The corona crisis: why panic is not an option for founders

Many founders are feeling scared because of the corona crisis. But panic is the wrong reaction in the current situation. Rather, entrepreneurs need to be aware of the massive opportunities. We need innovation and courage now more than ever.

Times like this are not easy. The corona crisis is currently affecting, sometimes jeopardizing, each and every business plan. Many founders ask themselves how to proceed in the current situation.

This is especially the case when the outlook for the company extremely bad because business has broken down, customers are no longer ordering, and open bills are slowly piling up.

However, I urge you: don’t let this get you down! I know that is easier said than done. But after more than 15 years in the private sector, first as the founder of two companies and then as the founder of a law firm, I can tell you: things will go on.

Stay calm, plan ahead and don´t panic

Maybe it will take longer than you thinkg to get your business back to the level it had before the crisis. You may lose customers permanently and you may have to change your business model entirely.

But ultimately, this is precisely the situation in which the wheat is literally separated from the chaff.

Those companies that have planned ahead will comethrough the crisis relatively well — not without scars, but still they will exist. They have built up the needed reserves due to the previously good economic environment. They made sure that the employees feel connected to the company and therefore keep the company alive, even if the situation is not rosy. And they have developed a marketing and sales plan for critical times rather than resting on what they had achived in the past. Those companies that will not give up now, but look ahead, will emerge from the crisis stronger than before.

It is important to fight the current panic mood. Because let’s be honest: the economy will get going again. Customers continue to need products and services.

The corona crisis can be a huge opportunity for founders

Even if it may sound ridiculous: now is an exciting time for founders. You can set the course for success for your company. While many only see the negative aspects of the corona crisis, there are a huge number of opportunities.

The crisis shows in most sectors deficits on the one hand and things that are already going well on the other. But where deficits will emerge, there also emerge opportunities for entrepreneurs. And this is currently the case for a lot of sectors of our society. Just look at, for example, the health sector, the education sector, logistics or banking.

In particular, the corona crisis is currently showing that the opportunities of digitization are not yet being used as it is actually possible and necessary. It has only been unproblematic so far because the disadvantages did not matter that much. But you only have to take a look for example at the service offers of public administrations or in the school area to see that there is a lot to improve here — and founders are the ones who can tackle those now-visible problems.

So: don’t let the corona crisis get you down. The corona crisis will change many things, but one thing certainly won’t change: founders, entrepreneurs and their ideas will still be needed. The worlds needs you, more than ever. Don’t miss this chance!

The German version of this article can be found on the blog “BASIC thinking.

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I am a commercial lawyer by profession, the co-founder of “Gründen@Würzburg”, the startup initiative of the German city of Würzburg and an ambassador for the “Großer Preis des Mittelstands”, the biggest and most prominent privately organized German award for companies of the German Mittelstand. Oh, and I founded two other companies besides my law firm and work currently on founding my third….

I also had the honor to be the President of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs´ Alliance (YEA) Germany and the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the G20 YEA, an organisation that is the voice of more than 500.000 young entrepreneurs in the G20 countries (www.g20yea.com) . By invitation of the European Commission, I had the pleasure to participate in the annual SME Assembly, the most important event for small and medium-size enterprises in Europe. Additionally, I was a member of the B20 Task Forces and from 2014 to 2017 the General Legal Counsel and also a member of the national board of JCI Germany (WJD — Wirtschaftsjunioren Deutschland), the biggest organization for young leaders and entrepreneurs in Germany.

As a lawyer and owner of the law firm “Lexa Legal”, I advises German and international clients (who want to do business in Germany) in corporate and commercial legal matters.

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Carsten Lexa

Former Chairman G20 Young Entrepreneurs' Alliance (YEA), Co-founder startup initiative “Gründen@Würzburg”, Startup Investor, Commercial Law Firm Owner