Being a Startup Amidst COVID-19

Starting your own business is not as simple as some people would have you think. Taking on the full responsibility of creating products, services, or solving problems comes with many challenges. If you happened to have started your business in the last 3-4 years you are probably trying to navigate being a startup amidst COVID-19. This article will give some insight to those who are curious about what it's like being a startup in this era.

The biggest obstacle associated with being a startup right now is the stay-at-home order. For example, lifestyle brand Edward Joiner had products in the pipeline ready to be made and sold, but was essentially halted due to the virus. This caused the business to scramble and find creative ways to re-establish workflow. Several other businesses can also attest to this scenario. Up to this point, over 20 million Americans have lost their jobs, and supply chains worldwide have cracks in them due to manufacturers and factories taking precautions to stay safe. Supply chain challenges are difficult to overcome for startups, because they have little to no power to influence the factories they work with. Being stuck in a position where it feels like you have no way out, is exhausting. 

Another challenge startups are facing is making sure employees and customers are safe. For Edward Joiner, the precautions we have taken are to sanitize often, disinfect products, and use gloves to make sure that we don't spread the virus to our families or our customers. Nothing is more important than safety right now, and that fact guides the actions of small businesses to large businesses alike. Although startups are facing unprecedented challenges, it's not all bad. Some organizations are finding ways to seek positive solutions in this time of turmoil.

COVID-19 has forced everyone to stop and reflect on the importance of community and connection. Several businesses have stepped up to the plate by providing masks and medical supplies to combat the virus. Other businesses have given hope to their customers by communicating via social media. These messages, whether they be videos or text, show that business is not just about the bottom line, but also about being a beacon of hope in trying times. 

As economies begin to reopen, it will be interesting to see how this affects startups and the communities they are a part of.

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