A quick guide to launching a startup

A quick guide to launching a startup

The ancient Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu famously said: “In the midst of chaos, there is opportunity.” Ashleigh Donald, co-founder of Halo Business Consulting, considers how this mantra applies to hospitality startups in our post-pandemic world.

When the going gets tough, the tough get entrepreneurial. Small businesses are the lifeblood of an economy, and with the Covid-19 pandemic reimagining the global landscape, a record number of startups have emerged.

In 2020, more than 4.4 million new businesses were created in the U.S. — the highest on record. This marked an increase of 24 percent on 2019 figures, according to Census Bureau. France and Dubai both saw a 20 percent increase on 2019, while Companies House reported a 13 percent increase y-o-y in the United Kingdom.

So, in this post-pandemic era, how do you launch a startup?

Research, listen, adapt
As with every launch, a startup needs to carve out its place in the market and carefully define its USP. In a post-Covid-19 world, it is essential to really understand the mindset of clients and be flexible to adapt to their changing tastes.

In the days where it was commonplace for clients to sign a 12-month contract with a supplier and run the risk of the supplier overpromising and under-delivering, today’s startups work in a more dynamic environment. Akin to a rolling 30-day subscription model that we are familiar with in our personal lives, startups that offer a flexible approach aligned with the peaks and troughs of their clients’ operations are more likely to appeal to businesses as they deal with ongoing uncertainties.

Be nimble with startup finances
While it can be tempting to spend a significant amount on branding and business collateral, think about what you’ll actually need to get started.
Develop streamlined launch assets, such as a brochure website, email address, e-business card and some good headshot or product photography, and develop this further as your cashflow improves. Free tools, such as Canva, offer the ability to create a logo and branded templates for everything from social media to new client pitch decks.

Industry passion and presence
It goes without saying that any startup should have passion for the industry they’re operating in. Nowhere is this more true than in the hospitality industry.
Keep abreast of industry trends and guide clients. Sharing your knowledge via thought-leadership articles, blogs and podcasts is a great way to become an authoritative figure in your industry, promoting your business and enhancing influence. Amplifying this content through social media, complemented by your own experiences of the industry, can help to showcase this passion.

Nurturing your network
Growing and developing your network is essential to becoming known and respected within your industry. Keeping in touch with trade media relevant to your industry and sharing informative news and trends builds a great relationship.
Furthermore, these outlets are more likely to support you with coverage of your business launch.
Attending targeted networking events will undoubtedly open doors to new opportunities. By being a guest speaker at events, guest lecturing at universities or mentoring, you can share your knowledge while developing your network.

Collecting endorsements
Endorsements from industry figures are highly valuable, so make sure these appear on your website and social media channels in the launch period. As your business evolves, collect client testimonials and develop case studies to validate your services. Also, don’t shy away from applying for relevant startup awards to further bolster your business.

Ashleigh Donald,
Halo Business Consulting Ltd
Add to Favorites

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *