During the COVID-19 pandemic, many professionals who had been furloughed or laid off decided to forge their own path and launch a business. These newly minted entrepreneurs quickly discovered that, despite the national and global circumstances, there were plenty of pandemic-friendly business ideas that could be successfully executed.
Although the vaccine is beginning to restore normalcy to everyday life, some lasting changes from this time, like remote work, online retail and home delivery services, will carry over into the post-pandemic world. Plus, launching a business with the pandemic in mind means you can future-proof your new company for crisis situations like COVID-19.
Here are 15 pandemic-friendly business ideas to consider starting today.
Remote team event coordinator
Many companies that had their employees work from home during the pandemic are choosing to remain fully or partially remote. This means there is high demand for companies that can facilitate team bonding activities and corporate retreats that get the whole hybrid workforce engaged and involved. Whether you create activity kits that are shipped to employees’ doors or host live online sessions, there are countless opportunities to help employers bring their teams together, even when they’re physically apart.
Social media services
Many small business owners know that a social media presence is important, but don’t have the time or bandwidth to learn about it themselves. If you have that expertise, now is a great time to launch a social media management company. Reach out to companies with little to no social media presence and offer to run their accounts and engage with their audience to boost sales and brand awareness. Facebook and Instagram are the best platforms for businesses to gain a following. Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest can also help a business gain and interact with their followers, depending on the industry and product or service offering.
People love to eat and drink and are always looking for unique foods and cocktails to try. If you have a culinary background or just have mastered the hobby, consider sharing your expertise with the world.
To start small, you can offer online cooking classes that are taught via Zoom. As your business expands, you may be able to open a physical location as people begin to feel more comfortable with live, in-person experiences again.
This is also a viable business for anybody with a bartending background. People love to find little secrets that enhance their cocktails or brand new recipes that they’ve never tried before. These classes can be taught online, in-person or even filmed and put on YouTube. If you really take off, you can even work with local distillers to create your own brand of liquor or a mixer.
In 2020, online shopping rose by 44%, a trend that is going to continue well beyond the pandemic. An online reseller allows you to capitalize on the e-commerce trend while helping consumers earn cash for gently used items they no longer need. You can buy products directly from a consumer and resell them, or help them find a buyer and take a commission for yourself. As your reselling audience grows, you can specialize your business and start curating items for repeat buyers.
From marketing to legal to finance, you can advise others in just about any area of business expertise with a consulting firm. You can connect virtually with clients and offer them your professional insights for scaling and improving their business.
To succeed as a consultant, consider how COVID-19 has changed business trends in your industry and familiarize yourself with the new standards. For instance, many businesses have adopted new technologies and remote work policies to succeed during the pandemic. You can help guide other businesses through this new work environment to ensure their stability.
Digital marketing agency
Businesses are constantly looking for agencies that can help them cut through the noise and stand out against their competitors online, especially since consumers are spending more time than ever on their devices. If you have a background in marketing, you can launch a digital marketing agency that offers content strategy, social media, SEO services, paid and targeted advertising, analytics, web design, consulting and more.
[Read more: 10 Businesses That Will Remain In Demand Post-Pandemic]
Graphic design firm
Most companies want to stand out with their graphics, but don’t have the in-house capabilities to do so. Whether it be their logo, event graphics or marketing materials, companies need sleek and professional-looking designs. Since social media has become an integral component of modern marketing, brands also constantly need new and eye-catching graphics on their feeds to continue to stay relevant in today’s digital-first world.
There has never been a better time to get into the box subscription market, which rose considerably during the pandemic.
The pandemic caught some companies off guard with no way to conduct their business online. App developers were able to help businesses adjust to the digital landscape by creating apps to help them reach and serve their customers. The market for these on-demand shopping, delivery and service apps is still growing: Nearly 90% of Americans spend their mobile device “screen time” within apps, and mobile app revenue is expected to exceed $800 billion by 2022. Entrepreneurs with a background in app development can capitalize on this demand and help businesses create customized branded mobile experiences.
During the pandemic, consumers got used to the convenience of having products delivered right to their door, so the demand for online delivery services remains at an all-time high. These services mostly cover meals, groceries and pharmaceutical goods, but there is a market for services that deliver miscellaneous commodities.
If you want to launch an independent delivery service, consider focusing on goods that are not readily available through mainstream services like DoorDash, Uber Eats and Postmates. You can work with local businesses to deliver their goods right from the store or supplier directly to the customer.
Fitness and wellness programs
For over a year, the coronavirus caused people to work at home and stay inside most of the day. This combined with the anxiety that stems from a pandemic led to a loss in routine, with people no longer working out, drinking more alcohol and generally taking care of themselves less.
Right now, people may need some extra motivation to break through their pandemic health slump. If you have a background in health, exercise, and wellness, start creating content to help people better themselves and get out of a funk. Blogs and articles are a great way to share recipes and workout routines that people can easily do from home with little to no experience. Start filming the ways you decompress, be it cooking, exercising, meditating, stretching or just talk about health habits in general. Once you have the completed video, edit it, add music and upload it to YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms to share with your audience. If you’ve built a dedicated following, you can work with your audience to create personalized workouts and diets for them, at a cost.
Commercial cleaning services
From the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, professional cleaning services have been in higher demand than in previous years. In fact, the industrial cleaning services market is expected to continue to grow considerably through 2025 due to the ongoing ramifications of COVID-19. Office buildings, medical facilities and public-facing businesses all over the country rely on professional cleaning services to continuously disinfect their spaces.
[Read: Starting Over? 7 Resources for Rebuilding Your Business From the Ground Up]
Home improvement contractor
Home improvement is another industry that increased significantly because of the pandemic. During the stay-at-home orders of 2020, people started taking on home improvement projects, such as building an addition, renovating a spare room for an office space, or even building play sets for kids. Other homeowners decided to make some improvements and take advantage of the current seller’s real estate market.
In either case, home improvement contractors are now in high demand. Now is an excellent time to market your handiwork and services to the remote workforce who need to carve a private place in their home to work without interruptions or upgrade their home to fetch an even higher market price when they sell.
Many businesses and individuals have experienced hardship throughout 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. While some people have had their fortunes improve, others need creative solutions to keep their small business afloat or keep their personal finances in order.
If you are a certified public accountant and have a knack for uncovering untapped resources in tight budgets, many people are in need of your expertise. Small businesses, in particular, are looking for ways to reduce costs while retaining as much staff as possible.
Virtual tutoring agency
Although most schools have returned to in-person learning, the demand for virtual tutoring is likely to remain high. Students who thrive in a remote learning environment want to continue their online study sessions, and busy parents appreciate not having to drive their children to and from a tutoring center.
Start a virtual tutoring agency by defining your expertise in various subjects and selecting an age group to market toward. Consider whether you want to work with parents with young children, high school students getting ready for the SAT or ACT, or college students who need that extra push to get them through finals week.
[Read more: New Normal: 9 Lasting Changes Small Businesses Can Expect Post-Pandemic]
Box subscription companies
There has never been a better time to get into the box subscription market, which rose considerably during the pandemic. These businesses can take on a variety of different forms, such as meal prep or beauty product kits, puzzle or storytelling experiences, and date night or family fun activity kits. The key is to identify a niche market and curate specific products and experiences for that audience.
CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.
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Published June 14, 2021