“The startups that weather the storm are going to be the ones that roll up their sleeves and commit to serving the customer right in front of them.”
– Austin Church, Brand Consultant & Founder of Balernum

Starting a business has always been a risky venture filled with challenges and difficulties to overcome. But with the current pandemic and economic downturn, these pains are amplified. However, it’s not necessarily the wrong time to continue with a business idea.

Kenneth Herring, our Business Development Manager at The IT Company, recently sat down with Brand Consultant and Founder of Balernum, Austin Church, to discuss how current events will affect the future of small business startups. We’ve taken the time to highlight some of the most important moments from their conversation, but you can also watch it in its entirety below.

Highlights:

  • There’s so much uncertainty in the world in general right now. As far as your business goes, focus on what you can control instead of what you can’t control.

    • With the pandemic and economic downturn, the uncertainty of a startup and related difficulties are so close to us that we have to grapple with them in a way that’s unusual, yet clarifying. When there’s so much you cannot control, you have to focus on what you can control.
    • Focus on serving the customer in front of you. Many times startups can get stuck on the scale they would like to achieve, and forget to serve the customer in front of them that can help them reach that scale. It is the perfect time to listen to customers.
  • Take the time to reevaluate your business’ product or service roadmap.

    • What are your customers really asking for? Does your roadmap line up with that?
    • Now more than ever is the time to listen to your customers. Listen to what your business roadmap is, but adding features and products to serve your customers best during this time will serve you well in the long run.
  • Companies who invest in their marketing/brand during economic downturns tend to do better.

    • An economic downturn amplifies the fact that there are clear winners and losers. People will still spend money, they may just spend a little less.
    • Make sure you’re set apart from your competitors in a virtual business world. Focus on your company’s brand awareness and value proposition. What sets you apart from other options your customers could choose?
    • Part of your value proposition doesn’t necessarily have to be about being cheaper than your competitors. If your customers like working with your business more than others, that can make just as big of a difference as a cheaper price point.
    • Make sure to tell the story of your business well. Get into the frustration of the existing solutions when telling the story of why your company is different.
  • COVID-19 and its far-reaching effects have only accelerated a paradigm shift that was already happening.

    • Small brick and mortar businesses that are hyper local will have to move online for the first time ever.
    • A lot of local companies and small businesses are going to need to get clients to find them online rather than rely on being found locally.
    • Find what will set your startup/business apart from all of the other choices available virtually online. You have to do this through a highly attractive value proposition. Maybe this means it’s time to specialize your services towards a very specific audience.
    • You can’t rely on the crutch of local marketing events anymore. You’re going to have to rely on digital lead generation.

For more information on how to navigate this new era of business startups in the midst of and in the aftermath of COVID-19, you can visit Balernum.com to find free resources to help you identify your brand’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. You can also find Austin on LinkedIn and Twitter.

If you feel like your company is still struggling to fully optimize a remote work model, and you don’t know where to start, reach out to us! One of our team members would be more than happy to discuss the first steps you may need to take to make sure that your remote setup is what your business needs.

Ready to take the first steps towards optimizing your remote workforce? Schedule a consultation!