Billionaire Mark Cuban is hopeful the U.S. will “come out ahead of the game” after the coronavirus outbreak, largely because of the entrepreneurs who will build world-changing businesses during the extended lockdown. Now is the best time to start new businesses.
With millions of people left jobless by the restrictive policies keeping businesses shuttered and consumers sheltered in their homes, the entrepreneur told Yahoo Finance on Friday that despite “the horror of it all, this is the best time ever to start a business.”
Cuban, who’s flirting with a 2020 presidential bid, declared: “And there’s no country in the world that’s better at starting companies, that has more entrepreneurs, that has a greater entrepreneurial spirit than the United States of America.”
The 61-year-old owner of the Dallas Mavericks and investor on “Shark Tank,” predicts that the U.S. will look back on this turbulent time and realize that “25 or 50 world-class companies that were created specifically because the pandemic of 2020 happened, things that change the world.”
Is your business ready?
Now is the best time to start new businesses in America
Many New York-area employers are finding ways to survive. It may mean rethinking their businesses, changing the ways they operate and their target markets, as well as asking their employees to take on new responsibilities. That’s exactly the kind of ingenuity and attitude that’s needed now, say the experts.
“Not all categories of business are suffering,” says billionaire investor and “Shark Tank” judge Mark Cuban. “Ask how you can pivot and reinvent yourself to do business.”
Adds Peter Shankman, entrepreneur and author of business marketing books: “Sitting back and waiting for the tide to turn doesn’t work.”
That’s the conclusion that Bret Watson, owner of Midtown-based Watson Adventures, came to. He and his staff host scavenger hunts on foot in 30 US cities, geared toward both team-building and just plain fun. That’s now impossible, but, “with everyone working from home, corporate morale-boosting becomes even more important,” says Watson, adding that customers called begging him to come up with something.
Two weeks later, the company’s virtual team-building adventures were ready for prime time. They leverage both Zoom and various Web sites through which teams can complete puzzles to solve murder mysteries, play trivia games or search museums for answers to fun questions.
Hunt-host Andy Redeker, who’s also an actor, is incredibly grateful that Watson was able to reinvent his business and keep him employed.
“My friends are no longer working in the theater, and those who had side gigs, like waiting tables, lost both sources of income. I feel fortunate,” says the Midtown resident.
On March 12, Kirk Myers, owner of Manhattan’s Dogpound gym, where one-to-one training sessions cost from $125 to $500 per session, closed the facility. With the backing of investor György Gattyán of Docler Holding, they still kept all 73 full-time employees on the payroll.
Soon, Myers learned that some of Dogpound’s clients, who include celebrities like Hugh Jackman and Adam Levine, wanted to keep working out, so they considered offering remote one-to-one equipment-less training via FaceTime.
Earlier this month, Dogpound also extended virtual training to the “Community of Unity,” whose underserved urban youth had been going to Dogpound weekly, free of charge.
“This is a difficult time for all of us, but I prefer to see the glass half-full,” says Myers. “We’re going to come out of this stronger.”
Here are more business survival tips from the pros.
Search out government money
Apply for the federal government’s paycheck protection program, which offers a forgivable loan (with conditions) to companies with fewer than 500 employees. Cuban says this should be No.1 on the agenda. “Be on top of what federal and state programs have to offer to businesses. This is probably just the beginning,” says Cuban.
Keep your brand out there
“Get busy on social media,” says Sunny Bonnell, a branding expert and author of “Rare Breed: A Guide to Success for the Defiant, Dangerous and Different” (HarperOne). “Share selflessly. Consider giving some of your time or services away at a reduced price. We won’t be going back to business as usual, so take the time to understand your audience. Listen both to people you have relationships with and social media. Reinvention is a superpower.”
Seize opportunity from crisis
“If you’ve got a good idea, go for it,” says Shankman. “This is the greatest ‘screw it, try it and let’s see what happens’ moment in the history of time. Sitting back and chilling, waiting for the tide to turn [won’t serve you]. You want to be ready before it happens.”
Cuban agrees. “This is the ultimate reset,” he says. “If you have a vision for your role in America 2.0, test it now and get feedback. [In] two to five years, we will see that amazing businesses were created in 2020. The time to start is now.”
Rethink your business
Now is the best time to start new business in America. When the coronavirus is gone and America is back open again what is the new normal going to be like?
Now is the time to re-tool your business. Sitting back and waiting for the tide to turn doesn’t work. With more people working from home now, will this be the new normal?
America will adapt to the new normal, but will your business be ready? Are you leveraging your website to promote your products, your services, virtual products, subscriptions to clubs, gyms, spas, yoga studios. Valley Green Web Design can help your business survive these tough economic and pandemic times.
Give us a call at (267) 879-9417 or contact us here.