How to start a COVID proof business
Franchise UK lists a number of COVID-proof franchises for sale, but if you’re looking to take on the challenge of starting a business yourself, continue reading below.
Since March last year, many businesses worldwide have faced increasing economic challenges brought about by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Early estimates of COVID-19 predict major economies will suffer a 2.9 per cent loss on gross domestic product compared to 2020. Vacant hotels and silent bars have made a veritable ghost town of the hospitality sector. Simultaneously, empty stadiums overlooked high-profile sports matches, and those in the travel trade found their aircraft officially grounded.
Despite these adversities, many individuals have seen these unprecedented circumstances as an opportunity rather than a hardship. As the Ancient Greek philosopher Plato put it, “Our need will be the real creator.” Instead of idling their time away worrying or accepting government assistance in the hopes that the pandemic will pass, these entrepreneurs have instead taken their lives into their own hands and launched a startup business of their own.
Whether you have recently become unemployed or your old business is failing, if you’ve decided to launch a firm of your own, your mind will no doubt be racing with startup business ideas. Before you rush in, read on for some essential factors you must consider, and ask yourself, are your business startup ideas COVID-proof?
The COVID question
If you are going to launch a startup business, you must understand the social and economic climate you’re entering. The coronavirus is a genuine threat to many industries. While it might have always been your dream to run a restaurant packed with diners, in the world we find ourselves in, this is no longer a viable option. This is not to say your ambition has to be thrown away; it may simply need adjustment.
You still love providing food, and people will always need to eat; you just have to alter the way you get from A to B considering the limitations of COVID-19. For example, instead of an established eatery, operate a kitchen and a delivery service. It might seem like a sacrifice, but it can lead to success with many advantages. While operating a professional kitchen will cost you, it won’t be nearly as expensive as running a restaurant at a popular location. While a fleet of drivers will be necessary, your overheads will be less and can cover it.
Whatever your business idea is, run it past this check first and customise it for COVID-19. Ask yourself, if the country you live in faces a national lockdown, will you still be able to operate?
From barely surviving to thriving businesses
As mentioned, many businesses have been forced to either change the way they operate or close their doors for good. However, this is not true for all firms, with many becoming burgeoning enterprises. The key reason for this is that what they supply is now in demand. Companies involved in the production and purveying of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals and healthcare products, disinfectant, and cleaning solutions, along with those offering deliveries, construction and services, have all seen a spike in trade.
To create a COVID-proof business that will not only remain resilient and survive but exceed expectations, you must understand the current market. Look at the service or product you will provide from your new startup and make sure there is a real demand for it. Do your homework and make the most of any opportunities available.
Health and safety first
The prime concern when ensuring your fledgeling firm doesn’t fall at the first fence on account of the coronavirus is to maintain rigorous health and safety protocols at all time. From handwashing to wearing PPE to maintaining social distancing required and keeping the highest hygiene levels in effect at all times, there has never been a more important time for firms to take their obligations seriously.
If a staff member or customer becomes sick due to your negligence, you will not only have your conscience to worry about but fines from the authorities, expensive legal actions and press that can stop you trading for good.
Assess and analyse but be adaptable
While building a business plan is important, once you start your business, don’t take your data for granted. Analyse what is working and what isn’t, and be prepared to adapt. If a strategy or service isn’t working, minimise its importance in your operation and if it’s succeeding, maximise its potential.
Finally, no one is an island, and there’s no shame in taking help or advice when you’re starting. Network with intention and build strong relations with others in your sector and community to build solid foundations for your business. Having a robust support chain can also help you succeed, and it’s never a bad idea to stay on the best terms with your lenders. Why not seek a mentor with a succeeding business despite the pandemic and learn from them.
While every entrepreneur will need to take risks to excel, investing in the right people is always the safest bet.
Don’t forget, buying a franchise is usually the safer option, with an already proven business model already tried and tested by the franchisor and other franchisees. You can discover the best franchises at Franchise UK.