Will Normal be the Same as Before for Startups

Many countries including the United States are attempting to reopen their economies after lockdowns imposed due to Covid 19. Some are doing that even though the number of infections and deaths due to Covid 19 are still rising. Others, though, justify the reopening to a decline in infections and deaths due to the infectious virus. Still the pace of thing going back to normal remains slow even as the economy reopens as people are generally cautious.

Observers though are questioning whether things would ever go back to normal post Covid 19. One hears about news regarding prominent companies allowing their employees to permanently work from home. There is talk that worldwide, the demand for office space would shrink as more and more people work from home. This happens when companies realize that they don’t need as much space as before with a sizeable proportion of their workforce working from home and being just as productive.

People are also getting used to ordering things online and getting them delivered to their homes during the lockdown. Some say the future for brick and mortar retails outlets looks bleak. Many expect vacancy rate for offices and shopping malls to rise even with the reopening of the economy in most places.

Startups eager to launch with the reopening should take a hard look at their strategies. If their plans are for business as usual prior to Covid 19, it may be wise to take another look. The few weeks of the lockdowns imposed by the fear of the virus infection should provide a good window as to how things would be like in what could be a  worst case scenario.

During the reopenings, it was observed that many people were still apprehensive about the possibility of infection. As a result, the volume of business transacted remained low. Thus what happens during the initial stages of the reopenings could be a view of what life is like in a post Covid 19 world. Startups could base their plan on such a scenario.

If in the event that Covid 19 suddenly disappears or a vaccine becomes available, both highly unlikely at this point in time, things should quickly return to normal as before Covid 19 struck. In such a case startups which plan based on initial reopening would be faced with a pleasant problem of coping with high demand.

On the other hand, there is also the fear of a second wave even more devastating than the first. If it really comes, then all bets are off regarding things going back to normal before the beginning of Covid 19. In such a case, startups which plan for a modest reopening would not be too badly off since they have one leg in lockdown and the other in the reopening.

In any case, given the high uncertainty going forward,  startups should tread carefully. If things swing in one direction, they should be able to respond quickly in that direction and vice versa. In the meantime, stay safe.