Has the lockdown inspired you to do something beyond your regular job? Are you finally ready to fuel the entrepreneurial fire in you? If you are ready to go down a meandering new path of excitement and challenges, then starting a business in lockdown might just be the most rewarding milestone of your life.
Starting a new business is a great way to channel your interests and invest in something that you are truly passionate about. It is also a very effective way to improve your skills and increase your appetite for risk as well as your decision-making ability.
If you are planning to use your spare time in 2020 to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true, then here are five simple steps to starting a new business in lockdown.
1. Find The Right Business Idea
Don’t put yourself under too much pressure to find a unique business idea that hasn’t been done before. The idea is to find something that’s ideal for your abelites, knowledge, and skillset. Additionally, the success of any business idea is largely based on its execution and promotion.
Ask and address the following questions to better understand what business idea will work well for you:
- What are your passions, interests, and hobbies?
- Are you better equipped to solve a problem or address issues related to your interests as opposed to other experts from the same field?
- What are your strengths, skills, weaknesses, and personality traits?
- What industries and verticals truly excite you?
- Have you identified any gaps or issues that have not been addressed by other businesses?
Successfully addressing these questions will help you draft up a scalable plan for your business idea. This combined with your skills and market opportunities will help you set the wheels in motion for your new business to take off in the right direction.
A pro tip here is to share your idea with friends, family, and colleagues to get a different perspective. Discussing your ideas with similarly abled people might just give you that ‘aha!’ moment you’ve been looking for!
2. Study The Market
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected several businesses and markets. Before you zero in on your business idea, it’s essential to do thorough market research and to conduct a business value proposition. Whether you are selling an innovative new product or offering a never-before-like impeccable service, it’s better to first conduct thorough market research.
Start by addressing the following questions:
- Does your product have a demand? If yes, what is the demand like?
- Who are your competitors?
- Who are your customers? What are the demographic and psychographic traits of your ideal customer?
- What channel are target customers most active on?
- Do you need an elaborate supply chain activity to deliver your products or services?
- How many people do you need to hire? And for how many tasks?
- Do you need any raw materials or inventory management?
- What will be your Go-To-Market Strategy?
Answering these questions will help you plan an effective and realistic business strategy. This will also give you a fair idea and a sense of direction for your setting up your business.
3. Register The Perfect Domain Name
Lockdown or no lockdown, having an online presence is an absolute must. Needless to say, in the current times, a fully online business has a higher success rate as compared to brick and mortar setups. Having a strong online presence will not only help you reach more people, but it will also help your business generate more awareness and credibility.
But how do you stand out from the relentless competition? The answer lies in the details. For instance, the right domain name can do wonders for your business. A great domain name that is short, catchy, unique, and downright simple can catapult your business into a memorable entity.
Given the fact that there are millions of businesses out there, finding a snappy name on a domain extension that will help you stand out from the crowd is bleak. Fortunately, though, there are a few ultra-cool brand-new domain extensions like .cyou that offer vast reserves of available names.
Sticking to the same example, the newly launched .cyou domain extension has recently opened up for trademark holders and with its special Early Access Program, you can register the name of your choice during the first seven days of its general availability.
This is a great example of how a new business can pick a memorable online identity on a slick new domain extension and stand out from the crowd. Having said that, you can also opt for a name on a distinct .icu domain or a finance-specific .bond domain.
4. Go All Out To Spread The Word
The next important step is to promote your business and the easiest way to do so is to create a buzz in social media. Identify which platforms suit your business and which social media platform your potential customers spend maximum time on. Go all out on these platforms by publishing valuable content and informing them about your business and what it does.
Allocate money and regularly invest in paid promotions to create a hype and to spread the word faster. Another great way to get the word out is to collaborate with an influencer who will help you spread the word to relevant audiences.
Once you build your base of followers and customers, start sharing user stories and testimonials to establish credibility in the market. Get your family and friends to share positive reviews and feedback to get the ball rolling. Remember, word of mouth marketing is still the king of all promotional strategies.
5. Start Selling
With social distancing being the new normal, it’s important to identify your sales channels and how you will monetize your business. If you are selling a service, then identify all the possible platforms and channels with which you can reach your customers.
For instance, if you are offering fitness services, go live on Instagram, do bi-weekly zoom calls, shoot videos for your YouTube channel, and start micro-blogging on Instagram.
Similarly, if you are selling a product, identify which platform is best for selling and delivering your products. Will you use a marketplace like Amazon or create your own distribution channel by relying on third-party delivery vendors?
Once you identify the most profitable and convenient sales channel, you can start selling and fuel the business-bug in you!
There is no better time than the present to breathe life into your ideas. If you have always dreamt of being your own boss or to have an additional source of income or to build something meaningful that makes you proud of yourself, then starting a business in lockdown is the way to go. Always remember, if you don’t spin the wheels of your idea into motion, someone else will!