Back To The Drawing Board For Startups

A number of states in the US especially those which reopened too soon reported new highs in the number of Covid-19 infections. One of the worst hit was Florida which registered a new high in the number of deaths. Arizona and California too were badly affected.  Meanwhile places like Australia, India, Japan, and Hong Kong also had to cope with new outbreaks. The result had been the re-imposition of many of the restrictions that took place at the earlier peak of Covid-19 infections in March. Some places even went as far as a repeat of the earlier lockdown. Meanwhile retailers like Walmart had now required customers to wear a mask at their premises.

There had been talk that the second wave of Covid-19 infections is here. However observers point out that we are still not out of the first wave. Whether this is the first or second wave, one thing is clear. Covid-19 is going to be around for a while longer than anticipated. The good news is President Trump recently opted to wear a face mask. This brings some hope that Americans would follow suit and put aside their objections for wearing a face mask. Coupled with safe distancing, this development could help stem the rise in the number of infections in the United States.

Meanwhile, there had been reports of a decline in the number of antibodies of patients after months of their recovery of Covid-19 infections. At this point, it is uncertain whether these patients could be reinfected with Covid-19 in the near future. This gives rise to doubts as to whether a vaccine would be effective in preventing Covid-19 infections. On an optimistic note, progress on the development of a vaccine appeared to be making good progress.

In the midst of all these happenings, entrepreneurs gearing up to launch their startups should relook at their plans. Probably they, like most of the other Americans, had been overly optimistic about the reopening of the economy. With the recent rise in the number of infections in many states, it may be prudent for them to review their startup plans. While changes would largely depend on the exact nature of business the startup is entering, certain requirements had to be reviewed.

For a start, safe distancing meant that the capacity of the premises had to be reduced drastically. This could be as low as one quarter of the full capacity for places like restaurants. With such a drastic reduction, there would be difficulties in making ends meet for most startups. However, hopefully this requirement could be temporary and could be lifted once Covid-19 problem is reduced.

For startups which may employ office staff, the original anticipated space needed for them to work in may be too much. Take a long hard look at whether these staff could be working from home. Think about streamlining processes to facilitate their work from home.

The next thing should be the review of the logistics set up to fulfill orders made online. This is important as a significant proportion of costs associated with e-commerce comes from fulfillment. By streamlining and lowering such costs from the outset, startups have a better chance of making their online venture viable.

Next thing to look at would be sources of supply and possible diversification in the event of shipment disruptions. This aspect is important to ensure continuous supply of goods for your business. However diversification could mean higher costs as the usual source of supply is most probably the lowest cost. However disruption could result in much unfavorable consequences as customers shy away from unreliable suppliers.

Startups taking these steps would be better prepared for any eventuality whatever Covid-19 brings.