One of the most effective lessons business owners learned during the Covid-19 pandemic is that external events can make or break your business. Unfortunately, no one was able to predict the lockdown. In fact, nothing like it ever happened before.
So, it is only natural that some companies capitalized on the whole stay-at-home situation; companies such as DoorDash, Netflix, Zoom, Microsoft, and Amazon came out as winners from the entire pandemic. However, on the other hand, some experienced the full force of the lockdown and weren’t able to survive, let alone thrive.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking to launch a new business venture or an already established business owner, you must not forget that there will be a few bumps and turns along the pathway to business success.
Entrepreneurship and failure go hand in hand. But, like everything else in life, it provides us with invaluable experiences, allowing us the opportunity to learn from our past mistakes. After all, your first attempt at something, in this instance, business ownership, might not always be successful.
Yet, there are a few ways you can make your business fail-proof to ensure that you weather the storm during an economic downturn or other external issues. So, without further ado, some of these ways are listed down below.
1. Remain well-prepared.
It is a well-known fact that preparation is the key to starting a successful business. So, instead of focusing on your business’s backend first, you must focus on its front end (sales, marketing, SEO, etc.). Moreover, sometimes it makes perfect sense to employ the help of a professional to handle backend services such as logistics and business management.
Moreover, you can hire a business manager who holds an online master’s in business to manage the day-to-day operations of your business. Or, you can partner up with logistics companies such as Shopify or Amazon to tackle your order fulfillment requirements.
Furthermore, you can also prepare in the form of waitlist campaigns and presales. After all, in today’s challenging business environment, presales will drastically increase your business’s chances of success. Take the example of Tesla. This company already has tons of demand well ahead of any new product or service launch. So, if premarketing is something you want to work on, build on that to increase your business’s demand.
2. Develop a plan and business model.
Everybody knows that Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla, just didn’t wake up one day and say to himself that he wanted to start an electric vehicle company.
In fact, he developed a solid game plan and roadmap well before the company came into being – he created a business plan way back in 2006, which was well before the launch of the first generation Telsa Model S P100D.
So, you should take a page out of Elon Musk’s book and start developing a plan and business model well before you actually decide to launch a company. Doing so will is a fail-proof way to keep your business’s doors open for the foreseeable future.
3. Turn your business into a must-have instead of a nice-to-have
Whenever the business world goes through a crisis, every business owner, entrepreneur, and even customer has to make some tough decisions and cut back. So, it is wise not to be one of these cuts. That said, changing your consumers’ perception about your services and products to a must-have from a nice-to-have is a vital business strategy for sustainable growth.
The businesses that want to thrive, let alone survive, are constantly searching for ways to turn their products and services into a necessity for their customers. However, your products and services won’t become must-haves by accident. In fact, you will have to provide your customers with a unique value proposition so they can come back for more.
4. Don’t fear innovation, but choose wisely.
It is a no-brainer for startups to constantly innovate day in and day out if they want to experience immense levels of success. However, there will come a time when bad choices will pile up and lead to financial disaster. As a result, the waste bin of failed startups is full of businesses that were once on the right path but changed their strategies for no good reason whatsoever. Therefore, they never recovered from the downfall that resulted from the decisions they made.
For instance, before the Covid-19 pandemic, companies like Spiffy decided to venture into the fleet business, mainly rental vehicles. However, they didn’t decide to give up their existing residential business. Instead, they innovated to search for ways to utilize their available resources for two separate markets.
That said, when Covid-19 came in with full force, the fleet industry experienced a downfall while the residential sector boomed. That, combined with an effective disinfection program, helped them get through tough times.
So, the moral of the story here is never to put all your eggs in one basket. Instead, diversify your offerings or launch a new business, but whatever you do, don’t try to fix things that aren’t broken.
5. Prevent marketing fumbles.
We can’t stress enough that overspending cash on unproven, untested marketing strategies will result in business failure. Moreover, doing so will eat away at your revenue, not to mention testing a new marketing strategy, especially during today’s unstable economic situation, is a disaster waiting to happen.
However, that doesn’t mean that you avoid new, innovative marketing methods altogether. Instead, you have to remain cautious when doing so, as even a single error or mistake could end up hurting your bottom line and result in setbacks.
It is wise to go with tried and tested marketing methods that are known to work like a charm, no matter the nature and size of your startup. Sure, creating and implementing a new marketing strategy is a step in the right direction. Still, it is advisable to avoid taking shots in the dark and go with your bread and butter marketing strategies.
Whatever your business knowledge and expertise level may be, you need to plan according to the changing business environment if you don’t want your business to fail. After all, nobody plans to fail. Instead, they fail to plan.
So, consider taking baby steps, and sooner rather than later, the bigger picture will be in front of you. Remember to follow the guidelines mentioned above so you can fail-proof your startup and enjoy immense levels of success, even when things become tough!