How Start-Ups Continue To Start Up Right Now

The purpose of our article series Ask The Expert series is to capture and share Tech, Data, Marketing and Creative sector expertise. Local. Authentic. Insightful. We are featuring experts, thought leaders and influencers. Showcasing sector wisdom learned through experience.

Today, we are sharing the wisdom of Dave Corlett, Business Director at Workbrands and co-founder of Loop – a growth programme for tech start-up founders based in the South West of England. We asked Dave…

“Can you share your thoughts and tips on ‘how start-ups continue to start up right now’?”

Dave Corlett:

First of all, it’s obviously difficult to offer any true wisdom learned through experience when what we’re all experiencing right now is simply unprecedented.

It all happened so quickly too. I appreciate that start-up founders are perhaps more used to goalposts moving relatively quickly than larger business owners. But the speed at which life as we know it changed so dramatically was rapid and unforgiving.

We all have to keep going through, however difficult that may be. My Loop colleagues and I have just taken on our first cohort of start-ups, and I’ve been really impressed by their optimism, resilience and focus. The ideas for their businesses have been percolating for a long time, and they’ve worked desperately hard to get to where they are today. They’re not going to give up on them that easily.

Having said that, the extent to which that decision is taken out of one’s hands depends entirely on the nature of the business.

Products that have a clear benefit to the way we’re living our lives at the moment have the potential to thrive in the short-term. So if that applies to you, then you’d do well to explore every avenue to accelerate your plans where possible.

For those whose offerings are less attractive during lockdown life, things will undoubtedly be more difficult. It’s important not to panic though. (Easier said than done, I know.) But better days lie ahead. There is a lot of support out there for the many start-ups under financial pressure right now. This article on TechSPARK by Rick Chapman of SETsquared is a good place to start.

Ultimately, there are two things to remember above all else. The first is that life will return to some semblance of normality one day. If you can somehow manage to trim everything down to the bare minimum (without self-paralysing completely; if you can sell, then it’s essential not to stop selling) and be on two feet when that day comes, then that must be the aim.

The second is that personal health is more important than business health. A business can fail – your health can’t. So ‘stay afloat at all costs’ doesn’t mean putting oneself at unnecessary risk.

Let’s all stay safe, stay positive and keep supporting each other as much as possible through these trying, testing times.

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