Most entrepreneurs will remember 2020 as a year that they will not soon forget. The challenges were (and continue to be) numerous, ranging from reorganising daily operations and becoming accustomed to remote labour to a scarcity of new funding. While the epidemic shows no signs of abating, at least until the year 2021, it is reasonable to claim that we now have a better understanding of how to cope with the commercial issues that it presents.
In this piece, we’ll walk you through the current difficulties and offer five suggestions for how entrepreneurs can emerge victorious in these trying times.
What challenges can startups expect in 2021
If there is one thing COVID has taught entrepreneurs, it is the importance of being able to react fast and adapt to changing circumstances. However, due to the tremendous scope of the problem, even the most agile businesses are struggling to keep their heads above water.
Apart from falling behind in necessities such as business growth and profitability, the following are the five most significant problems that startups must face head-on:
Financial constraints: As a result of the pandemic-induced rapid global economic slowdown and departure of venture capital, you will be unable to raise funding in the foreseeable future. Consequently, if you are considering soliciting funds for expansion or innovation, you may be disappointed in the results.
Lack of high-quality talent: Most companies have a small employment base, with the majority of them consisting of the founding team. As a result, you will be more sensitive to labour supply fluctuations during the pandemic. And losing a key employee at this point would cause significant disruption in your company’s operations.
Employee productivity is plummeting as a result of the implementation of stay-at-home orders. Many small firms are finding that their remote employees are failing to strike a balance between work and family life. Employees’ energy levels plunge to new lows as a result of being overworked. As a result of this, as well as lags in communication and collaboration, worker productivity is no longer what it was before the implementation of COVID.
Another breach of security: There are already so many things that startups need to be concerned about. As a result, increasing internet security is usually the last thing on people’s minds. However, this can be a highly risky frame of thinking, as hackers frequently target small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) because they lack the money and bandwidth to implement preventative measures. The majority of cyber-attacks are so devastating that around 60% of startups are forced to close their doors within six months of the intrusion.
Acquisition and retention of online clients are difficult tasks: To be honest, today’s online customers are fickle creatures that change their minds at any time. It is conceivable that they will jump into the waiting arms of the competition if you do not maintain sufficient engagement with them. This is why it is critical to concentrate efforts on acquiring new clients while also making investments in retaining the existing clientele.
5 ways in which startups can beat the COVID-blues!
The vast majority of startups are back in operation and running securely. However, to succeed in the ‘new normal,’ small enterprises must rethink their approaches to doing business.
There is no proven and proven strategy for dealing with the challenges the epidemic presents, but here are some tips compiled by our team of startup specialists to help you get your business moving in the right direction during this difficult time:
Improve your financial flow: Even the most well-laid strategies are now subject to change. To give your company a fighting chance during these trying times, you must do the following:
Pitch for financing over the internet: Yes, seeking cash is a time-consuming, complicated, and frequently difficult process. You may have to accept money at a lower valuation in some cases. But don’t give up hope just yet. Our advice is to put your best foot forward and produce visually stunning digital pitch decks and business proposals instead. Maintain a visually appealing design while emphasising the return on investment. Additionally, take advantage of a straightforward eSignature solution such as SignEasy to sign and share the terms sheet and other fundraising documentation. Make sure that your physical documentation workflow does not cause you to miss out on a lucrative financing opportunity at the very least.
During a period of economic crisis, if you are unable to find the ideal investor for your company, you might consider doing the next best thing: conserving your present resources. Choose “must-have” expenses over “good to have” expenses when it comes to investing in storage space, hiring workers, or doing administrative activities. But don’t skimp on technology; instead, look for choices that can provide a multifold return on investment in the form of a reduction in large expenses such as monthly salaries, printing costs, transportation costs, or the identification and liquidation of out-of-date inventory, for example.
In a difficult funding environment, it is critical to understand the constraints of your business idea and to pivot your business model or future investment plans to stay afloat and remain profitable.
Acquire government contracts and grants: While these kinds of victories are difficult to come by, if you are successful in procuring a government-linked source of income, it may be the thing that keeps your company afloat while it is on the path to recovery.
Workplace innovations that boost productivity should be chosen carefully: With everything from customer relationship management software to collaboration software and electronic signature solutions, numerous strong technologies are specifically designed to alleviate your employees’ remote work problems. Here are some of the most effective methods for assisting employees who work in a hybrid or entirely remote environment:
How SignEasy checks most of the boxes!
Make effective use of customer-experience solutions. To maintain customer loyalty, it is best to invest in things like loyalty programmes, live or AI-powered chats for quick issue resolution, digital feedback gathering, and customised solutions based on customer data. Customer experience solutions of this nature increase engagement and decrease customer turnover, resulting in a 2-7 per cent return on investment (ROMI).
Additionally, make the conversion to an e-commerce model and make your site compatible with eSignatures and digital money transactions to make doing business easier in these COVID times.
Upgrade your human resources and recruitment strategies: You should try to hire as many people as possible remotely during this time of crisis. And when you are interviewing people, be sure to look for characteristics that will make them suitable for remote work, such as self-motivation, proactive collaboration, and effective written and verbal communication. Also, make sure you have a clear succession plan in place, particularly for the C-suite. So, even if you have a nuclear team, you will have someone who can come in and take over important roles as needed. Finally, provide clear standard operating procedures (SOP) documentation so that any employee can pick up where the other has left off.
Mobile-first: The SignEasy iOS and Android apps provide the ideal online experience for Millennials and Generation Z employees.
Cloud-based: By integrating with a variety of cloud storage services, SignEasy enables you to save and source documents from anywhere in the world, regardless of your physical location.
Securing your data and sensitive information during the exchange, storage, and signing of the document are all important considerations.
Easy-to-use: There is no requirement to hire or train personnel to operate this gadget.
Productivity-enhancing features: SignEasy increases staff productivity by automating follow-ups and tracking the status of submitted documents.
Easy to use from anywhere: SignEasy allows you to sign documents from any location, at any time, without ever leaving your house.
SignEasy is reasonably priced, with monthly fees starting at only $8. SignEasy is easy to use.
Is your startup ready for 2021 and beyond
COVID-19, which will take place in 2021, is all about emerging stronger for startups. Discovering new sources of funding, increasing productivity and reducing resource consumption are all important goals, as is guaranteeing privacy, security, and data integrity from beginning to end.