The COVID crisis is nothing like the world has ever seen before and there won’t probably be something of this magnitude ahead. Businesses are struggling to stay afloat and things can be even worse if you are running a startup. There couldn’t be a bigger challenge than could come your way, apart from the conventional ones that new ventures encounter. The one-word formula that applies to all businesses in the current scenario is business resilience. If you want to get through and stay strong until the crisis ends, you need to be resilient and tough.
This is easier said than done, particularly if you have just started your entrepreneurial journey. Still, it isn’t something unachievable because the right approach can help you sustain and come out of the crisis unscathed. But it requires proper resilience planning, which may differ a bit from that for established businesses. They have a strong foundation while you may still be consolidating. Obviously, you will have to go the extra mile with your strategies and efforts. Here are some factors you need to bear in mind with resilience planning for your startup in the post-COVID world.
Evaluate short-term liquidity
Cash flow is perhaps the most significant element of startup operations at any point in time and it becomes all the more important in the current situation. Consider instilling a short-term cash flow monitoring process so that you can predict cash flow bottlenecks and intervene before things go haywire. At the same time, maintain strict discipline on your working capital, particularly around managing inventory build-up and collecting receivables. Stay in touch with your suppliers to pinpoint potential risks. This will ensure liquidity and seamless cash flow even when the market is tight and sales dry up.
Cut down your expenses
Even while you will be comfortable with the minimum viable approach as a startup, you will have to be more watchful about your expenses to build resilience at this stage. Every small measure can help. Renegotiating rents for offices, stores, and warehouses is a smart move and real estate owners will probably help in the tight spot. Reduce administrative expenses and restrict all non-essential travel for your business. You can also save considerably on marketing expenses by looking for cost-effective alternatives like digital marketing.
Leverage technology smartly
Technology is an aspect that you cannot overlook while planning resilience for your startup. You cannot survive without a recovery plan for handling the situation and realigning with the new normal. It would be best to outsource reliable IT support you can trust because this model costs much less than having an in-house IT team. They can help your business to gear up for demand rebound and also implement measures to ensure uptime and continuity even if a part of your team has to work remotely.
Ensure compliance with regulations
As businesses reopen in the post-COVID phase, there are certain government regulations they need to comply with. Not doing so can land your startup into trouble, which is the last thing you would want to happen. Staying ahead of the health and safety guidelines will not only keep you safe from the authorities but also ensure the health and wellness of your employees. Customers would trust you for implementing these measures while your employees will deliver higher levels of productivity when they see that you care. Most importantly, compliance also has a positive impact on your startup’s reputation, which will benefit you in the long run.
Be agile and adaptive
Even before you take steps for putting your resilience plan into action, you need to understand the value of being agile and adaptive. The current business landscape is dynamic and things may change at any point in time. The same goes for consumer behavior and expectations as well. Staying ahead of the market trends and consumer expectations are crucial to startup resilience. You also need to adapt and align with the changing circumstances with an agile approach. Acting quickly can give you a competitive advantage and get you, customers, before your rivals do. This is something that matters a lot for new brands that have to deal with stiff competition at the initial stages.
Building business resilience is not rocket science although it may seem daunting if you have just entered into the market. Still, being vigilant and adaptive can take you on the right track. At the same time, you should be willing and able to embrace digital technologies without any apprehensions. Surely, these are worth the efforts and expense because they will keep delivering benefits even after the pandemic ends and things get back to normal.