Surplus time for improvement, the shift towards remote working and more quality time spent with loved ones at home are just a few of the benefits to working practices that have come out of the coronavirus pandemic, according to two start-up founders.

Photo of Lucy Standing

Lucy Standing, founder of Bravestarts, and Lucas London, co-founder of Lick Home, believe some good will come out of the pandemic – including the many new and innovative businesses that it will spawn.

The pair were among the speakers at our latest online MeetUp, talking about how now might be a good time to start a business.

Lucy, an Occupational Psychologist, said: “I think it [agile working] is the one silver lining to emerge from all this, and the benefits this will bring to family dynamics and those who were traditionally time-poor, owing to onerous commuting, will be fundamentally changed for the better. 

“The sorts of practises I feel are very supportive and strong are those that recognise the specific challenges facing some groups, particularly those with small children.”

Lucas launched his online decor brand the day before lockdown was announced, creating a unique environment to build the business. He has seen significant traction with people turning decorating plans into action while at home – but it hasn’t been without its challenges. He realises that Lick is one of the lucky ones.

He said: “There are some founders who have been able to move beyond the firefighting rollercoaster and use the time to focus on business areas they might not have been able to previously, such as HR or product. These brands will take stock, put in place robust roadmaps, and ultimately come out stronger.”

Lucy believes the pandemic and resulting recession can create a thriving start-up environment, adding: “Historically, crises form fertile breeding grounds for entrepreneurship. In the last crash, we saw the birth of companies such as WhatsApp, Groupon, Instagram, Uber, Slack, Airbnb and many more. Needs tend to produce a must – so I anticipate a surge in companies moving forward and starting up as a result of this pandemic.

“In an unstable market, the more you can do to take control and generate a way to build your own income, the stronger position you’ll be in. What’s more, if all else fails and you find yourself in need of a new job, the skills you develop in doing this will be highly marketable. Existing businesses will need to adapt and potential employees who can show a proactive approach to developing entrepreneurial skills will fare better, in my opinion, than people with no evidence of developing their skills.”

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