What to consider before starting a small business during COVID-19

The Optimist opened in 2020 | Photo by @theoptimistraleigh

Starting your own business is always going to be challenging but in 2020, things got a little trickier due to COVID-19. However, that doesn’t mean you should shelve your business idea — you may just need to reconsider your approach.

Be Ready To Adapt And Expect The Unexpected

The world has reminded us that we need to be flexible. If your business is rigid in its structure and strategies, it won’t survive the first year + become a thriving company. 

If you build your business with this in mind, you’ll be ready for any changes the world throws at you. Do not allow yourself to become complacent. 

Keep An Eye On Long-Term Strategies

While having an immediate connection to COVID-19 seems like a plus, remember that this too shall pass — eventually people will no longer need to wear masks, worry about social distancing or using vast quantities of sanitizer. And though life may never entirely go back to the way it was some kind of *normal* will most likely resume in the next year. 

If, or when, it does, what will happen to your business?

When drawing up your business plan, you must determine how you can get up and running in current times as well as how you’ll succeed in the long run. If you don’t have an eye on the future, you’ll get caught short down the line.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Financial Help

Small businesses in Raleigh have been able to find support and assistance in various ways during the pandemic. 

  • Raleigh Small Business COVID-19 Relief Fund gave $850,000 to the Carolina Small Business Development Fund. Small businesses received grants of $10,000 or less to cover their regular operating costs.
  • Duke Energy Storefront Revitalization Grant has awarded $375,000.00 in grants to 97 locally owned small businesses
  • The NC Artists Relief Fund (a collaboration between Artspace, Theatre Raleigh, PineCone, VAE Raleigh + the United Arts Council) donated $210,146.50 to over 712 local artists. 

With the global crisis has come a wide range of government grants and funding. Looking at these resources for assistance in getting your business up and running is definitely a smart idea.

Success Stories

2020 may not have been the year to inspire most with thoughts of entrepreneurship but even in the face of a raging pandemic and social unrest a few brave individuals took the plunge — Purr Cup Café, The Optimist and Bearded Bee Brewing were just a few of the new businesses to open in Raleigh.

Contributing writer Megan Hudson is a content writer for various online publications — often covering a range of business topics from finance for startups to small business accounting tips. Do you want to join the conversation? Share your thoughts by contributing to our Voices platform.