Lockdowns have finished off tens of thousands of businesses around the world. Some estimates state that around 250,000 businesses will be lost in the UK alone in 2021.
As lockdowns become longer, more frequent, and more strict, especially when implemented during the most profitable times of the year, the economic impact of lockdown will worsen.
To pull out of this spiral, the only way forward is for businesses to become more creative, inventive, entrepreneurial. Some have managed to transition to continue to trade, and some, unfortunately, could not.
Northern Ireland based, Mark McCormick, may have some solutions to reignite your entrepreneurial soul and start the profits flowing again. You can find more details on the Mark McCormick Northern Ireland slideshow.
Whether you’re starting a business or trying to save your own one, you need to be able to trade online. Businesses that rely on foot traffic are the ones that are suffering the most, specifically hospitality, entertainment, and travel.
When putting your business plan together, you should factor in your profit/loss from an online-only trading perspective. Increasingly, if you’re applying for grants or business loans, this will be an aspect the banks will scrutinise.
Identifying Sound Lockdown Proof Markets
Another aspect to consider is that business markets are changing. Profitable businesses pre 2020 in hospitality and travel are struggling and will continue to struggle for much of the year. Big music festivals such as Glastonbury, for example, have been cancelled in 2021.
As such, if your business idea taps into a market that relies on entertainment or travel you’re going to struggle.
Conversely, if your business engages a market that can access your product/service online, you’re in a much better position.
If you look at businesses that shifted to online markets during the lockdowns, they have managed to survive and stay in the game.
Marketing has had to change and adapt both in tone and creativity during this lockdown. Businesses that pretended nothing had changed and carried on with normal marketing efforts tended to struggle. Those that acknowledged the lockdown and built it into their offering managed to find more engagement.
The general principles of marketing haven’t changed, i.e. identifying unique selling points and putting them forward to your audience. The selling points themselves, however, may have taken on a new meaning. If you can harness this new meaning, you could find that your business increases profits.
It is fair to say that marketing has come under a lot of pressure to keep companies relevant throughout 2020.
Never Say Die Attitude
Staying positive is a hard thing to do during lockdown. You have probably experienced mood swings. One day you’re feeling good and optimistic, the next you’re feeling a bit down. Ensure that you exercise regularly and try and put on an optimistic front to the staff at the very least. Encourage them to exercise and try and maintain a sense of humour.
Keep focused too. You will not get lost in the gloom of lockdown and you, like Mark McCormick Ireland, may discover your entrepreneurial soul.