Startup success during a crisis is possible with these tips

By Elena Stewart

Do you have a killer idea for a new business? Wondering if you should put that idea on hold due to the pandemic? Well, you may be surprised to know there are some very good reasons for getting a start on your new business sooner rather than later. With so many organizations and companies offering support for small businesses, this may in fact be the best time to get your million dollar idea up and running. If you need a little help or inspiration, then you should keep these startup tips in mind.

Solve a pandemic problem

If you’re mentally prepared to launch a business now but aren’t sure where to start, spend some time thinking about how your new venture can provide solutions to a current consumer problem. Think about a problem you’ve encountered during the pandemic or in the past, and then you could turn the solution into a new and thriving small business. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs have started out this way, including Uber, Salesforce and Spanx. So if you can think of a service that can save consumers time and money, you may have your idea for a new business.

If you can’t put your finger on a consumer dilemma, paying attention to current consumer behaviors can also provide your entrepreneurial dreams with a solid foundation. Once you have an idea for your new business, you can use the tools from Succeeding in Small Business to set yourself up for success.

Use low-cost business tools

Aside from being able to meet emerging consumer demands, one of the biggest advantages of starting a new business right now is the ability to take advantage of free and low-cost business tools. For example, with the majority of consumers shopping online, many of the most popular website builders are offering discounts and free tools to help small businesses keep up with this growing demand. There’s no reason you can’t use these same offerings to create a user-friendly and engaging website for your new startup.

Aside from getting a great deal on your website, you may also be able to use other free tools to lay the foundation for your new venture. If you plan to work with a team, you can use Microsoft’s Teams free 6-month trial to collaborate remotely, or you can use MailChimp’s free marketing tools to spread the word about your new business.

Focus on education

When you see so many businesses struggling, opening your own business can be incredibly intimidating. If you’re not quite ready to take the leap into entrepreneurship, pursuing an online business degree could be a great alternative. With a degree in business management, marketing, or management and leadership, you’ll be better equipped to get your business off to a successful start when the time comes. Plus, the beauty of completing a degree online right now means you don’t have to worry about COVID restrictions or even family responsibilities limiting your access to an actual classroom.

If your budget has been impacted by the pandemic, there are plenty of options for covering the costs of your business degree. Grants and scholarships are available to help students during these uncertain times, so be sure to fill out the FAFSA online to see what sort of funding you may have access to. You may also be able to claim education credits on your next tax return to help offset tuition costs.

Despite pandemic restrictions and economic impacts, the demand for products and services still exists. In fact, the demand for certain services has increased since the onset of this crisis. So if you can provide an in-demand product or service, and you can use free and online tools to do so, there’s no reason why you should wait to start your business.


Elena Stewart is a certified life coach who specializes in the teachings of Brené Brown, Danielle LaPorte, and Marie Forleo. She successfully transitioned from the corporate world to running her own business, and she now helps others achieve their career goals and dreams.

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