Start-up Tips for 2021

To paraphrase multibillionaire investor Warren Buffet, ‘be greedy when others are fearful’. And while that advice might be in regard to buying stocks and shares, it’s good advice to take on board if you’re thinking of creating a start-up right now.

While the global economy has been shattered by the pandemic, and there are more unemployed people, now is actually a great time to consider properly going it alone.

It’s perhaps best to accept the world has changed, and yes, there are new challenges, but with new challenges come new opportunities. Look at the plethora of businesses that have sprung up in the face of the current situation, such as mask manufacturers and vendors, hand sanitiser companies and, of course, there must surely be a few loo roll millionaires out there now!

Maybe you’ve got an idea. There’s plenty already written about how many of us never take an idea to its fruition. How about making 2021 the year you take that idea and push it further than ever before!

And given the state of the economy, there are more grants, loans and finance schemes available now for the right start-ups than maybe ever. Do a quick internet search, and you’ll immediately see government business loans, private start-up loans and well, here’s a handy list of 226 grants and loans – surely one will fit your big idea, right?

How can coworking help?

So you’ve got your big idea, you have maybe secured a grant or loan – so what’s missing?

The human element, that’s what. Speaking to your peers, to your market, to mentors. All of this happens every day, naturally, in a coworking space. Coworking spaces aren’t only for solo freelancers. Areaworks, for instance, offers office space for start-ups and SMEs alike, meeting rooms, boardrooms, breakout spaces for brainstorming– you could even invite potential investors for a meeting in our (COVID-friendly) event space. We’ve got it all.

Through coworking, you can get the opinions of a variety of people – from a potential customer to a mentor who might have been working in your sector for decades. Ultimately, you’ve got to be focussed, disciplined and motivated and coworking can help with all that too. Away from the distractions of home, there’s room to concentrate. And when the hard work ends or you need a break? There’s time and space to socialise, use our gym, or just chill with a cuppa.

One thing’s for sure, the pandemic has made us all turn inwards. We don’t know about you, but we definitely feel that there’s a greater sense of community at the moment; our local area has never been more important to us! Coworking spaces have been building those communities for years, but now a common sense of solidarity in the face of COVID-19 has spread camaraderie like a positive virus.

Tap into your communities – family, friends, colleagues and the wider business network – and you might just find help and advice in unexpected places.

Also, being more attuned to your community could help you come up with a viable local business idea. There are opportunities everywhere!

Pivot, Pivot…(if you know, you know!)

‘Pivoting’ has become something of a buzzword this year. As more people see their jobs impacted, they are finding time to ‘pivot’; to change careers, to change the way they think of their careers, and to be more adaptable, agile and alert to opportunities.

Over and above the personal pivot, try and look for a business opportunity that can pivot, given the state of flux we’re currently enduring. Many companies have exploited their expertise to help out in unusual ways in the last year, from Dolce & Gabbana’s coronavirus research project to Ford, Tesla and GM turning their machinery and expertise into making masks and ventilators. Above and beyond that, companies have had to become leaner, faster and adapt to staff working remotely.

We have all had to become more adept in enacting, and responding to, rapid change, and this can reap benefits for a small start-up in terms of effective business modelling.

We know that pre-pandemic, a lot of start-ups struggle in the first year or two; it’s only natural. Now, the struggle may be harder but sometimes our greatest achievements come from the risks we take. A coworking space could provide the social and emotional support you need to get you through the start-up maze.

Research is as invaluable as it always has been, and it reaps dividends to conduct a small market survey, or reach out to potential customers to see how they might respond to your products or services. Again, chatting to your fellow coworkers at a coworking space could throw up some information or ideas that hadn’t come to you before.

In short, our top tips are:

  1. Make full use of everything your local Areaworks (or coworking space) has to offer
  2. Be prepared to pivot, adapt, move fast and learn quickly
  3. Use your community, your contacts and your coworking colleagues to full advantage
  4. Research, research, research
  5. Grab a grant or lean on a loan – with favourable repayment terms given the current situation
  6. Look for opportunity in the face of potential pandemic disaster

If you’re thinking of starting up or already have the wheels in motion why not find your perfect desk or office space with Areaworks. We would love to (safely) show you around our amazing spaces so book a tour or get in touch to find out more.

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