Picture this. Your work has closed due to the governor’s new restrictions. You’ve been instructed to quarantine, and as your whole city is closed except a few mega-corporations, you don’t have much of an option. But as your day disappears to yet another series on Netflix, you suddenly get an idea. What if I start my own business? You begin to research. Hey Google, what are small business ideas during the pandemic?
As you research, you learn there are two key roles to a successful business. The first being an entrepreneur, someone who identifies a problem and designs an innovative solution. The second being a business owner, someone who turns this solution into a money-making company.
Your take-away: your business needs to be an organization that capitalizes on the solution to a problem.
A recession is a great time to start a small business.
You learn that this is why a recession is one of the greatest times to start a business. The Great Depression of the 1930s ruined livelihoods, shattered morale, and wrecked the economy. On the tail end of the period, a young man by the name Charles Darrow decided to start a business. He played a board game at a friends’ house and left fascinated. The game was without name, simply an unmarked box passed between friends.
Darrow recognized one of the problems plaguing the decade. Unable to find work, people of all ages spent their days doing nothing and wishing for better days. He knew this game would offer them an opportunity to hold money in their hands, compete in a fair market, and forget their troubles for an hour. Darrow convinced Parker Brothers to publish the game and it quickly became a worldwide success.
That game is now in a box marked “Monopoly” and sits in the closet of almost every American family.
The pandemic presents an incredible business opportunity.
You begin to recognize, or you should, that the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 presents an incredible business opportunity.
This year, like any other, has rewarded creative individuals. The pandemic crushed Jyan Horwitz, a high school junior, cancelling his plans to intern at a bakery in Europe. In an effort to stay positive and beat his quarantine boredom, Horwitz began delivering sourdough bread to friends and family. His hobby quickly turned into a business as he received orders for 200+ loaves a week. This growth was a result of Horwitz offering a unique solution to two problems. His delivery service helped those who were unable to go out due to quarantine and the homemade aspect erased a lack of connection caused by social distancing.
If you would like to follow in the footsteps of other successful entrepreneurs and business owners, here are a few small business ideas during the pandemic of 2020.
Small Business Ideas
1. Turn a hobby into a business.
As exampled by Horwitz, the pandemic is a great time to turn a hobby into a business. You likely have more time on your hands and greater freedom due to school and work being moved online. Look for a way to use your hobby to solve a problem caused by the pandemic. Masks are impersonal, those in quarantine are lonely, gyms are closed, vacations are canceled. How can your hobby fulfill a need?
2. Fulfill a role someone can’t fill for themselves.
The pandemic changed what people are responsible for and capable of significantly. At risk individuals are no longer shopping for themselves. Parents became teachers overnight. Kids’ sports practices were canceled. Each of these changes presents an opportunity. You can volunteer to do the grocery shopping for your neighbor, tutor your friends’ kid, or coach a private practice. Demands have changed, but they haven’t disappeared.
3. Redesign a current product and market it in a new way.
TikTok wasn’t the first social media platform. They took a different angle, focusing on short video clips and targeting their ads towards Gen Z’s. Etsy wasn’t the first online store. To stand apart from their competitor, Ebay, they focused on handmade and personalized goods. Being innovative doesn’t necessarily require a new product, only a fresh design or new marketing platform.
As we exit 2020 and enter into the New Year, it is a great time to consider starting a new business. Small business ideas are everywhere. Every problem, every change, presents a new opportunity to turn a solution into a profit-turning business. Don’t let the pandemic crush you out of business, rather, use the pandemic as a platform to start a new one.