It’s official, the UK’s been hit with a second wave of Covid-19. And unlike the first wave which hit in early spring, we had a fair idea that this wave was coming. This foresight however, doesn't necessarily mean that we were more prepared for a second surge.
It’s official, the UK’s been hit with a second wave of Covid-19.
And unlike the first wave which hit in early spring, we had a fair idea that this wave was coming.
This foresight however, doesn't necessarily mean that we were more prepared for a second surge.
Many of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the fact that we’ll be living with this pandemic for the foreseeable future. Therefore, the fact that another wave has arrived so soon after the first one, is almost too overwhelming for many to accept.
Economic effects of a second wave
Most businesses, however, could not ignore the inevitability of subsequent waves after the initial lockdown in March. They had to figure out how to overcome the losses they’d incurred and develop strategies to ensure that their businesses could weather the long term economic impact of the coronavirus.
Much like we saw with the first big outbreak, a second wave will likely knock the confidence of many consumers which may impact a startups ability to grow.
Covid-19 certainly has no qualms about kicking businesses when they're down and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for some startups to face another decrease in business after spending months trying to get back on their feet.
Until we get a vaccine, the months ahead will inevitably follow a yo-yo pattern for many startups. More waves will likely arrive and as they do, consumers will go quiet and as a result so will many businesses. Then, as each wave subsides, consumers will start spending again for a period before the next surge arrives. Unlike previous recessions, there is a desire to spend due to the financial support many have received from the Government. However, as this support winds down and businesses remain in a state of flux, it may not be long before that desire subsides.
How can startups make any concrete plans during this unstable time?
It’s difficult to know how to deal with a second wave of coronavirus. In such an unpredictable landscape, it may be helpful therefore, to allow space for adaptability and opportunism when planning ahead.
Many startups were ready to grow their teams in 2020. They intended to fill full time roles to help them push on with big projects and land new clients.
Due to Covid-19, however, many of them haven’t been able to scale up and grow to the same extent and in the same manner as they’d initially planned.
What have they done instead?
Many have simply accepted the unpredictable and precarious nature of the times we’re living in and have used the quieter periods brought about by the pandemic to prepare to capitalise on the busier periods.
For example, we’ve noticed startups using these slower periods to build a pool of freelance talent that they can dip into when things get busier and projects get going again.
We’ve been enabling startups to build their teams remotely through our Showcase events - helping them to grow their teams using freelancers, so that they can save on time and money when they need a project done down the line, whether that be in a few weeks or a few months time.
We don’t want startups to wait until they need freelancers to actually start looking for some, instead we encourage them to attend Showcase where they can connect with creative freelancers and start building a talent pool which they can easily dip into when they need to quickly fill a skills gap.
We’ve also recently launched a new premium feature on our site called lists, which allows startups to easily categorise hundreds of freelancers that they like under different categories (photographers, videographers etc.), so when they need to hire a freelancer, they have these lists or buckets that they can jump into and directly contact talent from.
I’m aware that I’m in no position to tell you how to deal with a second wave of coronavirus. Every startup is different and therefore each one will no doubt navigate this second wave a little differently.
If you’re in a position to do so however, I’d encourage you to use what may be a quieter time for your startup in the months ahead, to get your business in a position to capitalise on the busier periods which should come again soon.
Whether that be building a talent pool of freelancers that you can reach out to when you need some work done, transitioning elements of your business online or tweaking your product or service to expand your customer base - think about what you can do during this slower time, to help your startup make small gains when things start to pick up again.