With the world in a state of turmoil thanks to the ongoing spread of coronavirus, it might seem like 2021 is the wrong time to start a business. Times of uncertainty are often also times of opportunity however, and one of the best ways to break through in a market is to zig when everyone else is zagging. With that in mind, 2021 might actually represent the perfect time to start your new company – if you’re willing to adapt your plans to seize on the opportunities presented by the “new normal.” The following are three strategies you can employ to help you make a 2021 startup launch as successful as possible while priming your new company for maximum growth once the world and the economy restabilize.
Consider Focusing on Online Penetration First
The COVID-19 pandemic drove consumers online in mass numbers, and as a result, ecommerce has seen a significant acceleration in growth over previous years. In the U.S., online sales have risen by 68% since the start of the pandemic in spring 2020, despite the fact that people are shopping less overall. That isn’t just an American phenomenon either – a study by the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development found growth across most ecommerce categories in 9 other emerging and developed countries around the world.
With customers largely online all over the world, it’s a good idea to put a high priority on your new company’s online penetration for a number of reasons. First, you need to direct your resources primarily to where your customers are most accessible to ensure your acquisition efforts generate the best possible bang for your buck. On top of that, marketing and selling online requires far less overhead than brick and mortar operations. As a result, you may find that a shoestring startup budget has the potential to go a lot further in today’s ecommerce-heavy environment, putting you in a good position to expand and grow once the pandemic is finally over.
Look for Steals While Labor-Availability is High
The pandemic-induced recession caused mass business closures and layoffs across the U.S. and, in turn, a huge spike in unemployment. At the height of the first wave, U.S. unemployment had hit almost 15%. By the end of December 2020, that number had stabilized at 6.7% – a major improvement but still almost double the rate prior to the pandemic. High unemployment numbers are an unfortunate but unavoidable consequence of a global pandemic, but they also represent a potential source of opportunity for new businesses opening up in 2021.
A large labor pool means two things: first, that you’ll be able to staff-up at lower costs than you would’ve been able to pre-pandemic, and second, that the competition for top talent will be less intense. That second one is the real game-changer, as your startup may be able to gain access to talent that would’ve been tied up by big players or outside your financial means as recently as early 2020. That means 2021 could represent a major opportunity to build a great team, assuming you have the funding available to hire.
Leverage Technology to Carve Out Market Share
With consumers spending less and operating conditions far below optimal, new businesses will have to find creative ways to compete and carve market share away from competitors who are established and better equipped to wait-out the pandemic. There is no better way to do that than to employ technology as a force multiplier, allowing your team to do more with less and to perform at a level similar to your top competition without the associated costs.
Customer resource management software is arguably the ultimate force multiplier for new startups. CRM software supercharges lead management and customer acquisition efforts while automating time-consuming tasks that traditionally pull employees away from revenue-generating activities. CRM systems are so valuable because they enable small teams to centralize the totality of their institutional information and, more importantly, their collected customer information. That makes it possible to collect and categorize leads far more efficiently, and to use the complete information from each lead to tailor a smoother and more customized sales process to each prospect’s unique needs. The result is more effortless yet far higher-quality sales and service – a key to siphoning market share away from established and complacent players.
High-end CRM systems provide advanced lead management tools to automate lead collection, categorization, updating, and management. Other common CRM features include centralization of email and calendar systems, integrated reporting, and some advanced platforms – like CRMDialer – even automate and streamline things like billing and payments, outbound marketing, and more. CRMDialer also includes a built-in enterprise-level power dialer, offering the complete capabilities of a full call center while requiring nothing more than a headset and an internet connection.
To see firsthand how putting CRMDialer at the core of your tech stack can help your startup improve your customer acquisition and sales processes while reducing costs and wasted time, start your 14-day free trial today!