The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken governments and citizens alike, severely impacting economies all around the world. Though, it is far from over the global community has already acknowledged the situation as the worst recession in a hundred years. That doesn’t mean all entrepreneurial hope should be lost, though. There have been enough and more examples of successful companies that were established during the past recessions. Did you know Uber, Airbnb and WhatsApp were born amidst the 2008 recession?
With the right thought, strategy, and execution, it’s possible to turn this ongoing crisis into an opportunity for new business. The current situation creates a demand for plenty of new ideas that are impactful and relevant to the new normal, if implemented well, they will not only generate revenue but also support the community at these testing times.
Starting your business might feel like an overwhelming undertaking, especially if you do not have any background, but here are some encouraging numbers:
- 69% of American entrepreneurs started their businesses at home. Using the digital age to your advantage, you can launch your startup without illiquid investments like in real estate.
- Money can be a significant enabling factor, but your limited financial assets should not be a reason to fret. An analysis of small businesses found that one-third began with less than $5000.
So here are some great startup ideas through which you can turn the tides of COVID-19 in your favor:
The education sector practically came to a standstill this year, with schools, colleges, and other educational institutions shut down to avoid community transmission. Even to the casual eye, this is a bonanza of startup opportunities for rescuing the education sector and bringing it back on track. Some low hanging fruits include:
- Collaborative Platforms
A specialized app or a digital platform where students and teachers can collaborate and engage in routine activities, just like pre-COVID times, is likely to have a large market. Many educational institutions have taken to apps like Microsoft Teams or Zoom to conduct classes - which are universal apps not optimized for educational purposes.
- Online tutoring
Teaming up with fellow tutors and creating a platform with pre-recorded videos could be valuable to schools and parents for homeschooling purposes. Online tutoring could include regular lectures along with practical presentations. Indian startup BYJU’s has already seen 6 million sign-ups during the national lockdown.
With many skilled professionals stuck at home and facing the risk of being laid off, sharing your valuable insights and knowledge, or facilitating this for other experts, can be lucrative. This could include:
- Business consultancy:
There’s potential in coaching entrepreneurs or creating a customized consultation-program based on market observations, to assist others in learning industry trends and coping with this black swan event.
- Medical consultancy:
Since the pandemic has instilled a sense of fear among masses in visiting hospitals and other medical institutions, doctors and specialists can set up teleconsultation and tele-medication networks for health checkups.
- Hosting webinars:
Webinars are a great medium to share knowledge and capture a consumer base for your products and services. As a lot of people stay home due to COVID-19, they are more open to attending webinars that could add to skill, knowledge or networking
# Online tools and apps
Thanks to digitization, we are significantly better equipped to handle and sustain ourselves in times of a pandemic compared to our predecessors.
The online realm offers a virtual world with substitutes to seamlessly execute a majority of our real-world activities. This presents an array of opportunities in constructing an online framework to establish modern activities for the digital age - right from business to socializing.
- App and Website creation:
Since every business front will require an app to penetrate deep in the online consumer landscape, designing apps and websites for such businesses will be a good idea. Even existing B2B companies are looking at creating mobile apps that can be the first point of contact for new clients. Deskera a cloud-based SaaS startup focusing on the SMEs saw 300,000 downloads for their newly launched business app during the COVID times.
- Social Media Marketing Agency (SMMA):
While businesses may have put marketing on hold during quarantines and lockdowns, there is a greater emphasis on online marketing right and will continue as normalcy resumes. Offline marketing is likely to take longer to recover. You’d want to position yourself to the market appropriately.
- Analytics tools:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are disruptive concepts that remain significantly untapped. Coupling this technology for analyzing data or creating specialized operational tools as nations battle healthcare crises could give you a significant lead over other startups.
Blockchain tech remains in its early stages. But it’s already being deployed to assist with Covid-19 detection, supply chain solutions, and more, as detailed in this blog by IBM.
# Medical supplies
The pandemic has unsurprisingly created a huge demand for medical supplies. This presents a blessing in disguise and multiple startup opportunities:
- Medicine and medical equipment production:
By procuring required licenses and reconfiguring factories, you can produce medicines and other necessary medical equipment like masks, gloves, and PPE kits to quell the regional demand for medical supplies. Not only will you be uniquely positioned with good revenue potential, you’ll also be engaging in an altruistic cause. Many large brands - such as Tesla - have already done this.
- Storage space:
Hospitals and other medical institutions require a buffer stock of medical equipment at all times. This has created a rise in demand for storage spaces for supplies. Organizing storage spaces and offering them is an idea worthy of consideration.
- Medical supply deliveries:
You may also want to set up regional and inter-state delivery networks for medical supplies.
Selecting The Best Startup Idea For You
The crux of a startup (and its success) lies in solving an existing problem and offering an effective solution. Identify a problem that you believe you can effectively solve, and formulate plans based on it. As we mentioned earlier, the two key ingredients to a startup idea worth pursuing are:
- That it is feasible and holds potential in the current economic climate, and
- It solves a critical problem and assists your community, region, nation, or even the global community in dealing with his pandemic.
Analyzing market trends and paying attention to your customers is critical here. After all, 14% of startups fail because they don’t meet customer needs. Offering practical solutions to your customers in a quick and easy method should be the principle to strive for. Like we said earlier, all is not lost, and these are just a few ideas from the techseen team to get you thinking. These are tough times, and the community needs much more, there is a lot that can be done and achieved all we need to do is get started.