Founder of Society of Speed.
Most of us have already experienced at least some of the first-order impacts of COVID-19, such as the rapid shift to working remotely at home, schools teaching online, panic buying at retail shops, and restaurants closing their doors. So far, the global impact has been like nothing else we’ve experienced since at least World War II.
Now that we’ve had a chance to move on from the initial shock, we’re beginning to experience some of the pandemic’s second-order effects on healthcare, the economy, and humanity as a whole. The new normal beyond the horizon is just starting to come into focus. The crisis will not only change how we live but will also yield new opportunities for discerning entrepreneurs willing to think critically about it all.
So with that in mind, below are some of the business ideas emerging as silver linings of the second-order effects of COVID-19.
The demand for online delivery services for meals and groceries are already at an all-time high since the pandemic hit. But now there’s also a growing market for services that deliver things like pharmaceuticals and other miscellaneous commodities not already available via existing mainstream channels.
Instead of using third-party providers, existing small businesses may use this opportunity to start offering delivery to local areas as part of their own services. Otherwise, entrepreneurs can focus on devising new and innovative hyperlocal delivery systems that are both cheaper and more efficient than any of the more mainstream services. Working with local businesses also provides an opportunity for locals to support each other.
Not long after the COVID-19 lockdown, employees proved that working from home was not only possible but also effective. Now that people have renovated their spare rooms into home offices, most experts now agree that working remotely is here to stay. And the knock-on effects will be far-reaching, from less traffic and fewer car accidents to the reduced value of office space.
Companies will have to adapt systems and processes to suit remote work environments, as they have different needs than traditional offices. They will require the development of a wide range of remote services such as upgraded cybersecurity, invoicing software, file-sharing systems, and much more. Plus, this new global workforce will see an increased demand for those who facilitate outsourcing employment of temps and contract workers.
The entire fitness industry as a whole has been hit pretty hard by the pandemic. So, while remote fitness was already growing in popularity before 2020, the extended gym closures combined with social distancing rules ultimately helped to accelerate the industry’s growth dramatically. Struggling fitness instructors quickly found ways they could reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 by adopting digital technology to create online instruction modules.
Instructors developed training programs that they delivered to clients either by streaming the workouts online or via specially made personal training apps. By providing them with these forms of digital content, clients were able to work out independently with little or no at-home exercise equipment or learn how to use whatever else is available. Not only have these new online workouts created steep competition for traditional gym memberships, but the whole idea of having your own virtual personal trainer will most likely explode into other exercise modalities as well as other non-exercise industries.
As most people have been avoiding public spaces and unnecessary travel throughout the pandemic, the entire eCommerce sector has experienced a significant increase in growth. The reduced movement caused by working from home has seen more and more customers embrace digital channels over shopping at physical brick and mortar stores. This has proven how critical it has become for businesses to be able to operate and make sales online.
Businesses everywhere need to integrate eCommerce to ensure they will not be impacted significantly by any future pandemics. Entrepreneurs can find ways of partnering with existing businesses to ensure they have a solid online presence, as well as finding opportunities to increase their sales. Search for new ways of providing them innovative services in areas like data management, digital marketing, and inventory solutions.
There are many innovative entrepreneurs out there who have already found ways of addressing the most critical needs of people during this crisis and turned them into sustainable businesses. From low-cost equipment created by healthcare professionals to contact tracing applications developed by engineers, there are innovations being created for the world today as well as after the pandemic has been dealt with.
Innovating entrepreneurs are finding ways to pivot their ideas into viable businesses by studying markets and identifying alternative issues they can solve. The most important aspect when attempting to identify suitable markets is by understanding what people currently need while conducting a thorough analysis of what the market will most likely want in the future.
While the whole world continues to combat the ongoing effects of this pandemic, it’s important that you remain as optimistic as possible. Because ultimately it could end up providing you with an exciting new idea for a business of the future.
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