Launching a new business or start-up as a sole trader during a pandemic is challenging, but it’s not impossible. The crisis has opened up a world of possibilities to entrepreneurs willing to take a shot.
There are many-well known businesses that emerged after a global crisis and have become a great success. Companies like Uber, Instagram and even Milo were all created on the back of a recession, and Apple, Disney and Microsoft all had difficult beginnings as well.
Providing a novel solution to a consumer problem, or fulfilling an unmet or emerging need, is vital to commercial success in any climate – and particularly one with declining demand for discretionary products. But it’s not the sole thing entrepreneurs must get right.
COVID-19 has gotten people to rethink their entire lives, providing opportunities to offer new and exciting brands and services to consumers. Certain industries have even seen stronger demand and managed to thrive during the pandemic, including online service providers, farming and equipment, cleaning services, delivery services, fitness equipment and online fitness classes, healthcare and mask makers. In fact, in Australia there was a 6% increase in new business registrations from March to June 2020 compared to 2019*.
Before you start a new business, you will undoubtedly ask yourself a few questions, like:
- Does the market have a need for services that have risen out of the current crisis?
- Will my new business service the current market better than the current alternatives?
- Am I qualified to provide the service or solve this customer problem?
- If I don’t have the experience I need, can I hire or engage people to help me?
- Do I have access to funding that can help sustain my business until it’s profitable?
- Have I assessed the risks involved?
- Have I sought advice on the insurance coverage needed to meet any exposures?
If you have answers to some of these key questions, then you no longer need to put your dreams on hold. However, you may need to adapt your new business to the new way of doing business in the post-COVID world and prepare for the challenges that come with it.
Top tips to help with your start-up
Conduct market research
Think about what consumers need or are looking for right now. Consumer buying habits have significantly shifted amid the pandemic, so consider how your products and services would fit into your customers’ current lifestyle.
Develop a good digital marketing strategy
A strong digital marketing strategy can help bolster your new business through any uncertain times. Develop an engaging communication plan that stays true to your brand and helps build customer loyalty during the pandemic and even beyond. If marketing isn’t your core skill, especially if you’re starting as a sole trader, consider engaging a digital marketing specialist to help you get your new business online and in front of your customers.
Focus on good SEO practices
This goes hand-in-hand with your digital marketing strategy. It’s important to invest in a website with good search engine optimisation, or SEO. In today’s digital world, a good SEO strategy will help your business stand out against your existing competitors, so use strong metadata and SEO to boost your online presence.
Create a long-term, recession-proof business plan
The way business is conducted now is quite different to how it was done a few months ago and it could very well change again. Developing a long-term, recession-proof business plan with good financial planning in place will help ensure your start-up business can weather any crisis.
Know your risks and build a risk management plan
Risk management planning is important for any business – start-up or established.
Understanding potential risks to your business and finding ways to minimise their impacts is key to business success.
Get the right insurance coverage for your business
All businesses need insurance. There isn’t one universal policy for all businesses, so engaging a good insurance broker will help to give you the confidence you’ve identified and received the right cover for the needs of your business. The insurance policies and cover required will depend on many factors including your business type, size, industry, employee size, legal or regulatory requirements. They could include business interruption, public and property liability, machinery breakdown, insurances specific to your trade, cyber insurance and more.
When starting a new business, you can be particularly vulnerable and need to ensure that you are getting the best coverage and the best value to keep your business going and insured against all kinds of threats and risks.
Take the headache and hassle out of your insurance
Getting insurance should be as painless for a new business as possible. At Western General, we try to minimise the hassle for clients. And if you do need to make a claim, we’re here to see it through for our clients.
Western General – local knowledge, national capability
Western General is a local business with national and even international capability through our brokerage networks (Steadfast and Community Broker Network). Whether you’re looking for insurance for your new business or starting up as a sole trader, contact us for your free, no-obligation quote.