The new coronavirus disease outbreak might eventually open up a window of opportunities that tech startups probably would never have discovered.
The spread of this new coronavirus might also remind these new companies that health is wealth, ensuring they adopt wide-reaching health and safety measures into their companies’s cultures at this early stage of their formation.
Like every other businesses, the effects of the new coronavirus disease currently spreading across the world like a wild conflagration on Nigerian tech startups is enormous and will last for a long time. Their finances have been badly hit. Their approach towards working from home will never remain the same again.
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What follows below discusses the significant effects of the coronavirus disease outbreak on tech startups in Nigeria. How are they managing to survive? Are they really managing to survive? What lessons and opportunities are they managing to pick up from this?
Can tech startups in Nigeria manage to survive the economic meltdown occasioned by events brought about the COVID-19 pandemic?
1.OPENS UP MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR TECH STARTUPS TO EXPLORE
Tech startups are always in the look-out for new opportunities to explore, and the outbreak of the COVID-19 provides plentiful of opportunities. It’s true that pandemic is a bad news in its entirety, but ambitious businesses always find opportunities in such bad news, and tech startups are the best placed to go out in search of these opportunities.
Opportunities that Nigerian tech startups can use include production of medical and sanitary equipments and disinfectants, providing services that complement government efforts in battling the pandemic, launching SaaS products that addresses possible lapses in the national health care system as it relates to curtailing infectious disease outbreak, and attempt at Telemedicine.
- SQUEEZES THE FINANCES OF TECH STARTUPS
That tech startups in Nigeria are bleeding financially because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country and around the world is no news. Startups have seen demand for the products plummet, and investment into their business dry up. Lockdown of big cities like Lagos and Abuja to stop the spread of the COVID-19 has brought economic activities to a halt, and these lockdowns are not even ending anytime soon.
Fledgling businesses like tech startups are the worst hit. Falling revenue ocassioned by falling demand for services means their monthly earnings is far below forecast. This, coupled with the fact that expenditure remained the same, means that tech startups have a huge struggle in their hands to remain in business. Whether they will survive this or not depends on how long they can operate at a loss and how long the spread of the pandemic remains a threat.
- INFLUENCES TECH STARTUPS’ APPROACH TO REMOTE OPERATION
The outbreak of novel coronavirus disease has promoted remote operation for corporate organizations more than any other event we have witnessed, and the results will remain with us long after the pandemic has been brought under control.
Tech startups will most likely make working from home a part of their culture after this. The absence of alternatives at this period of lockdowns means tech startups would have invested in necessary tools to make working an attractive option.
- INFLUENCES TECH STARTUPS’ HEALTH AND SAFETY CULTURE
Basic hygiene like regular washing of hands is one that not a lot of people have been keen to observe over the years. The outbreak and viral spread of the novel coronavirus disease means that tech startups in Nigeria are very much aware of the risks posed by the unobservance of above mentioned hygiene routine to the company, and would thus make the observance part of their culture.
Traditional startup culture emphasizes collaboration: sharing office space, working on the same desk, sharing other office tools. With the World Health Organization emphasizing on the need for social distancing to control the spread of the novel coronavirus, tech startups might just need to reconsider their tradition when this is all over.
- THIS MIGHT JUST BE THE END OF SOME TECH STARTUPS IN NIGERIA
The lockdown of cities and states to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus disease might just be the end of some tech startups in Nigeria. For startup founders running their enterprise by bootstrapping, closing business for close to a month might they might not be able to pay their personal bills talk more of paying the company’s bill at the end of the lockdown.
A global or national economic downturn might just be another aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most tech startups are cash-strapped, and such economic meltdown might put further squeeze on their finances, a situation that might eventually become the end of them.
Loss of clients due to tech startups providing only skeletal services during the lockdown is another scenario that might end up dealing a fatal blow to the lifeline of tech startups in Nigeria.