The business world has become a strange place since Coronavirus reared its ugly head at the start of last year. Since then, we have seen millions of businesses struggle, with millions more people losing their jobs, and some businesses were even forced to close their doors for the last time. Because of this, starting a business right now might not seem like the best idea.
However, there are in fact, many businesses that have thrived during the pandemic, and there’s no reason why starting a business couldn’t work right now. While businesses all over the world are adapting to a new way of life, you can take a look at these things to remember when starting a business in 2021.
What kind of industry you’re going into
Especially now, it’s important to think about what kind of industry your business idea will fit into, and what the needs and demands are for it. You might have had an award winning idea that solves many problems, but you need to ask yourself if it’s relevant right now. Will people want or need your solution right now?
A great way of determining this is by conducting market research and shaping your idea as people react to your business plans and ideas. It may take some time, and you may have multiple ideas being shaped in one go, but you’ll eventually get that eureka moment and have a winning business idea.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to start a business but you’re not sure what to do, it’s a good idea to look at the markets that are thriving right now as a good place to start. Here are some examples:
- Cleaning industry – now more than ever, people are obsessed with hygiene. Additionally, the cleaning industry will always be needed, therefore won’t lose it’s value once the pandemic is under control.
- Finance and money management – the pandemic has caused a huge strain on people’s finances all over the world due to being on furlough, or even losing their job altogether. People need (and always will) help with handling their finances, so it’s a great industry to get into right now.
- Online retail stores are also lapping up the custom at the moment due to the fact that billions of people are spending more time on their phones and tablets scrolling through online stores. Having a store that’s completely online takes away the need to visit you in store, and customers can have their goods delivered right to their door. Becoming a retail distributor may be a very successful business right now.
Safety in the workplace
Now more than ever it’s essential to stay on top of safety in the workplace, and it’d be your responsibility to ensure that any employees you hire are going to be safe at all times, and not just from the virus either.
Opening a business with employees is a huge commitment, and you need to ensure you’re following health and safety guidelines to avoid prosecution. You’ll need to think about even the smallest of details such as tripping hazards, brake replacement in any work vehicles, and your office layout to ensure that everyone is safe.
Before employing a single member of staff, be sure to read and understand the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 so that you can provide the highest level of safety for your employees. Failure to do so, as mentioned above, could lead to harm to your employees, harm to yourself, hefty fines, jail time, and the loss of your business. It’s an extremely important factor to think about, so clue yourself up.
Seek product testers
An important stage of any business is seeking out people to test your business idea. Whether that be a product you’ve created, or a service that solves a multitude of problems, you’ll need that feedback from real people. This works by sending them your product or service free of charge and in exchange, they review it either via blog form, on your website, or if you’re using a social media influencer, they may choose to review your product using video.
How you’re going to market your business
So you’ve got your business idea, you’ve begun building a website, and you’ve got everything ready to launch as soon as possible. Now what? How will people know about your business, especially now many people are choosing to stay in their homes rather than browsing the highstreet. This is where marketing comes in, and the sooner you begin marketing your business the better. Here are some tips to help you effectively market your business.
People of all age ranges and target audiences use social media every day, and one of the fastest ways of reaching them is through popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok. Learning the algorithms of each social media platform may take some time, but will reward you greatly. You can also buy books or attend online webinars to help improve your social media game.
Hashtags are extremely useful. Creating your own hashtag and adding it to all of your posts online will help lead people to you that you may not have reached through your followers. You should also conduct thorough hashtag research for any other hashtags that you use on social media, as Instagram actually blocks hashtags that it perceives as being spammy. Rather than using the most popular hashtags, choose hashtags that are relevant to the post, your business, and the industry you fall into.
Use visual content as much as possible. Unless you’re looking for something to read, it’s very unlikely that you’ll stop on a post that’s just a block of writing. Try and portray your message through content such as an image, a boomerang, or even a video to post onto your social media platforms. In fact, viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text. (Insivia). This is another area your product testers can come in and help you. A short video with their thoughts on your product will help more than you think.
Once you’re more established, you can use social media to get people involved through stories and polls. This will help you conduct more research about what your target audience would like to see more or less of, therefore giving you the ability to mould your business around what people want!
Build your brand
In today’s world you need to be recognisable, and your ultimate goal is to pop into people’s heads whenever they need whatever it is you’re selling. This is where branding comes in, and it’s extremely important when it comes to your recognisability. Decide and stick to particular marketing efforts such as:
- A colour scheme
- What font to use
- Your logo
- A jingle or tag line
- A theme for your social media posts
- The tone of voice you use when writing on your website or anywhere online
Doing this will help create brand familiarity, and people will begin to think of your business whenever they need your product or service.
Work out the financial costs of your startup
Finally, arguably one of the most important things to do when considering starting a business is working out the financial side of things. How much will your start up cost, and will you need a loan while things get going? Speaking to a financial advisor before making any decisions will help prevent you from making any financial mistakes along the way.