Is it the right time to start an online business?

COVID-19 Business Support

start an online business

We are emerging from a global pandemic that forced the world into lockdown for several weeks; there is a widespread recession looking highly likely, and many businesses are shutting their doors permanently as they were unable to weather the storm…yet, so many people are thinking “is now the right time to start up an online business?”

This is not a daft question at all; it is actually a very good proposition because right now could well be the perfect time to start a new business. If you have a product, service or idea that can bring some joy in a time of great uncertainty, then you could be on to a winner, and here’s why.

Is it ever a good idea to start a business during a recession?

Surprisingly, a recession can offer lots of benefits to businesses, especially startups.

During a recession, people tend to focus on necessities and this can mean that they turn to solutions to the problems they are faced with. So, if you have an innovative idea that you truly believe is what the world needs right now, then it’s definitely worth going for it. For example, are you proposing to sell hygiene-related products? Do you offer a sanitising service? Or do you have some other idea that might catch the attention of investors in this current climate?

What’s more, interest rates are usually lower which makes borrowing more accessible. So, if you are worried about funding, then you might be surprised that lenders are more willing to invest if you pitch your business idea just right.

Some of the most talented workers are suddenly out of work due to businesses being unable to weather the storm that the Coronavirus created, so you could be in with a chance of securing the perfect team to help launch your new business venture if you get the timing just right. In addition, with many people choosing to work from home as freelancers, you may find opportunities to work with individuals on a more flexible basis which could be just what you need instead of taking on staff with an unknown workload or with no clue as to what you actually need.

So what might be the best angle for your startup?

You’ve no doubt heard of the small soap and sanitizer companies whose businesses took off at the start of the pandemic when there was a shortage of supplies in superstores. This may have been a spot of luck for them, but it also opened up many people’s eyes to the importance of buying from small businesses and kick-started the resurgence of the ‘shop local’ slogan.

Never before have we seen so many businesses using the ‘shop local’ branding on their social media engagements, but this doesn’t mean to say that you only have to trade in your own area. Small businesses can operate worldwide these days, with the advancement of technology facilitating card transactions, digital communications and widespread marketing. With the right website hosting, you can have total control as to how you use the site to reach out to customers.

But while you can be taking orders from anywhere in the country – or world – you might like to offer those around you a special discount. For example, you could offer free delivery to people in the surrounding areas to entice people to shop from you rather than going to the big players.

Clients like the idea of purchasing something that is homemade or unique in some way, as opposed to something that they could buy just about anywhere. So what is your original angle on your product or service? Now is the time to convey your message – whether it is that you are a family-run business with values at your core, or that you seek to employ people who have recently lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic… the key thing is to shout about what makes you different and stand out in the world.

Another important angle is to offer hands-free services such as online sales or contactless payments and deliveries.

What are some of the best startups as we come out of this pandemic?

Some of the businesses that have seen the most success so far during this whirlwind time have been food delivery businesses, delivery companies in general, luxury items and gift items, online tutoring and other online sales. Don’t think that by starting a business during this recession, your trading will come to an end once life returns to normal. There is absolutely no reason for any of the above businesses to fail outside of the pandemic.

So go for your dream and make it happen now!