If you are one of the brave souls who would like to open a business during a pandemic, you may be looking for advice on how to do so in uncertain times ahead.
Although no one has a crystal ball to tell you what the future holds, there are some things you can do now to help you get up and running on solid ground.
Here are 10 simple tips that can help you open a business during a pandemic.
Open a business during a pandemic (with confidence)
If you’re struggling to open a business during a pandemic, you’re not alone. We don’t want you to have any fear that it will fail with these helpful tips and techniques. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Write your business plan
- Understand the different types of marketing
- Assemble a team
- Size up the competition
- Structure the tax advantages
- Know where the money will come from
- Choose a catchy name
- Budget for marketing
- Keep customers happy
- Always be ready to adapt
Bonus: Open with confidence. Let’s dig in!
1 Write your business plan
Even if you’ve been in business for years, writing a business plan can help you get back on track if you are experiencing slow growth. A business plan includes information on your company, a mission statement, and bullet points on market research and potential growth factors.
If you’re planning on opening a business during a pandemic, your business plan should also detail your products and services as well as your financials and plans for the future.
2 Understand the different types of marketing
Marketing is how you get your business in front of your customers’ eyes. A well-executed marketing plan will ensure you stay in their minds also.
While there are many different types of marketing, including offline platforms, such as radio and mail, digital and content marketing are the most powerful tools of today.
CBCInked’s Marketing in a Box training course can help you get started and learn everything from blogging and software tools to how to create a call to action and generate leads.
3 Assemble a team
Even if you are a solopreneur (that’s an entrepreneur who likes to work alone), there may come a time when you need a helping hand. Assemble a team of employees or freelancers who have expertise in areas where you fall short.
If your town remains under tight lockdown, you’ll want to choose people who have experience working remotely. A word of caution here: insist on online safety practices, and require your employees to encrypt their home’s WiFi, keep their antivirus software up to date, and avoid sharing their work device with their spouse or children.
4 Size up the competition
As a business owner, something you have to get really used to doing is spying on the competition.
Perform a competitive analysis, which helps you get a feel for the market. You will be able to better identify what value you bring and where others in your arena fall short. Without performing this step, you won’t be able to identify gaps or discover market trends that would give you the edge.
5 Structure for tax advantages
All businesses are structured as an entity. When you are a freelancer or solo business owner, you are considered by all governing bodies a sole proprietorship. But this is not the only structure, and forming an LLC when you open a business or reopen a business can help you save money, especially if you do it yourself instead of hiring an attorney.
Do your research, and find a formation service that can help you establish your LLC entity according to local guidelines.
6 Know where the money will come from
Money makes the world go round; the same is true for your business. You have to have money to make money, and you have to know where that money is coming from to make it work for you.
Small businesses can be funded by savings, angel investors, other interested parties, or loans.
7 Choose a catchy name
Choosing a name for your business may not be as simple as it sounds. If you plan to launch under your personal name, you still have to make sure that that is not already taken. You can search for business name availability by state.
Your company must have a unique moniker for licensing and registration. Something else to consider here is whether or not you can get a domain name for your business. You’re always better off maintaining consistency, so check for domain availability as well.
8 Budget for marketing
7% this is the minimum percentage of your annual revenue recommended that you should devote to marketing. As you are writing your business plan and planning your budget, don’t neglect to set aside money to help your business grow.
If you’re going to open a business in a pandemic, partner with like-minded individuals who can help you get the tools you need to grow. Become affiliates with your favorite brands to build trust and loyalty with your market. And above all else, use free marketing tools!
9 Keep customers happy
Keeping your customers happy is, in itself, a full-time job. This process looks different for all businesses. Regardless of whether you are a product or service provider, your customers are the ones that ultimately pay the bills.
If you are unsure about how to keep them coming back for more, ask. Send out a survey or engage in casual conversations as opportunities arise.
You might, for example, offer faster turnaround, a greater color selection, or do away with shipping fees. Keep in mind that, although you must be competitively priced, money is not everyone’s primary concern. Cater to what your customers ask for, but do not undersell your services.
10 Always be ready to adapt
Being flexible is crucial to your success.
This has never been more true than in today’s climate when the world can change in an instant. No matter how you operated before the pandemic, make every effort to put yourself in a position to change as needed.
An example of this can be seen in how restaurants have suddenly gone from being bustling Friday night social spots to masters of delivery and take-out. Disney is another great example, and the media giant now offers theater-release movies at home on their original release date.
CBCInked Wrap Up: Open a business with confidence
Whether you’re just opening a business during a pandemic or getting ready to reemerge after a long lockdown, everything you do today will influence your success tomorrow.
From planning your budget and establishing an LLC to knowing how to adapt, the above tips can help you be a better business owner. In doing so, you can maintain a forward trajectory no matter what obstacles stop the competition.
CBCInked was founded by marketing master Caylin, who slays the internet from her home base in Atlanta. If you’re looking to launch a new business or reopen after lockdown, Caylin’s marketing series can help you make it happen. Contact CBCInked today for more information.
This article was a guest post contributed by Naomi Johnson of Life Based Business – a place to share both practical advice and inspiration to help you adopt the life-based business mentality and change your life. Check it out!