Remember how back in the beginning of 2020, when we were just starting to grasp this strange virus that had come from China, we were hopeful that it would blow away just as fast as it had spread across the world? Well, it’s safe to say that that’s definitely not going to happen. However, we are pretty sure that 2021 is going to be better than its predecessor, in all kinds of ways.
Nevertheless, there are also going to be challenging times, especially in the process of the upward climb from the financial downfall. All eyes are on the high-tech and innovation sectors to pull us out of the mud, but the task might end up being harder for them than one would think. Let’s take a look at some of the challenges facing innovators and entrepreneurs this year.
Let’s face it – finding sponsors and investors is not going to be easy during these times. With the trauma of the financial slowdown still in the back of everyone’s minds, people are going to think twice about every penny they pull out of their wallet. The pressure on startups to secure funding is going to rise accordingly, making the whole process a dangerous snowball.
“Banks and financial institutions are going to be especially cautious in the near future,” told us Ofir Bar, a successful investor in real estate and startup technologies, currently worth about $150 million. “Private investors may be the right choice for aspiring minds, but their budget and timespan are much more limited. If I were in the shoes of a young entrepreneur, I would definitely consider finding an angel investor to help me out.”
Who knows what tomorrow may bring
If financial uncertainty can be treated as an obstacle to be avoided, dealing with the general uncertainty is much more challenging. When you don’t know whether or not you can physically come to work tomorrow due to restrictions, let alone in the next few weeks, it is really hard to plan ahead. Since a major part of a startup’s growth process relies on the specifics of its business plans, this is going to be one tough bridge to cross.
That is why, especially today, entrepreneurs need to make sure that their plans and strategies are extra flexible. “Even not during times of crisis, I prefer to invest in people who think ahead and are ready for almost every scenario,” commented Bar, “let alone in times like these. The saying ‘hope for the best but prepare for the worst’ is a cliche, but it couldn’t be truer now.”
Experts assumed this disease would lead nations to adopt an ‘every man for himself’ approach, but very few people expected this approach to be so dominant among world leaders. It had started out with countries fighting over testing kits and respiratory machines, only to develop later on to the ‘vaccine nationalism’ we are witnessing now. For those not familiar with the term, it basically means that rich nations are paying high prices for vaccines and buying much more than they need just in case. The poorer countries, subsequently, are left helpless.
In a reality where domestic investment and products are preferred over international ones, it’s going to be harder for the average startup to sell its idea across the globe. Think, for example, of a company manufacturing state-of-the-art medical equipment. When the market is mostly national, it’s going to be hard for it to grow – especially if it is based in a small or poor country.
On the bright side
While the circumstances described above are challenging, they are not impossible to overcome. “Entrepreneurs are by nature problem solvers with a tendency to think outside the box,as Ofir Bar is stating, and that will probably help them persevere. That’s why if you have a mind-blowing idea, don’t wait for sunny skies to present it to the world. You never know when that is going to be.
Author: Umesh Kumar Keshri
Umesh is a Director of the strategy, PR consultant and Founder of B2B TIMES and B2B TRIBUNE. He has over 6 years’ experience in marketing at companies ranging in size from start-ups to a Fortune 50 company. He really enjoys writing about himself in the third person.