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Forget what anyone tells you about what you can and should have achieved during 2020; the truth is that just getting through this tragic, confusing and tiring year is no small achievement. At this late stage of the year there are still so many questions left unanswered, but the development of a number of vaccines that have the potential to deliver a level of immunity is an undeniable good, and means that 2021 should be a better year for us all.
And if 2020 has thrown you for a loop, one of the many questions you’ll have right now is “So what next?”. The answer is that, with any luck and barring unforeseen complications, the coming year will see the beginning of a return to something approximating normal. It will see people start to rebuild normal lives and businesses seek to achieve the trading practices of the recent past – and this could have the glimmer of opportunity for anyone who is looking to make a startup fly. If you begin to plan now, you could have the nuts and bolts of a solid business by the time 2021 is up and running.
Take into account lasting changes from this year
When we talk about returning to normal, the most important thing to remember is that “normal” changes all the time. We talk about periods in history as having been “post-war” or “post-financial crisis” because those events changed things in undeniable ways. Eventually, we’ll be post-pandemic and thinking about what our priorities are. Things that became priorities in 2020 – and which are liable to stay important in the aftermath – include contact-free delivery services, home security and high-grade cleaning.
Additional browsing time means valuable scope for research
For a period this year, the phrase “sourdough starter” became shorthand for furlough-based hobbies like baking, and many of us have picked up a level of interest and even expertise in subjects. With less commuting – and for many of us, less work – there is an additional resource of time. So if you’re looking to launch a cleaning startup in 2021, you do have the opportunity to source important materials like distilled water and microfibre cloths. If you’re considering a delivery service, it’s worth testing to see how far of a radius you can travel to in a prompt fashion, and so on.
Take this month and the next before considering a launch
As many column inches as the news of a vaccine being approved may have generated, let’s be clear – the process is going to take time and we’re not going to see the desired levels of immunity for a few months. So while there is an impulse to be straight out of the gate with a business launch, we’re in December now. People are thinking of Christmas, and will spend most of January recovering financially from Christmas. There’s every reason to use the next couple of months to fine-tune your plans, which will find a more receptive audience as we get closer to Spring and more people are confident about returning to normal.
This year has been anything but normal, and next year will only be normal by contrast. But it is a good time to start thinking about the opportunities that will be offered by the world getting a little less overwhelming.