In the past two months, more than four friends have shared their new business ideas with me. It actually got me thinking – Is it really a good time to launch a new business with apprehensive investors, careful buyers, and people being laid off?
But after passing the ideas through a prism of long deep thoughts, the spectrum revealed many variables worth considering.
Ideas for start-ups are often clouded in uncertainty even during the best of times. In the middle of such unprecedented global uncertainty, it might seem rational to think it’s best to shelve any such plans for the time being but in reality, it could actually be the best time to launch a new business.
With the growing demand for new ways to work, products selling in light of health concerns, social distancing norms, and desire for new ways to access high-demand products; your start-up idea could be just what’s needed.
Launch or Postpone? Here are a few thoughts to consider
The last four months have revealed gaps between what’s needed during right now and what’s actually available. Quick searches will tell you exactly where there are supply chain issues, lack of local manufacturing for much-needed products and for services to expedite those products (burning example- masks and sanitizers, life-saving drugs etc.).
Now is the time to create the type of change that could help solve such issues during and after this pandemic. Ask yourself:
If it does, then move quickly and find ways to accelerate its launch. If it doesn’t, then it may be better to wait until the environment is more conducive to your business idea.
If your idea is in demand:
You can always return to your original idea later on; for now just consider the type of response you get from investors and your target audience in order to determine the viability of your modified idea.
If it’s viable proceed, otherwise; put your plans on hold.
One of the biggest deciding factors will be your ability to obtain funding but thanks to the ongoing crisis it isn’t abundantly available. Investing, in general, is down, but an analysis of company funding (Source: Crunchbase) statistics since the Great Recession shows there are certain sectors and business types that may be worthy of investment, even now.
In fact, Slack held its seed round in 2009, while Coupa and Box did their C and B-1 rounds respectively that same year.
Some of the largest companies were actually founded during deep recessions. From General Motors and Disney to FedEx, IBM, Google, and Salesforce; some of today’s biggest successes were launched before or during economic downturns like the Great Depression and the dot-com bust. These companies either operated on bootstrapped budgets or received funding from investors desperate to put the economy back on track.
If you can make the case that your business model helps to solve a problem and can put people to work, then you might be able to benefit from government and semi-government investing institutions, looking to reignite the success of small businesses in India.
Also, explore programs like Start-up India, and initiatives by your respective state governments which can help you launch your business.
Doesn’t matter how good a jockey you are, you won’t win races riding a donkey. If you don’t have the people who share the same passion, are dedicated, have risk-taking ability, chances are that your start-up idea will never leave the ground.
If you can find the right talent willing to join your startup and take a chance on it during such uncertain times – you are already halfway there. I am talking about graphic designers, coders, virtual assistants, accountants, copywriters, and the like. Depending on their financial position, they may or may not be able to work on an equity basis.
For now, this approach can get you the required skills to launch. Later on, when the situation improves and your start-up develops, you might be able to convince them to leave their other freelance roles and join you full-time.
If you decide that this is not the right time for your startup idea, don’t feel bad about pressing the pause button. These uncertain times will pass and you’ll have another opportunity to launch. Think of this time as an opportunity to invest more time to research, plan, and develop your business idea to improve its odds for success down the road.
We will be happy to coach you if you have any such ideas and want a neutral perspective. Write to us at [email protected]
Author: Vishal Punetha
Corporate Training Consultant
I Train Consultants India Pvt. Ltd.
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