By Dr. Vaneeta Aggarwal
It is without a doubt that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people lost their regular jobs. But being pushed to the wall has its share of advantages too. And this is what people learned when they took to the entrepreneurship path to maintain a source of income when faced with unemployment. And thankfully, many of them did indeed discover that there were plenty of business industries that could not only sustain but let them thrive in the troubled times.
Mass vaccination programs are well underway in most nations, and things are well on their way to returning to normal. However, the business world would never remain the same. Remote working got the launch, so very needed. Businesses are now more than ever ready to consider a remote, distributed office. Likewise, home delivery of essential items like groceries and food alongside other necessities and online retail is experiencing an unprecedented boom. And this change is here to stay. Launching a business successfully during the pandemic also translates to an ability to get over potential future natural disasters and emergencies.
But which businesses are best suited to thrive during the ongoing and post-pandemic world? It’s a literal million-dollar question, and here are eight small business ideas for you to execute without needing significant upfront investment:
Provide Home Improvement Services
In the US, 2020 witnessed the highest growth rate in the housing market since 2005. More homes naturally translate to a greater need for services that cater to them, to improve and maintain them in certain respects. Most such new home buyers have little experience renovating their homes and sorely lack the required skills for the same. Such a lack of skills naturally means they turn to home improvement services for professional help.
Don’t assume that home improvement is confined entirely to renovations. Other aspects of your home like its carpentry, plumbing, contracting, looking after the landscape, and interior design all fall under the purview of home improvement services. Running a home improvement services business does involve a significant bit of capital. Capital is needed due to areas like training, equipment, and materials that you need to cover. The good thing is that governments have increased spending and are making it easier to access funds to power your enterprise. Another thing you should note is that the revenues and profits from this business vary considerably from place to place. You accordingly want to make sure that the housing industry in your geographic location of choice is indeed thriving.
Start A Cleaning Services Business
Also related to real estate is the cleaning service business. Cleaning services cater to bother commercial and residential property. It lets property owners who are averse to the cleaning process or do not have the time to carry out the activity keep their properties in pristine condition. For residential purposes, cleaning services typically do their job one or a few times a week. However, in most cases of commercial buildings, where they need such services daily. In the United States, cleaning is good business, letting you charge anywhere between $18-$35 for an hour of cleaning. It is a business that brings a substantial amount of revenue for providing a simple but essential service.
What makes cleaning as a business all the more attractive is the lack of overhead costs. You don’t necessarily need to have any physical office. Additionally, all the capital you need is the cost of equipment and materials, which themselves are nothing astronomical. Further, you can bill the clients for the same. The last thing to mention in favor of cleaning services is the flexible operating hours. It is an excellent business proposition, thanks also to the availability of cheap labor who don’t necessarily have formal education or experience, which keeps wages to a bare minimum.
If there’s one thing that the pandemic hasn’t been able to shut down completely, it’s education. Thanks to tech, schools are still open though continuing their teaching activities remotely. However, this brings another set of challenges. You can address such issues by starting a tutoring business. You might choose to dabble in teaching both or either of the basics or advanced topics of a particular topic. Some key subjects very much in demand in the current situation are as follows:
- Helping in writing college essays
- SAT/ACT preparation
- Foreign languages
The evolution of video conferencing tech has made it possible for you to provide lessons remotely. A PC or smartphone, or tablet, is all the equipment you need, making upfront costs negligible as you already have them in all probability. US residents charge between $25 to $55 for an hour of tutoring. Your educational expertise and location determine the precise charges.
Becoming a Fitness or Personal Training Coach
Fitness centers and Gyms were negatively affected by the pandemic considerably. But much to its credit, the industry adapted to the changes, and it didn’t take it much time to bounce back. Only in place of physical locations intended mainly intended for physical activities, the site has gone online or, in some cases, outdoors. As people remain confined indoors for weeks and months at length, it is more important than ever to stay fit.
In the industry context, it is essential to note that there are plenty of trends in and out of favor in the field. However, trainers and quality content are two essentials that retain their foothold and importance. The US Chamber of Commerce has advised personal trainers to reach out to more people and build a following using video-based social platforms. By using social media, personal trainers can get customers for whom they can create personalized workout routines. The best thing about being a fitness trainer is the simple method of entry into the industry. The industry has room for both certified professionals and self-taught experts.
Starting A Delivery Service
The highly infectious nature of COVID-19 means that the best precaution you can take to stay safe is to stay indoors at home. And this fact has fueled the growth of home delivery services by leaps and bounds worldwide. The food home delivery industry alone is expected to surge to $104 billion by the year 2023.
Entrepreneurs can tap into this service by getting into agreements with local courier services to deliver essential supplies like medicines, groceries, and other miscellaneous but essential errands. In addition to standard delivery rates, you could also charge them extra for relatively distant locations. Other instances of charging higher rates may be for priority orders that need to be delivered soon or deliver bulky and heavy items.
Offer Digital Marketing Services
As you most probably know, the business establishment is going online almost entirely. And that means they would need digital marketing services to make the most of their business move. Accordingly, you can start a digital marketing agency and help businesses build brands and grow their businesses online. Typical digital marketing services include one or multiple of the following services:
- Content and Copywriting
- SEO-based writing.
- Ideation and execution of social media ad campaigns
- Website design
- Creative consultation on branding and associated practices
- Managing and carrying out organic social media marketing
Formal training in the field is not mandatory to run such an agency. Further, you can manage the whole thing right from your home office, making overhead costs minimal. You are free to work as a solopreneur or hire experts where you can’t make it on your own if adequate resources are available.
In this age of digitization and mobility, more and more businesses are creating even dedicated apps for smartphone platforms like Android and iOS. Such apps help businesses a lot to reach out to even more customers. By starting an app development agency, you can help companies achieve such desired results through custom-dedicated apps.
Though formal training is not necessary, you do, however, need to skilled in programming. Previous experience in developing apps for either or both of the Android and iOS platforms is also necessary. There are plenty of online courses and programming boot camps that will give you a firm grasp of the basics and start your journey.
Offer Accounting Services
Irrespective of whether you are an employee, a professional, or a business, you will need to file tax returns in all likelihood. And accounting services are boon for that. Not only for taxation, but such services also provide valuable financial planning and bookkeeping functions. The demand for such services is constant and is relatively stable and growing, making starting such a business a highly lucrative proposition. It is yet another profession with little overhead costs, and you can start from your home.
There is one considerable drawback, however, in the form of the entry barrier. In most countries, you need to possess one or more of a relevant degree, a license, or a certification. However, suppose you can acquire advanced qualifications. In that case, the high financial remuneration in the form of fees makes it worth the effort.
Though a significant setback for almost everybody, COVID-19 is not without its silver lining. It helped reveal many trends that were gaining momentum in crucial growing markets besides exposing significant opportunities in niche sectors for businesses and entrepreneurs to tap into. It taught companies that growing trends should not be ignored even if they are small. Some of them indeed evolve into pivotal global factors in international markets.