e live in times that are completely different from what most of us have ever known - and they continue to be unpredictable. How can you build a plan for your startup that maximizes your chance of success right at the beginning, and in the future?
Let’s take a look at six key points to building a resilient startup in the coming year and beyond.
Developing your business plan is more than just putting together a product or a marketing arc. Here are some of the essential ingredients for a good startup plan:
Invest time and effort into clearly outlining your plan, both for yourself and for potential investors. Be realistic about the fact that it’s impossible to know what will happen in the future, and that steps need to be taken to put safety protocols in place.
2. Know your audience
As you put together your plan, market research should be part of the construction process. That will help you to compile information on the demographics that you’re aiming to reach as likely consumers of your products and services.
Why is knowing your target audience so important for startups now?
3. Find enough funding
Funding makes the top of the list for a lot of “to-do”s for new businesses. In the age of the pandemic, it’s even more important to start off with a good footing, simply because things are volatile and your startup will need wide margins to cover unexpected changes and expenses.
For the smoothest growth of a startup business, according to an Entrepreneur article, seeking funding through approaching backers, fundraising events, and various small business associations and programs is a vital step. Both fundraising and funding contribute to small business growth, so the smartest option is to seek funds from a variety of sources, rather than just one.
A single investor could change their mind or fail in some other way, after all. This year’s pandemic has made a lot of investors rethink what they are investing in; you’ll need a well-written and awesomely-presented business plan as discussed in the first step to convince them.
Crowd-funding is still growing in popularity, and may be a viable option for your startup funding. It allows you to build your funds on a rewards-based system, rather than selling off stakes in your company. According to research from crowd-funding giant Kickstarter the pandemic has impacted how many projects have gone live, but hasn’t significantly impacted public involvement or the success of the projects themselves. In other words, even during pandemics and times of economic turmoil, the crowds are still interested in funding projects that they see as worthwhile.
Disaster recovery insurance is another potential source of funding in the actual event of a disaster; while it is at a premium now due to ongoing turmoil, it may very well trend downwards as we pull out of the pandemic, and you may find it a worthwhile investment to maintain resiliency - and solvency - during whatever comes next.
When putting together your projected budget for your startup launch, err on the side of caution rather than cutting yourself short - and then go out and get those funds.
4. Provide online services
Right now, more and more people are turning to online services, as the pandemic rages on. And what we’ve established as the norm throughout 2020 is unlikely to go away any time soon, which means that online services will be in demand from here on out.
Regardless of what you’re selling, make your online presence the larger part of your marketing efforts. Think outside the brick-and-mortar store — what can you offer online? How can you facilitate ordering and purchasing? Is your website as user-friendly as it can be?
Other specifics to consider for online services include:
Focus on making your online presence known by going to where the people are - online! Social media posts and PPC ads can boost your web traffic significantly.
5. Be a smart marketer
We mentioned your marketing budget earlier on. With adequate funding and a good handle on your market, you can target those more likely to actually make purchases from your new startup. That’s part of the function of smart marketing.
Other factors that play into smart marketing include:
6. Be ready for anything
The final key to creating a resilient startup for today and for the future: be adaptable.
The pandemic of 2020 leapt upon us without any real warning. Businesses were forced to scramble if they wanted to survive.
The scrambling process hasn’t stopped. It hasn’t even really slowed down.
Don’t let that frighten you off from launching your startup, but do learn from it and build adaptability into your plan from the beginning.
No one knows what 2021 will bring, but there’s a lot of reason to hope. As you craft your startup plan from the ground up, remember that it takes more than backing and great marketing to create a resilient business - it takes courage.