Business in Pandemic
Overall throughout the world, Covid-19 cases have raised and the lockdown has been extended or tighten. For some, starting a business can be tough now; what would be a good business to start during the Pandemic then?
This is not a full guide or answer, just a brief one that comes to my mind.
Since people could not travel or walk on the street (in some countries), you would look for a business that heavily relies on Online Traffic.
What do you look for in terms of Online Traffic?
I would see Online Traffic the same way as I see people walking on the streets. When you see people on the street, you can identify what people are looking for, ie. they might looking for a place to eat, a shop that sells groceries, a place that sells computers, and most importantly (and most people forgot about this type of people) some are window shopping.
This is the same case as Online Traffic, some are looking for food, some are looking to buy, and some are just window shopping (I like to call it Window Traffic)
To make it simple, I would make 4 categories of Online Traffic:
- Product Traffic – People looking to buy a Product (Gadgets, TV, Blender, Tshirts, .etc)
- Service Traffic – People looking for a Servicer Provider (Aircond Repair, Plumbing, Internet, Pet Grooming, Business Consultant, Forex, .etc)
- Food Traffic – People looking for food… Obviously
- Window Traffic – People browsing online for ideas, inspiration, products for their next purchase, or entertainment
Notice how I don’t mention much on Travelling, that’s because during this period of writing, Lockdown may be extended indefinitely and it is a business risk that some can pull off or sustain. Where to find this type of traffic; I would make a dedicated post on this later as it will be a very long one.
So what’s a good business to start during the Pandemic then?
Now I have identified the 4 categories of Online Traffic, I could now choose a business to suit the right traffic. Let’s start with Window Traffic:
What business can you do with Window Traffic? Starting a Blog, Instagram Account, News Website, Youtube Channel, or even Podcast is a Business. During this Pandemic, many people go to Social Media platforms such as Tiktok and find content that brings entertaining value to cheer them up or feel good. So the engagement for funny, inspiring, happy content would be very high. The right opportunity in my opinion is to start a Funny or Happy content Business where you would focus on creating such content to drive this Window Traffic to engage with your content via Like, Share, Comment, or Gain new Follower; notice how I wrote or instead of and, I see each content we make should have 1 goal to see better result whether it is gaining a new follower or getting mass sharing.
The money part of this Business would be from either Advertising or Sponsorship. Once you gain a certain number of engagement results, you could start to find people who would pay you money to advertise on your platform or sponsor content. Now is a good chance to start and build the foundation first.
It’s easy to tell someone to sell food now during the Pandemic! But no one actually explains how or what food. Well, I won’t tell you either. Because there is no one answer in the food industry as demands for the type of food are different from country to country, city to city. Instead, I could give a guideline on what food to sell (or drinks).
Here is the key advice: Sell food that nobody asked
This is different to sell food that nobody wants. Selling food that nobody asked is essentially means sell food that nobody realized is available or unique. For example, sell Korean Fried Chicken in a town that nobody expected Korean Fried Chicken is available. Online Traffic is very unique to Physical Foot Traffic. When you walk on the streets and you’re hungry, you would walk to see what food is available nearby and you might see 3 Burger Shops opened next to each other, you are given a choice on the spot to choose, look, and compare. With online, however, when your hungry, you would open a food delivery app and find what food is available and you might end up in a Netflix syndrome where you may spend an hour trying to choose food and in most cases, most food options are the same but from different shops. Imagine 1 app has 6 burger options from 6 different shops, you are now competing in a bigger market as a business owner. So, make food that nobody expected is available and do your research to make sure there is potential demand. The chances of sales are now fixed and you would now focus more on Marketing instead of price wars and offer.
People are stuck at home. They either are hungry, bored or having problems. I would look at Service Traffic as the kind of people who have problems and make a business around this. Some ideas I can think of:
Pet Grooming on the go: Instead of sending to a groomer, why not bring the grooming service to your doorstep? Some countries may have this type of business (which you can google for referencing)
General Handyman: Ever wanted to be a contractor? Now is the perfect time for a newcomer. With the lockdown, many people will search for (ideally) 1 person who can solve everything in their home which you can be the single point of contact in town who can fix plumbing, air conditioning, or install wall mounting brackets for a TV.
Lockdown Personal Shopper: It’s the same as being a Personal Shopper but I would rename it as Lockdown Personal Shopper for this unique niche market. Since many preferred to stay at home, why not give them the service of a 1 person to do all the shopping for them?
Any Service Business that helps solves people’s problem during the pandemic are potential and I think there is a lot of money sitting in this Traffic.
I would be honest, this is the most saturated Traffic and probably the most expensive Advertising Traffic out of the 4 Traffic. Product Traffic is a straightforward type of people who are basically Shopping online. There are too many people now shop online and the age range is much wider than before. You can now literally sell a rock online (people actually do sell a rock online) and you can make sales in the thousands (seriously!). A business in the Product Traffic market? a home-based product would be the best during this Pandemic. Since everyone is at home most of the time, any product that can be used inside a house (or backyard) would be ideal such as Robot Vacuum, Gaming PC, Sanitizing Product, Instant Food, Furniture, Backyard Pool, and .etc. Therefore, choose a market in the product traffic that you want to focus on. Some market includes and in my own opinions are:
– Tech Market: Gaming PC, Printer, Smart Tech Products
– Home Business: Stationaries, Bubble Wraps, Packaging, Tapes
– Sanitizing: Air Purifiers, Water Purifiers, Sanitizing Kit, Face Mask
– Home and Kitchen: Sofa, disposable cutleries, Dining Table, foldable bed
– Entertainment: TV, Gaming Console, Board Games, Outdoor Pool
– Education: Kids Education, Adult Education Books or Courses
As mentioned earlier, this is the most difficult market as it is very saturated and you do need a lot of capital for Advertising.
Some ways to reduce the cost of Advertising is by creating an attractive brand and product that relates to the current situation. If your selling a furniture product, the attraction statement can be: “Now is the time to decorate that living room before you get back to work” or “Work from home? A sofabed would be nice” ~ be creative with your copywriting now when there is almost everyone of all kinds online.
A very long post but not long enough to be detailed. But hope my brief post helps with ideas.
15 June 2021