Setting up a business is a challenging process. Between raising funds and trying to realize profits from your venture, there is hardly any room to take on more. It is no wonder that most first-time entrepreneurs cash out by selling their business concepts to capital-heavy investors.
If you are looking to join the startup scene or are already in it, it might be helpful to know what you are getting into. Being informed may you help you prepare how to navigate various issues and save you time and money. So, cue the drum roll, here are some emerging issues that startups may have to contend with, in the next decade.
The Joys and Pains of Tech
Technology is now more than ever an anchor in entrepreneurship. It has kept businesses running throughout the pandemic and continues to be indispensable. What may change, however, is how tech will influence the success and operations of your startup going forward.
Remote working, for instance, may become a more mainstream part of startup operations. It may be a good way to cut costs in the beginning as you would require less office space. Some employees may even request it until the pandemic is fully over. Others may simply prefer to telecommute because it helps them have a better work-life balance. Whichever the case, this may be something you should consider incorporating into your operations.
On the flip side, technology may now rise to become a competitor in your field. As you may well be aware, there is now an app for just about everything. More importantly, consumers are embracing said apps for their convenience. It is advisable that you join in the fray and have one for your business or offer something more that consumers can not get on an app.
Wellness and the Workplace
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Even before the pandemic, healthcare was already a hot-button issue in the world of business. Most employees bemoaned the limited nature of their insurance covers while did not even have one, to begin with. Toxic workplace culture was also a part of the conversation as it has been found to be a leading cause of mental health challenges.
The upside of these conversations being in public fora is that it gives you a compass on how to do better. Granted, as a startup, you may not have a wealth of funds. Nevertheless, the work environment you create at the start is likely to persist and could, later on, cost you your reputation.
Try and create a safe workspace where employees are physically, emotionally, and mentally well. This is not just limited to offices. If you run a factory, for example, address issues like fair wages and clean air. Besides, with air purification devices from brands like hisoair, why would you let your employees inhale harmful fumes all day?
Other initiatives you could take up include:
- Reasonable health insurance cover
- Fair working hours
- A healthy management policy void of beration, threats, or harassment
- Mental healthcare support
There are two schools of thought on climate change. For some, it is a fallacy while for others it is a reality they work hard every day to correct. It could be that you lean towards either side but the truth is, the opinion of your consumer market matters more. If your startup’s activities negatively impact the environment or you are simply nonchalant about climate change, you may be faced with resistance.
Today’s average consumer is quite informed about the products they consume and is very intentional about it too. In light of this, institute policies that are environmentally conscious both in your products and company activities. Such policies could include eco-friendly packaging, prudent waste management by your firm, and reducing the carbon emissions of your business. It may also interest you to know that adapting green policies could make your startup eligible for tax breaks or subsidies from your state government.
Racism and Diversity
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If the debate is a hot button issue, race and diversity is a volcano, and rightfully so. People of color attest to being passed up for jobs and promotions they are fully qualified for based on their race. They are also often paid way less than caucasian and Latinas in the same work bracket. These issues are not just driven by emotion and perceived slights, there is solid statistical evidence to prove it.
The hiring policies in your startup could either maintain the status quo or be the change that society needs. The best part is, hiring employees on merit and treating them all fairly does not require any special effort. It is simply a choice. However, like climate change, should you choose not to do better, the success of your startup may be rocky at best.
On diversity, this is one of the greatest investments you could make for your startup. Remember all the brands that have publicly embarrassed themselves by being tone-deaf on societal issues? They all had one thing in common, their staff was not diverse enough. There was no one to speak out in the boardroom and stop them from putting their foot in their mouths.
Businesses do not operate in a vacuum. They are woven into the fabric of society. Therefore, as times and societal discourse evolves, it is only right that you evolve with them. Will it make running a bit more complex? Yes, it will, but it is a small price to pay for all the rewards that come with adapting and doing better.