At the start of the pandemic, people rightly feared for the future of small businesses. The reality was that while large companies could see a long period of no profit, many small businesses collapsed after just a few months. Maintaining a small business traditionally meant managing a tight ship, and that became unsustainable during the early months of COVID-19.
But what about starting a business in 2022? There are still plenty of people waiting to build their dream startup until things get back to normal. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that “normal” is a mirage. Should you risk starting your business now? This has always been a difficult question to answer, and nowadays it is even more difficult. But the truth is that our current global scenario might be more optimistic than you think.
Post-COVID startups: reasons for optimism
The good news is, when it comes to startups in a post-COVID world, there’s more reason for optimism than negativity. While it’s true that some types of businesses will never recover the same way, many other modern businesses are better positioned than ever to succeed.
The reason is simple. The pandemic has forced the world to get to grips with remote work. It was something we had been heading towards for two decades, but an extremely slow transition was accelerated in just a few weeks in March 2020.
People who run businesses online or who work as freelancers already knew the potential of the digital space. It took a pandemic for everyone to understand. That’s not good news for people wanting to run brick-and-mortar stores, but it does create more room in the global market for digital startups.
The pandemic is still not over, but now is the perfect time to create your startup. Indeed, creating a startup today means taking into account an ability to adapt and evolve, which will put you in a good position for the constantly changing world of tomorrow.
The ABCs of digital commerce
Building a digital startup requires a very different approach than what small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) would traditionally take. Your head office is no longer a localized physical space. Rather, it is your website.
For this reason, if you don’t work on your website, you are setting yourself up for failure. It’s simply not possible to run a successful startup if potential customers are turned off by their first encounter. Going to a website that doesn’t work well or displays poorly on mobile is a deterrent for even the most unfussy people.
Luckily, building a website in 2022 isn’t difficult. You can use a website builder like Wix or hire a web designer – there are plenty of great freelancers out there with reasonable rates. Your website is your headquarters, but it can’t be where your web presence begins and ends.
Social Media Marketing for Digital Startups
When you look at social media as a regular user, it’s easy to see anything wrong. The 2021 Facebook leaks have certainly confirmed what many of us already suspected. Social media is not good for you as a person. However, you cannot adopt this approach in your business.
The simple reality is that social media marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach customers. It is also extremely cost effective, as you reach millions of people with even the smallest budget.
Your social media pages should drive people to your website, but they should be useful on their own. In other words, you need to put in the time and effort to build content and followers, and use the platform to connect and engage.
Today, you should at least have a Facebook page for your business. It is also very beneficial to use Instagram for marketing. Platforms like Twitter are also useful, although more for engagement than actual marketing.
Full-time vs part-time employees
One of the biggest differences in running a startup post-pandemic is that you’re less likely to hire full-time people. While a growing group of permanent staff was once a sign of a successful business, today you should have a small but dedicated staff. For many jobs, you can hire freelancers or other small businesses as and when needed.
As you are less likely to rent offices, you will be working with your staff remotely anyway. Hiring freelancers and contractors makes sense, both to save money on your end and to build relationships with people for whom accountability is built into the work they do.
The good news is that building a post-pandemic startup isn’t as hard as we thought. We simply need to rethink how businesses operate in the modern world.