Like most of you out there, the pandemic has been one of the worst periods for us and our business.
Dealing with the uncertainties of when things will be back to normal again, or how long until we can get on a plane to visit friends and families.
This is just not physically and mentally exhausting, it can make and break businesses.
Like many other businesses we were hit with closures and cancellations when we launched Pop up on demand back in February providing sustainable and affordable furniture rentals to the retail and exhibition industries.
Left with not much choice as we were looking at months and months of zero income, we started exploring other business opportunities and stumbled upon a unique digital solution.
The first thing we thought of after doing some trials was “Do we want to launch another business during COVID?”
Fast forward 3 months later, we have launched www.popupdigital.co and installed our first transparent digital window with Sass and Bide in Paddington.
Have trials with one of Australia’s largest electronic retailer and an international sports brand that have over 1000+ stores worldwide.
Fielding interest and enquiries from US, UK, Germany, UAE, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Speaking with major property groups and city councils on how we can use out technology to create future digital streets and precincts.
I am glad we said YES as we could have easily taken the easy way out and said NO.
But as business owners, startups and entrepreneurs we have never been one to take the easy way out. I think we are addicted to the highs and lows that comes with building something with your two hands.
Here are 5 tips of information that I have learned along the way.
1. Step outside your comfort zone – Now is probably the best time to explore new things or do something that you always wanted to do.
I know of friends starting podcasts as they now have more time on their hands.
2. Don’t be afraid to reach out – Reach out to your friends or contacts about your new idea/business/career and ask if they can help.
It never hurts and the worst that could happen is they say no or not reply back to you.
Linkedin has worked really well for me, I went from 400 contacts to 1700 in 6 months and picked up a lot of contacts and sales from people whom I have never met before.
People are receptive if what you are doing interests them so make sure you give them a reason why it is relevant to them.
3. Be thankful and positive – Don’t get me wrong there are times when I get frustrated and things don’t go as planned and the world is going to end.
Take a breath and be thankful you are in a position to be able to go and try to achieve your goals/dreams.
Many people around the world don’t have that luxury.
If you keep focusing on the negatives then you will miss out when things turn positive again.
4. Patience – This is part of the entrepreneur curse “we want everything to happen yesterday” and “why do they need to wait to make a decision”
We have to understand that not everyone is on the same page as you, just because you think your solution is the next best thing since sliced cheese doesn’t mean your potential client does.
They need time to process and absorb and formulate a reply to your solution.
COVID has made everyone a little more cautious and things take longer during a pandemic, it doesn’t mean they don’t like your solution it’s probably just not on the high priority list for them.
Be patient and follow up in due time.
5. If you fail, keep trying until you have exhausted all options – Like learning how to ride a bike, you may fall a couple of times before things start to flow.
If things are not working, there may be other ways of doing it (Do point #2 and reach out to people and ask them for feedback or advice)
Don’t be afraid of failures as long as you are learning and you or the business is moving forward every week.
But ultimately if you have exhausted all options it might be time to look for another bike.