Do you have a new business idea that’s been rolling around in your head for quite some time now? Now that COVID vaccination rates in Australia is increasing and daily activities seem on the verge of returning to normal, why not implement it now?
Despite the recession that hits Australia during the beginning of the COVID pandemic in 2020, economic activity seems to be increasing across most sectors in 2021. Retail turnover in May 2021 increased by 20 per cent compared to May 2019 – a stark contrast from a drop of 10 per cent during May 2020. The number of businesses reporting a drop in month-to-month revenue in May 2021 has also halved compared to what it was in July 2020.
Although these numbers seem promising, starting a new business post-COVID may require some further considerations that are absent prior to the pandemic. Here are some things that you should keep in mind before you launch a business post-COVID.
Start from your local communities
Starting from your local communities does not only mean serving their needs with your products and services. It also means considering sourcing what your business needs locally. If COVID has proven anything, it is how easy it was for international trade and services to be disrupted. And with some form of COVID-related travel restrictions still largely in place for the majority of the world, it is better to rely on your local communities during the early days of your business launch to minimise your risks. As a bonus, you can leverage word-of-mouth advertising to increase awareness of your business by engaging local communities.
Adapting to new customer behaviours
COVID has, for better or worse, changed several customer behaviours. Online shopping now reigns supreme even in industries that have not traditionally prioritised the system in the first place. Product delivery or pickup is preferred by customers during COVID and may stay that way. Thus, there may be merit in adapting your business process to these new behaviours instead of looking into how your business sector usually conducts its business during normal times.
Prepare your worst-case scenarios
No one expected COVID – but some businesses struggled to survive even just the first few months of COVID-related restrictions. Make sure that this doesn’t happen to your business. Start small and make sure that you are in good financial condition on a monthly average before you consider further growing your business. Diversify your customer base as much as you can. By preparing for a worst-case scenario for your business, you may be able to weather the storms during the early days of your business.
Look into government supports for businesses
Although many COVID-related grants and measures are designed for businesses that had been around prior to the start of the COVID pandemic, there are grants that may fit new businesses as well. One of the most notable ones is the JobMaker Hiring Credit, which provides employers with payments from $100 to $200 for each employee they hire. If your new business is labour-intensive, it may be useful to leverage this grant. There may also be other government supports available for new businesses, which may be more state-specific.
These are but a small number of things from the many factors that you should consider when you’re launching a new business after COVID. Though there will be some changes to how the world looks like following COVID, if you’re well-prepared to navigate it, your new business may thrive even better than in a pre-pandemic world.