Startups’ thoughts on the impact of COVID-19

As with most businesses, startups are preparing to deal with the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated measures to reduce its spread. During the recent How are Startups Gearing Up for the Post-COVID World online conference, entrepreneurs shared their thoughts on what the pandemic will ultimately mean for them and their businesses. Here’s are some of those thoughts:

  • Mixed bag of gains and losses – many businesses are seeing a surge in online activity. On the one hand, this is positive as it is boosting the number of users for online-based companies. At the same time, the value of transactions on average is much lower as the purchase of big ticket items has fallen significantly. Moreover, many businesses were not adequately prepared for this unexpected surge in online activity.
  • Opportunity in adversity – the pandemic is opening new opportunities for businesses to explore, and many are retooling their strategies to fit new demands. It’s likely that the post-COVID-19 world will look very different from before, with an increased emphasis on digital convenience.
  • Qualitative growth over quantitative growth – prior to the crisis, many startups were (perhaps overly) focused on growth in terms of numbers. The pandemic may very well change that as they start to realize the importance of ensuring quality and overall sound (and resistant) economic models.
  • Cost rationalization and fundraising – startups will need to ensure their spending is kept under control and their business models are strong as consumers are likely to focus less on discretionary spending and more on savings in the short and possibly medium term.
  • Boosting employee morale – all companies need to find ways to keep their teams engaged and motivated amid short-term uncertainty.