Steffen Schebesta, an Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) member in Toronto, is the CEO and VP of Corporate Development at Sendinblue, a marketing platform for small businesses. We asked Steffen how the pandemic has affected startups and the tools they need to succeed. Here's what he shared:
If you believe in your small business idea, now is an opportune time to take the leap into entrepreneurship. It's critical to consider the economic climate when outlining your business plan. So, how do you start a new business on the heels of a global pandemic?
The past two years have brought great uncertainty, but many businesses have successfully adapted. With a well-thought-out and strategic plan, you can harness your passion, launch a small business, and achieve success during these turbulent times.
Start with the basics. Ask yourself: Why do I want to start a business? If you are confident in your unique offering, here are a few ways to drive success for your small business during and after the pandemic.
Find Your Niche
The pandemic affected everyone by shifting the roles of work and personal life. With these changes, new gaps appeared in the market, and existing gaps were enlarged. That leaves space for new small businesses to prosper. A new small business can create value in niche markets that larger companies don't serve.
It is nearly impossible to start a business without establishing an online presence. Thousands of businesses closed for good during the pandemic--but many avoided that outcome by focusing strong efforts on building their online community. During such an online boom, small businesses must find and use the right digital tools to thrive.
Take advantage of social media and create personalized content. Social media management tools can empower you to make the most of your brand presence online and schedule content in advance. Email marketing is another inexpensive yet rewarding tool to explore. Finally, leverage the power of search engine optimization (SEO) to become more searchable online.
Network, Network, Network
Though traditional networking happens through in-person meetings and events, online networking with professionals is more accessible now with social media platforms, including Clubhouse, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Identify local networking groups or events in your area to build professional relationships. Most networking groups have a Slack community, which can be advantageous, as that's one of the most effective ways to connect with new professionals in your industry of interest and share new ideas. Never underestimate the power of building relationships, whether online or offline.
Adapting to change is the key to success, and the pandemic is no anomaly to this. Today, small businesses can evolve to find their niche, use online communications, and leverage local and social communities to be successful players in the market, both during and after the pandemic.