6 Lessons MENA Startups Have Learned During the Pandemic Year

Published January 20th, 2021 - 04:00 GMT
6 Lessons Have MENA Startups Learned During the Pandemic Year
Revisiting an experience can teach stakeholders a lot, supporting their efforts to tackle other crises. (Shutterstock: mpohodzhay)

Three weeks into the new year, more and more optimism sweeps through the business world as vaccines seem to be rolling out smoothly in many countries around the world, supporting the hopeful sentiment of a recovery year. This has urged many businesses and startups to contemplate the many lessons they have learned from the extremely turbulent year.

As per entrepreneurs' belief, a crisis is only an opportunity for success, either by turning the hardship into a source of profit or by controlling and minimizing the damage while they learn to become more resilient in the face of future unforeseen events.

Taking some time to examine the different options that a business could have considered during a crisis is a great way to start a comprehensive evaluation of whether or not the decisions that were taken were the best or not. Consequently, revisiting an experience can teach stakeholders a lot, supporting their efforts to tackle other crises that might take place in the future. 

1. Cash is vital

One of the most valuable lessons businesses have learned regardless of their sizes, is to keep as much cash in as possible, so that when they face unexpected setbacks, they can keep the workflow going until recovery begins.

Avoiding debt becomes extremely significant the smaller a startup is, as it can provide them some space for slow progress instead of having to face an acute financial calamity. 

2. Diversify

While focusing on one activity can help a startup achieve linear success providing it with more room for concentrating efforts on one goal, the COVID crisis has been slightly more forgiving towards businesses that have a variety of activities.

The closer an activity has been to one of several essential needs that were in high demand during the first months of the pandemic, the higher chances their providers had of surviving the crisis. For example, several fashion startups have chosen to slow down their production of daily outfits and focus their work on producing face masks and personal protective equipment.

3. Human capital is priceless

Keeping team members satisfied and loyal to a business pays off in different ways and at different times. Yet, having your employees stand by your side during terrible financial weather, means that they can be willing to offer help for as long as needed, even in the lack of financial support.

4. Emergency Fund

Creating an emergency fund for your startup can help to achieve longer durability through crisis time, especially if it's enough to keep your business running without interruptions. 

5. Loyalty beats all

Another way to keep your business running regardless of the circumstances is to establish a close relationship with your clients and customers, so they value your service enough that they don't look for alternatives. 

6. Invest in Technology

Of all the possible ways to overcome financial crises, technology has proved to be the one savior for most businesses, especially startups that require constant communication amongst team members, such as investing in video conferencing services and communication platforms.

What other lessons do you think companies and startups can learn from the COVID19 era? What other crises do you think the world might have to tackle in the near future? 


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