Build a Business That Thrive And Lasts Forever In The Present Scenario.
People often ask me – What is your mantra to swipe up the bull’s horn and build your business into a long-lasting startup venture?
I have observed that there is a dominant paradigm in business today.
Nowadays, the majority of stories are majorly concerning that businesses are closing, losing revenue, and laying off workers.
However, some small businesses have proven to be uniquely suited to the COVID-19 crisis and were able to turn their startup into a successful brand.
It’s not just limited to covid-19, in fact, the financial crisis of 2008 and the SARS pandemic of 2002-2004 also produced its disruptive side effects.
You won’t believe it is crazy to witness so many people go from having millions to zero in a matter of months.
Airbnb, and others that created the desire for an alternative income in 2008-2009, were eventually turned up with a loss. Almost 533,000 jobs were lost in 2008, the biggest drop since 1974
So, where does all the wealth go? Well, social distancing requirements and government-forced closures account for closures of many companies, plenty of other businesses are reeling from precipitous revenue declines.
These factors are the main reasons for making life miserable for many small business owners, with 40% feeling distressed about their cash flow.
I firmly believe the only way for someone to reach is to follow these five lessons if they want to turn that project into a viable business for the long term. Also, I will provide some business ideas that can thrive and last forever. Let’s get started.
1. Apply Innovation To Address Long Term Problems
The perfect response to urgent, specific, and, sizeable problems is innovation. Crises bring problems with their solutions. For instance, Health care providers needed masks. Production facilities were idle and workers were furloughed and needed jobs.
Then a social enterprise could address all three of these urgent problems. So, you can train workers to make masks in underused production facilities for health care providers.
But, the question is will this cluster of problems be addressed with this solution three to five years from now? Now that’s where technology and innovation come in. Some entrepreneurs are creating applications with explosive growth in telehealth, remote patient monitoring, and the use of AI in healthcare.
Just depending on providing healthcare supplies is an urgent need today, but does not guarantee beyond the crises. Come up with the solutions for market-opportunity analysis using data from 2019 and earlier.
Ask yourself that the problem you are addressing now was the problem then? And, if so, how big was it? Jot down, what has mainly changed with the emergence of Covid-19 that created or amplified this problem and the need for your innovation.
For example, the need for patient care with social distancing, a problem solved by telehealth and remote patient monitoring, certainly existed before 2020. Now, what changed with Covid-19 were the widespread stay-at-home orders, more widely available video, and home-based technologies.
2. Focus on Global Outreach
International trade plays a major role in the success of the German small to mid-sized manufacturers. Almost 70 percent of Germany’s exports are more in countries where large corporations dominate. For instance, Igus is a global player, founded in a garage in 1964.
Now, the company employs more than 2,000 people. The company is serving its customers in more than 80 countries. It has an annual revenue of around $500 million, more than half from international sales
This attitude is rarely adopted by North American Companies. Even in the United States more than half of small to midsize companies have no sales or operations outside North America. Remember, globalization is the future and your company’s development is based on it.
3. Find Out Your Long Term Market
Try to ask yourself if there will be a large, passionate market for your product or service in the post-Covid future.
For example, if you are planning to build out an online health resource for Latin America.
Then you may regret it later as there are only a couple million Spanish-speaking consumers online-a market too small to build a viable business around.
So, never just focus on technology. Your customer base defines your business overall.
Prepare Yourself And Find The Viable Answers That-
- Do you provide an innovative product or service that your customers are passionate about?
- Will there be a large enough number of customers to grow your business once coronavirus is under control?
4. Concentrate On Customers
Frank Blase, who is CEO of German manufacturer Igus quoted- “ The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”
Every company should be customer-centric. You should customize and ship your products according to the requirement of the customer. Ignus had focussed on customer relationships and turning down a customer request requires approval, often from the very top.
The other important mantra is to promote generosity with pre-and post-sales consultations and services. Providing freebies on different occasions to customers will help you to successfully drive your business in the long run.
5. Design Your Business Model Accordingly
Last but not the least, Covid-19 inspired innovators should consider revenue models native to the field of social entrepreneurship.
For instance, a Covid-19 inspired entrepreneur in the U.K. is utilizing “buy one, give one” sales model to distribute the newly invented “hygiene hook.”
During the great recession of 2008, Clayton Christensen, Mark Johnson and Henning Kagermann presented a framework for redesigning your business model.
This model is even as relevant today as it was by then.
I generally suggest to every entrepreneur to use this framework that helps in defining the company’s customer value proposition (CVP), profit formula, and key resources.
Now let’s see what all business options you have keeping in mind the above five lessons.
1. Contactless Payments
Do you know 27% of entrepreneurs believe that contactless payments are a key component for their success?
Working as a contactless payment provider will help you to promote your services even for technology, processing, and manufacturing companies. Although covid-19 has come up with many uncertainties but consumer trends suggest that there is a long-lasting demand for contactless payment providers.
2. Online Tutoring Business
Many schools in the world have shifted from physical learning to distance programs. Moreover, parents are working and they want to keep track of their kid’s education. So, this online tutoring business with multiple tutors is in demand.
It provides individual attention that some students need. You can use applications such as Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams for distance learning.
3. Meal Outlets or Restaurants
This is my all-time favorite business idea to start with.
Most of the top brands involved in restaurant and home delivery businesses are skyrocketing as people are spending more time at home.
This brings in an influx of orders. No matter how hard the situations are, this business will thrive at every moment. You can even tie-up with Uber Suggest, Zomato, and other food delivery giants.
4. Technical Support
Many companies in the world are utilizing teleworking technologies that create a high demand for technical support. I am sure that some of your employees have the skills to build custom computers in their spare time, while others are still trying to master the sending and receiving of emails. Technical support is necessary for all of these employees, according to their different jobs and needs.
I still remember last time when support.com, one of the most prominent players in the space, recently announced that they’re hiring “an unlimited number” of workers to provide remote technical support. And even after the pandemic passes tech support will continue to be needed at higher-than-normal levels.
5. Counsellors or Behavioral Health Providers
Every recession affects the certainty of lives drastically. People suffer from job losses and social isolation, cases of anxiety, and depression increase by then.
So, you can start with a business that can help with these problems. All you have to do is just hire behavioral and mental health providers.
Online behavioral therapy applications like Talkspace are the need of the hour and will continue even post-pandemic. Therefore, these types of services mostly remain popular because of their flexibility and accessibility.
I know the road after every recession will certainly be bumpy and unpredictable. There would be a rise and fall in your business.
So, it all depends on the attitude on how you plan, implement those ideas, and sustain your business even in the hard times. Do the research, aware of yourself, and plan your business in a way before you find the right connections between all your business elements.
Claire Mark is an investment and strategic planning consultant at Alcor, a global investment bank. She’s best known for her insightful blogs on business growth, startups, small businesses, and investments. Claire also has a good network in the Finance industry, especially the investors’ community. Apart from her work, she loves to bake and go out for gadget-free nature walks.