The coronavirus pandemic brought most of the world to relocate their working hours into their homes, which will definitely bring changes – for better and worse – to the day after, in many sectors and ways. But independent entrepreneurs, as the private sector survivors and “street cats”, must adopt this temporary change to their benefit – and re-manage their venture activities and focus – so that they will balance the damage of this pandemic with some good results. And I refer mostly to become an expert in your addressable market.
In my perspective, as a serial entrepreneur with an Israeli state of mind, you must push your startup forward as fast as you can, bring results and score some business goals, in order to demonstrate fast-growth potential, market fit and the attractiveness of your company to get an investment (or major strategic and beneficial deals). This nature of work translates in most cases to cutting corners and preferring going fast out rather than thoroughly learning the market before bringing a new solution to it. As much as I support the Lean Startup approach, I also strongly believe that developing your knowledge of the market and competition – increases your chance to actually bring a product or service of value, and significantly improves the chance to penetrate faster and smarter.
Whilst most of the early-stage founders’ attention is invested in building the operation, raising capital, hiring personnel and managing business relationships, the critical aspect of market study is being pushed aside. To my opinion, the more you progress with your business – the less time you have to stop and investigating thoroughly your market: the offering of your competitors and insights from their successful or unsuccessful approach, consumer behavior trends, new valid business models, new relevant geographics and basically becoming an expert in you field, as my colleague Erez Yerushalmi detailed in his great article.
This crazy-new change the Covid-19 brought to our daily routine – is a true opportunity for great entrepreneurs to focus on self-development of their know-how and understanding of the challenges they didn’t have time to before. I would suggest investing screen-time in market research materials, building a new comprehensive and updated competitors landscape, interviewing their potential and existing clients for their true needs and changes they expect in the following quarters and basically rethink your strategies if needed. This time will not return, the ones who will not take advantage of it – will feel frustrated and could probably be less prepared for the day after the Coronavirus.