If you are on the verge of launching a start-up this spring, then there is a good chance that you have been on the edge of your seat watching the news for the last couple of years. We have been through so many different trials and tribulations over the last 24 months. Just when it seemed like we were finally in the clear, a new wave hit. Just when we thought that enough time had passed, the government introduced further restrictions. Well, now the UK government has announced that there will be no more restrictions and people are heading back into the office. It feels like now is the time to take the bull by the horns and get your business up and running.
However, anyone will tell you that there are always going to be some speedbumps when you are starting your own company. There are always going to be some problems that you did not expect, and plenty of problems that you did. You can never be too prepared in this kind of situation. Anyone who is rolling the dice on their own business this spring and beyond must be aware of the major issues that we are currently experiencing, and which are on the way. Here are just a few of the most important for you to know about.
Prices Are Going Up Everywhere
Let’s start with an issue that will not have escaped your notice. Prices are going up all over right now. We are being hit with skyrocketing energy bills, even with the government’s intervention. Prices at the supermarket are going up, and it has been more expensive to import goods from the EU since Brexit. From property to petrol, we are all paying more than we used to for our essentials. Where this will impact you as a start-up is that your customers and clients are going to be watching their budgets more closely than ever before. You will need to work twice as hard to convince them that what you have to offer is worth investing in.
Supply Chain Disruption Is Common
Supply chain problems seem to be coming in waves at the moment. We all remember the scenes before Christmas when everyone was worrying about whether there was going to be enough petrol to go around, let alone enough food for their family dinners. Construction firms have complained about the lack of supplies necessary for the projects for the last year and more. And we are still seeing reports of massive queues stretching along the Dover coastline. If your business is going to rely on a dependable supply chain, then you need to be proactive. You need to do a lot of research to find supply partners that you can trust. You then need to work on creating a good relationship with them and work on keeping open lines of communication. You want to know that they are going to alert you to any potential disruption as soon as possible so that you can plan accordingly.
The Job Market Is In A State Of Change
Recruiting the right people to join your business is one of the most important steps that you can take as the manager of a start-up. You need to know that the people that you are bringing on board understand your vision and have the skills to help it take those crucial first steps. However, if you are casting your net into the job market right now you may soon find that it is not as easy to recruit as you may have thought. There has been a lot of turbulence out there in the last couple of years (we all remember the stories about thousands of people applying for one entry level position), but the most reason chapter in this saga has been the Great Resignation. People around the world have taken a good long look at their job situations and have realised that they want to make some serious changes.
Right now, the perfect people for your business may be in a negotiation with their previous employers, or they may be a lot pickier about where they are moving to next. Think about what you want your corporate culture to be like. Think about what kind of incentives you can offer your employees, from cycle to work schemes to mental health support. One of the most important things for you to do as a prospective employer is to ensure that you are offering a competitive salary. It can be difficult to know what the right amount is, which is why Check-a-Salary is there to help you find the average salary for UK workers across a wide range of positions and industries. They have a range of resources to help employers find the perfect employees.
Cybersecurity Is Going To Continue To Be A Problem
We had all hoped that the massive boom in cybercrime during the pandemic would have quietened down by now. After all, governments around the world have announced steps to crack down on this rash of e-crime and the technology to help prevent it has come a long way. But so far in 2022, cybercrime shows no signs of slowing down and experts have warned that this will continue. As a start-up, you may be particularly vulnerable if you do not make excellent cybersecurity a priority from day one.
Talk to an IT specialist about your set-up and let them explain to you where you may be at the most risk. It is vitally important that you make sure that your team is up to speed and that they understand the risks that they may be facing, particularly if they are working remotely. You also need to consider that it is worth paying for proper security software instead of being tempted by the various free options out there.
The Marketplace Is Highly Competitive
You will no doubt have researched the market that you are entering extensively when you were putting together your business plan. As a result, you will understand that things are brutally competitive. Businesses were already operating under an incredible strain during the pandemic, but no with the government grants ending and the aforementioned rising prices across the board, there is going to be an even more brutal fight for survival. Anything that you can do to set yourself apart from the competition is going to be absolutely crucial.
Work on your digital strategy and make sure that it hits the ground running. That means ensuring that your website is easy to use and loaded with SEO-friendly content. It also means being active on social media. Avoid the easy options like posting end of the week platitudes and a bunch of sales links. Try to engage with your target audience and address issues that they may be focused on, such as sustainability and climate change. You also need to think about how new and evolving technology can help you to stay ahead. Using AI technology can help you with everything from customer service (an AI chatbot on your homepage can help improve customer retention, for example) to digital marketing (AI programmes can comb through your customer data to identify the best areas to target).