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SUPPORTING START-UPS

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Copia-di-FEARNE-RESTRICTIONIn times like these where, because of the coronavirus impact on the economy, one needs to challenge the usual way of doing business, small and micro-enterprises can have great opportunities. However if they take the wrong decisions, they can also flounder.

It is generally accepted that things will not be going back to what they were, and we shall need to develop a new normal. This will apply to our work, to our daily life, to the way we communicate and socialise, to the way we will be spending our leisure time, to the way customers will be served, and to the type of goods and services that will be in demand. In such times, innovative persons setting up a small enterprise are likely to find fertile ground and become very successful.

Yet we know that success is not guaranteed no matter how good the idea would be. A significant number of small and micro-enterprises fail in their first year of operation, in their start-up phase. Someone else would pick up their idea and run with it successfully. The reasons for such a failure rate could be various and I will cover some of them in this week’s contribution.

Very often, owners of small and micro-enterprises, and especially start-ups, can be very optimistic in their projections and their forecasts of the future. They may believe that theirs can become a successful business in no time at all. They would consider their idea as the next big thing. This is often due to the fact that such people may not really know their numbers and do not understand the numbers.

Another issue facing owners of micro and small enterprises is that at times they have the tendency to run before they learn how to walk properly.

They may succumb to the temptation to spend the money before they have actually earned it. They do not always recognise that when they employ a person, they do not just have to manage themselves but need to manage that person as well, which takes up precious time for them.

Because success does not come overnight and requires a lot of hard work, sleepless nights and several failed attempts, owners of start-up micro and small enterprises should not give up. If their idea is good, then they would always find a way of how to make it a financially rewarding one. They need to learn from their failures and the problems they encounter and apply this learning to new problems.

They need to identify where the gaps in their capabilities lie and work on closing them. They may need to listen more to other people, as at times, owners of small and micro-enterprises tend to like too much the sound of their own ideas. They need to show resilience.

Someone might ask me why this emphasis on micro and small enterprises and in particular, start-ups. I strongly believe that with the number of issues and challenges facing our economy because of the impact of the pandemic on the economy, the imagined or real threat of a second wave of the virus, and other elements, we need to give much more space and much more support to start-ups. They will be the foundations of our future economy.

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ARTICLE WRITTEN BY TIMES OF MALTA

 

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