The coronavirus pandemic has sent shockwaves through all aspects of society – and that’s putting it lightly. Most people have been confined to their homes as they do their jobs from their sofa’s and leave the house only for essential reasons. This means lots of people now have more time than they have ever and will likely ever have again, and this has meant the prospect of starting a business is finally possible for those who have been dreaming about it.
You might say anyone looking to start a business during a global pandemic at a time when companies are crashing is outright absurd, but it is possible. Whilst some industries have collapsed, others have thrived; so depending on the type of business you’re looking at setting up, now is as good a time as any to take the plunge.
If you’re wondering how exactly to go about setting up a business during lockdown, keep reading.
Is it Viable?
This sounds obvious, but now more than ever is a time to cement whether or not your business idea is viable. If you’ve been thinking about setting up a bar, it’s probably not the right time and it won’t be viable right now, but if your plans are to open a pet supply shop, there’s no reason why you can’t do it now.
If your idea isn’t viable at present, don’t scrap it. It could well be possible in a year’s time, so don’t let go of your plan just yet.
Start Up Costs
Generally speaking, setting up a business during lockdown follows the same process as setting up a business at any other time. You still need a detailed plan and you still need to account for start up costs. In theory, neither of these should change too much due to COVID-19, but you there are a handful of extra things you might want to account for.
If you are going to be working outside of the home (e.g. in a shop or an office) you will need to invest in good retail security. The pandemic is unpredictable at best and that could mean your business will be open one day and closed the next. If your office or shop is to close for a period of time, it might be more susceptible to theft or vandalism which is why it’s essential you install decent security to keep your premises safe during lockdown. You should always account for security in your start up costs, but more so during lockdown when your property could be left unattended.
Should you be hiring staff, you will need to ensure you have purchased plenty of PPE in advance, as well as signage and hand sanitizer to keep both guests and staff safe. These are things that a year ago you might not have had to buy, but they will more than likely be an integral part of every business for the foreseeable.
Due to the lockdown, face-to-face promotion on the streets and at networking events like tradeshows isn’t possible, so that means you’ll need to think long and hard about your promotion tactics. The internet is a treasure trove if you know how to use it to your advantage. Setting up ads on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as on Google, will help you engage with a wider audience. Although nothing beats face-to-face engagement, the internet is the only viable promotional option at the moment, so it’s a good idea to learn about SEO and online marketing before you launch your business.
Setting up a business at any time of year is difficult, and doing it during a lockdown will come with it’s own struggles, but as long as you have the funds and a detailed plan to hand, it shouldn’t be any harder than at any other time.