Resilience is the magic word for businesses right now because most are struggling to stay afloat amid the ongoing pandemic. It is all the more crucial for startups that are inherently vulnerable even to the smallest blow. No matter how great an idea you have, you are bound to face challenges when launching a venture during these tough times.
Still, you must not lose hope because many entrepreneurs have managed to make it through the crisis and keep their dream ventures growing. Everything boils down to taking the right approach to dealing with the challenges and staying resilient despite them. Here are some inspiring lessons by real entrepreneurs that can guide you.
Strong relationships matter the most
A startup still building its foundation can depend on strong relationships to stay resilient through these challenging times. While agreement terminations are more common than ever amid the downturn, you must go the extra mile to save and strengthen the existing relationships. Keep in touch with your partners, vendors, employees, and customers, and tell them how important they are.
It isn’t the time to cease investing in old relationships and look for new ones. Everyone wants to work with people they know and trust, so paying attention to current partnerships could be the best opportunity to keep your business running and sales flowing. Moreover, building new relationships can be exhausting and expensive at this point.
Plan for maintaining adequate cash reserves
Budding businesses often fail because they lose grip over their cash reserves. Securing your cash reserves should be your top priority right now because it can keep your business running smoothly during an unexpected crisis. Experts suggest that you keep a few months of cash reserves to stay afloat even when sales trickle.
With the pandemic still around, you must not get complacent with the efforts because repeated waves can send your customers home at any time. Think small with short-term survival in mind because building up large reserves may harm the operations. Saving as much as possible and identifying alternative revenue streams are the best measures to keep your cash reserves on track.
Consider funding as a continual process
Even if you manage your cash reserves well enough, you cannot be sure about handling sudden emergencies. Unexpected expenses like damage to machinery or a sudden disruption are hard to handle. You will need a lot of money to address them, and cash reserves wouldn’t be enough. Entrepreneurs need to understand that funding is a continual process, so it is crucial to keep track of possible avenues for arranging quick funds.
Staying in touch with your investors at all times is a good idea. Identify opportunities for loans for average credit if you don’t have a great score. After all, you will not want to struggle with loan approvals at the last moment only because of your poor credit history. Network in the industry and identify sources you can turn to for help when you need it.
Be visible with a powerful marketing strategy
Nothing matters more for startups than being visible to your target audience. You may have the best products and services, but the sheer fact that people don’t recognize your brand puts you at a disadvantage. They will rather stick to the renowned brands just because they don’t have the mind frame to explore. It is time to invest in a powerful marketing strategy, which may be daunting because of tight startup budgets and the current downturn.
Thankfully, you can power up your marketing initiative without spending a fortune. Invest in non-traditional tactics such as social media promotions and storytelling. Social media marketing gives you a broader reach without stretching your budgets. Additionally, it empowers your brand with word-of-mouth recommendations. Storytelling keeps the audience engaged and coming back for more. Create a compelling narrative about your brand, share your vision, and showcase the efforts to respond to customers’ needs.
Focus on empathy and solidarity
Another valuable lesson for entrepreneurs who want to achieve business resilience is to focus on empathy and solidarity. It isn’t easy to be empathic when you are stressed about survival and have more than one urgent issue to handle. The constant fear of losing control makes it even harder to think empathically. But compassionate leadership can take you a long way during a crisis.
Showing that you care for your employees and customers can make your business stand apart. A little empathy and solidarity right now give your venture the kick start it needs to become a big brand. When you show that you care, people will likely remember and stick with you for the long haul. It could translate into better retention of employees and more loyalty of the customers.
Build a culture for agile decision making
Agility is the key to resilience, not only for established companies but also for new ventures. Building a culture for agile decision-making can help you seize unexpected opportunities that often come with a crisis like this one. Many businesses survived and achieved immense success because they pivoted quickly during the pandemic. For example, a quick shift to e-commerce and better remote support are some great ideas that gave them an edge.
Quick action can set your startup apart in the current times, so you must be ready to embrace new ideas before your competitors do. An established decision-making framework takes you a step ahead because it speeds up action. The future is still uncertain, and an agile mindset keeps your startup strong no matter what happens.
Startup entrepreneurs must have the ability to lead with optimism because keeping the team morale high is valuable at such times. Assure that you are in this together and seek their support to keep the business up and running. Accept obstacles as a part of the journey and find ways to clear them. Your tenacity and relentless commitment are as important as smart financial and operational decisions for achieving resilience amid a crisis.