnecessary costs, lower expenditures and various other strategies.
Adapt Business Plans
Of course, the business plan will now need adapting in light of these unforeseen circumstances. It is still hard to predict what the near future looks like, so you need to consider different eventualities and create strategies for the immediate, the next few weeks, the next few months and the next 1-3 years. You should also keep a close eye on the latest news and advice from experts so that you can make the right decisions at the right time.
It is a difficult time for startups in all industries right now, but the above advice will hopefully help you to manage and adapt to the current situation as well as built for the future when things start to return to normal and you will be keen to make up for lost time.