After an incredibly tough year, it seems like things are finally starting to look up. Government lockdown restrictions are rolling back, vaccines are rolling out, and then a return to the office is underway. For anyone launching a small business this summer, it feels like we can at last start to be a little optimistic.
However, there is still an awful lot of uncertainty and the start of a new company can be an unpredictable process at the best of times. We all need to be moving with care, caution and good sense through the coming months, so here are a few practical considerations that anyone launching their business should note.
The Situation May Change, And Change Again
As we mentioned, we haven’t exactly had a great deal of certainty to be working with since March 2020. If you want to make sure that while launching a new business, it gets off on the right foot, you need to make sure that those feet are as nimble as possible. Staying flexible will be hugely important in the coming months. We cannot predict what the pandemic will bring but we can do our best to be ready. Think carefully before committing to key dates and locations and be prepared to continue to offer flexible hours for colleagues who may still be juggling family and care commitments.
The Impact Of Brexit Is Not Going Anywhere
Many people in the UK have been doing their very best to ignore the big changes that Brexit will bring, but with the deal now in place we have seen that there will be some real disruption. If your company is going to be conducting any business involving countries in the EU, then you will need to do your research to get a clear understanding of what kind of extra costs and/or delays you could be looking at. There may come a time when it starts to settle down, but there’s no denying that there is some real turbulence out there.
Think Carefully About Your Office Space
While many businesses will be continuing to work from home for the foreseeable future, that’s just not an option for some companies. New start-ups in particular can really benefit from having an in-person workspace, but it’s not always easy to know what you should be looking for. Hiring office space can be a big investment, and you don’t want to be tied to a long contract at a property which simply doesn’t suit your needs.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to talk to a firm that can take you through a variety of different options to find the best fit for you. Stelmain offers a range of office spaces in Glasgow that go from a simple one-person office to a whole building floor, and they can also help you move to a bigger space if you need it later on.
Don’t Slack On Your Security While Launching a New Business
We all heard about the various scams that have been perpetrated throughout the pandemic, from crooks selling fake vaccines to texts claiming to be from Royal Mail. But one of the more insidious threats that don’t always make the big news sites is the rise of cybercrime. Now, cybercrime is a broad term that covers a range of different criminal activities, but the important thing for businesses to remember is that your finances and your personal information could be vulnerable.
There is a lot that you can do yourself to take better care of your security. These options include using password generators and two factor authentications, and remembering that any email form someone that you don’t know containing a link that you don’t recognise should probably go straight in the spam folder. However, if you have multiple team members working from home and you are worried about your security, then it may be worth bringing in a professional IT support team.
The Customer Is More Important Than Ever
Think about how much time you have spent online during the pandemic. Think about how much shopping you’ve done, how many customer reviews you’ve looked at, and how much time you have spent on social media asking brands to answer a simple question. The lockdown pushed everyone online. As a result, we have all got much more adept at figuring out which businesses are going to go the extra mile to help us, and which will pretend that they can’t hear us as soon as they’ve taken our money.
With that in mind, good customer service is going to be crucial if you want to get ahead of the competition in the coming months. If you don’t have endless resources to pour into advertising campaigns and digital strategies, ensuring that your customers have a channel to contact you and that you respond to their needs as quickly as you can always stand you in good stead.