2020 has turned out to be a year which most of us were certainly not prepared for. No one could have anticipated just how detrimental the COVID-19 pandemic would be for our health our and economy on a global scale. Society as we know it has never endured such an occurrence and our political leaders had to act quickly. Borders were closed off, businesses closed down, millions lost their jobs and the unemployment rate globally has reached new record high. We’ve all faced great challenges, with strict social distancing measures in place, life as we know it, has taken a dramatic turn. In such times of uncertainty, it’s easy to fall into a negative pattern of thinking but the truth is, this isn’t the end of our economy, it’s only the beginning. COVID-19 has taught us many lessons, one crucial lesson especially for aspiring business owners is, you ALWAYS need to plan for the unexpected. Although some businesses have had to close entirely, some are actually doing exceptionally well, most of which are businesses who pivoted their business model very quickly to leverage on COVID-19. A larger percentage of businesses doing well during COVID-19 are those with strong online marketing strategy. The businesses that have excelled have adapted to this change accordingly. This article, however, focuses on those thinking of starting a new business during or as a result of COVID-19. For those taking the plunge in this unprecedented time, we have a few checklists for you below.

HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN

If you are starting a new business during this pandemic, it’s important to have a well-researched and COVID-19 proof business plan. By creating a structured business plan, you can ensure you cover all areas and are well prepared for emergencies. Ask yourself these questions; What is my overall business objective? Do I need funding? What client/customer base am I targeting? Use the time during lockdown to thoroughly plan your business, map out your objectives and what you really want to achieve. It’s important to create a business that adheres to your strengths and passions. Look at what your competitors are doing and look at what people in similar industries are doing interstate and even overseas. More often than not, there’s always an area you can delve into, which you may not have ever considered. Do your background research and ensure you have all the tools necessary to take your business to the next level.

IMPLEMENT A STRONG DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY

Having a strong digital marketing strategy is one of the key factors, which will contribute to your businesses’ success. The internet has changed the marketing game completely and having an online presence is going to benefit your business greatly. You can grow your online platform, or even run your entire business via social media. It’s ideal for creating brand awareness and generating leads. Social media is an incredibly powerful tool and as 8 out of 10 people are now active users, it’s an area your business must cover. SEO (Seach engine optimization) is also another incredibly effective way to boost your business on Google and improve your website’s searchability/visibility. SEO can boost you to the first page of Google, having an impressive advantage over your competitors. Investing in ads via social media platforms are also going to work effectively for your business as you can really narrow down your target audience and specify how much money you would like to spend daily. It’s important to remember that you need to spend money in order to make money! By building a strong website, investing time into online marketing strategies such as social media and SEO, your business will excel even throughout the COVID-19 period.

BE COVID-19 PROOF

One of the hardest things about planning or running a business during the COVID-19 period is the fear of the unknown. No business has been able to confirm dates as to when they will re-open or when restrictions will be eased and so this makes it entirely difficult for businesses to book in future clients or communicate to their customers when they will officially reopen. As restrictions are slowly easing, businesses are preparing to return back to usual trading. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t endure a second wave (we’d like to hope not) or another pandemic of some sort won’t impact our economy in years to come. This is why you must be prepared and take COVID-19 as a learning curve to have an emergency plan in place. It’s important to keep on top of your finances and always have a sufficient savings in the event of a crisis. If you primarily work from an office, put a plan in place so you and your employees are able to work from home if necessary. Most importantly, if you are planning on opening a new business, think of ways you can help your clients have peace of mind as we all recover from this pandemic.

So, what has COVID-19 taught us? You always need to plan for the unexpected. There’s a lot of valuable lessons for new business owners to gain from this pandemic. You just never know what tomorrow will bring and you need to be prepared and be willing to alter your strategy to suit whatever pandemic or future crisis might arise. COVID-19 has changed our world drastically. We will forever look back to this moment and think how our world has transformed. Never did we anticipate that such a plague would be able to impact our health and our economy on such a large scale. But through this crisis and all the negativity which it was brought upon us, there is a little glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. A glimpse into our future and how we can transform the way we do business. Innovation is upon us.
Final thought and take away; The future of business is online!

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