Before the end of 2020, I was curious to know how many businesses started during COVID-19. As a result of the pandemic and lockdown, businesses closed their doors and people lost their jobs for an undetermined period of time. In the midst of this sudden global lockdown, the pandemic was a catalyst for many to start a business, side hustle, pivot or create a new market.
I posted a question in four Business-, Entrepreneurship- or Startup- related Facebook Groups:
I received innumerable responses minute after minute, hour after hour for five days about people sharing their motivation to starting a business.
I collated everyone’s responses from all four groups and broke them down into two categories: Catalyst (why?) and Type of Business (what was their business?).
COVID-19 has undoubtedly been a catalyst for people to start a business in 2020. However, the pandemic, the lockdown, people’s loss of jobs, working from home, all these invariable factors shifted people’s mindset about their purpose, family, work-life balance and opportunities. Not only that, it propelled people to think creatively and innovate in a disruptive time that COVID-19 caused in people’s “normal” lives.
- HAVING A PURPOSE, STRENGTH & PASSION
It’s impressive to see the range of businesses built out of a purpose, strength and passion. From an apiary to sustainable gift boxing, to old school dating and hula hooping, these businesses highlight the relationship between passion, strength (or skills), profit and mission to turn into a purposeful business — it’s also imperative to consider if you are solving a problem; we’ll get to that in a moment.
In the meantime, if you’re unsure about your purpose, strength or passion, create a Purpose Venn Diagram. In each circle, jot down what you love to do, what you are good at, what you are paid for, and what the world needs. Find the relationship between each circle. And, voilà, you zeroed in on your purpose.
If you want to deepen your knowledge on fulfilling your purpose, read about the Japanese concept of Ikigai to living a fulfilling life by finding the convergence between your passion, vocation, mission and profession.
At the start of 2020, Australia was hit by bushfires and only when the country was slowly recovering from this natural catastrophe, the pandemic hit. As people were being made redundant or seeing no sign of returning to normal, the pandemic has shone a light on ineffective business-as-usual practices.
With time in our hands for reflection, people have realized a clash in values with employers, family-work-life inflexibility and permeated toxicity in workplace culture. Meanwhile, we have witnessed our ability to innovate, think creatively and courageously collaborate in uncertain circumstances. Our business-as-usual work and lifestyle norms have been shattered (for good) to revamp our work, lifestyle and businesses. Unfortunately, some businesses have shut down while others have pivoted and revamped to stay ahead of the curve— like this restaurant in the alpine town of Bright, Victoria that pivoted into a successful online store selling their BBQ sauce in an attempt to save their livelihoods.
Although a grim year, there have been positives coming out of 2020, such as, selling a bundle of goods to farmers for care and connection or sourcing all products from small Australian businesses into gift packages.
While we move into the normality of intermittent lockdowns, curfews and restrictions, are businesses consistently embedding innovative practices and tools to be agile and nimble to stay ahead of the curve in 2021 and ahead in this decade?
If 2020 taught us that changes occur unpredictably, then people behind businesses have no choice to develop an infinite mindset to consistently future-proof their business. Listen to a recent podcast with Brené Brown and Simon Sinek on Developing an Infinite Mindset on comparing finite mindset versus infinite mindset and their correlation with business growth and success.
3. SOLVING A MARKET PROBLEM
When you identify a problem in the market, your solution (product or service) is a market-fit solution. In other words, it is imperative to ask yourself if your solution is responding to your customers’ needs; without your customers’ pain points at the forefront of your solution, you will miss the mark for profitability and growth.
Remember the article I wrote about How Entrepreneurs Start a Business “Out of a Frustration”. Think about a frustration or a lack of product or service, identify your target market (customers)’s needs and connect the dots with a viable solution. For instance, Map This was created in the Pilbara region in Western Australia — a remote area renowned for its iron ore industry. Because there was no opportunity for a skilled person (market problem) in Geographic Information System (GIS), this business owner created a web-based service, specializing in spatial analytics, providing data and mapping advice (solution) to all types of industry (customers).
If you’ve got an idea and are unsure on how to map your idea, Canvanizer is a web-based and editable lean canvas tool to put your idea on paper (or should I say on screen). If you want a better understanding on moving your idea to a viable solution, Eric Ries’ Lean Startup walks you through the principles of building, measuring and learning about your valued proposition (solution).
Since the beginning of 2021, we have had some states go into lockdown on short notice; refreshing our memory that the pandemic is not over, yet. These top three motivators should propel you to build a purpose-driven business or revamp your current one with innovative processes and tools to stay future-proof.
If you have a viable solution and ready to run a business, contact Propel Innovations for a step-by-step guide on setting up your business.
Want to find out more about how to streamline your business with web-based products and tools to be future-proof? Contact Propel Innovations now with your enquiries.