This post originally appeared on the Nexus Louisiana Tech Park (formerly the Louisiana Technology Park blog.
Some startups have flourished through the disruption of COVID-19. It’s provided an opportunity to present innovative ideas and products to a client and customer base adapting to new circumstances. For other startups, 2020 has been a survival game of lean operations and streamlined processes.
But whether you need to maintain momentum or gain it heading into 2021, you need a game plan for achieving your goals. As CEO and co-founder of his startup, Mintor, and chapter director of Startup Grind, Kasra Khalili has valuable advice to share with founders heading into 2021. He says preparing for what comes next relies on your business’s flexibility, the scope of your influences and the work you put into improving yourself.
Here’s how to prepare your startup — and yourself — to thrive in the new year.
Plan for Contingencies
Leverage your passion and commitment to go all-in on your startup this year, but prepare for worst-case scenarios, too, Khalili says — including an exit plan. Think about potential scenarios from the economy, the pandemic or natural disasters — and don’t underestimate these events’ impact on your customers and clients. How could you limit costs if you need to trim your budget? How could you adjust to thrive through another shutdown or flooding from a hurricane? Be honest with yourself and your team about who you might have to let go or what you might have to give up to keep your business alive.
“It’s an awful conversation to have with your leadership team,” Khalili says, “but it’s a lot better to do it now than when everything is going south.” If you don’t have an advisory board already, Khalili strongly recommends you assemble one this year. Startups will be facing challenges from uncertainty, and it helps to have advisors to turn to with questions. And subscribe to newsletters from organizations like Gartner or the Revenue Enablement Institute for the latest research on what’s coming and how you can prepare your business.