The Road Ahead for Startups in the Current Economic Recession

By Adriaan Brits Saturday, August 8, 2020

Many businesses and major corporations have seen years of hard work come crashing down right in front of them. The current economic environment is buzzing with private investors seeming wary to invest in local businesses. Additionally, the National Bureau of Economic Research announced in June that the United States is officially in a recession.

The economic outlook for 2020 has seen many new entrepreneurs and young business owners quickly looking for federal funding and opening their books for private investors. However, the current economic climate does not seem positive. The US still battles with the crippling effects left behind by national lockdown, and new safety regulations to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Making a Change

New startups may see some light at the end of the tunnel, but this may only come a little bit later in the year, as many analysts have stated that full economic recovery will only be reached by 2021 at the earliest. Although new startups and small businesses can compromise on certain aspects — low staff members, affordable operating space, and community support — entrepreneurs will soon need to rethink their current market approach to ensure their business survives.

Many have already started looking for new innovative and authentic channels to keep their doors open. Overall there has been a surge in online shopping, due in part to consumers facing weeks-long lockdowns. Smaller businesses are seeing an increase in online support, as many have come to realize the convenience of online purchasing. A selection of digital elements is undoubtedly changing and enhancing the online shopping experience.

Small businesses and startups will need to look at ways to make their daily operations work with limited resources. It is difficult for any business owner to decide where to cut costs or save an extra couple of dollars. These actions will need to be done sooner, rather than later, as it will help ensure the survival of the business, but also help you from making an unfavorable decision in the future.

Having the discipline to make radical decisions can mean success or failure. Beating against the uncertainty of the current market will only push a new startup further away from its end goal. In this instance, it is considered good for owners to rethink how it fits and trade in the market. Every business and major company is looking for potential new clients or customers. It is noticeable that these companies are quickly adapting to market needs, seeking out ways to attract them in a somewhat unconventional way.

The key here is that smaller startups should not necessarily change their entire product or service offering, but should adopt a keen sense of current market trends. It is important to remain within reach of your established client basis, keeping an open-ended form of communication, and constantly keeping them informed about the road ahead. Having a transparent identity with those who support you the most during times of adversity makes it possible for your business to remain in a semi-comfortable position while transitioning.

Reaching Out

Being an active business owner and using your networking skills will help shed light on who you can approach. During these times, it is clear that many investors might not be open to push money into smaller entities, but for startups, the additional resources can mean a great deal. Owners should find out who is still investing, whether it be private or public. 

Although these investors might not offer the additional capital right on the spot, it would be smart to keep them close by for the coming months. Fluctuating markets are making it more difficult for businesses to find active investors as they tend to make their deals below the radar. Find the perfect opportunity to approach investors, and although the initial interaction might not be too exciting, it is good to have them in your network.

Go With the Flow

The ability to adapt is key, especially during an unprecedented time and crisis. It’s not certain how long these troubles will endure, or when the world might return to normal. But, adapting and creating ways to make it through unpredictable times will show the true worth and stability of your business.

Operating a business in such an agile time calls for owners to have a strategic plan at hand. It’s difficult to be patient, but in so, small startups can build a great sense of market competitiveness and plan for the foreseeable future.  

About the Author

Headshot of author Adriaan Brits

As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.

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