The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way many of us live our day-to-day lives. Some of the adjustments we’ve made will happily go by the wayside when the pandemic concludes, but some of them are here to stay, including changes in shopping habits, telehealth, and more.
These changes present a number of opportunities for businesses to succeed as we continue to navigate—and eventually emerge from—the pandemic. In this post, we’ll explore opportunities for all small businesses regardless of industry, as well as offer some industry-specific business opportunities for medical, retail, and office businesses.
Let’s get started.
8 Post-COVID Business Opportunities for All Industries
The shift to online operations and the closure of existing businesses has created a number of new opportunities for businesses to reach their audience or expand. Here are 8 post-COVID opportunities for businesses in any industry:
- Improve your website: Even if you don’t sell products or services online, your website should be up to date and reflect the current reality of how people prefer to conduct business. Review your content to make sure it reflects your audience’s changing needs such as researching and purchasing products online, let people know about any changes to your business due to COVID-19, and make sure your website is optimized for search engines so people can find you easily.
- Revive your social media: As people turn to social media platforms for a sense of connection during a time of physical distancing, these platforms have also become a popular touchpoint for businesses. If you aren’t already using your profile to communicate with your audience, such as sharing your COVID-19 safety protocols or changes to your operations or responding to customer inquiries, start now to set yourself up for success as the end of the pandemic draws nearer.
- Email marketing: Create recurring email marketing campaigns to keep in touch with your customers, notify your audience of any changes to your business, promote sales, or nurture new leads. Begin building a list of interested email subscribers now so you don’t have to start from scratch post-pandemic.
- Focus on connection: Customers’ needs and wants are changing rapidly. Keep up with the changes by focusing on how your business can meet these changing needs and communicating any changes clearly with your audience. Think about ways you are currently connecting with your audience and the ways that you aren’t—are there any opportunities to connect that you’re missing out on, such as new social media platforms or hosting virtual workshops?
- Invest in real estate: More commercial real estate will become available as businesses embrace remote work and vacate their existing offices, potentially at lower prices, especially for warehouse and production space. Real estate is a big investment for many small businesses, and you may not have the capital you need to make such a large investment. Small business funding such as commercial real estate loans or collateral business loans can help supply the working capital you need to acquire real estate.
- Invest in inventory or equipment: As other businesses close, more inventory or equipment is likely to be sold at lower costs. If you’re considering investing in more inventory, equipment, or heavy machinery, this may be an optimal time to buy. Some lenders offer inventory or equipment financing designed specifically to help small businesses purchase inventory or new equipment.
- Acquire another business: If you’re ready to expand, you may wish to consider acquiring another business rather than opening a new location and starting from scratch. It can be less expensive to purchase an existing business and they often come with an established clientele, meaning you may not have to invest as much in marketing your new location. Like purchasing real estate, acquiring an existing business requires a significant investment. Small business funding like an alternative small business loan or a collateral business loan can help you access the funds you need to acquire another business without compromising your cash flow.
- Put your employees first: Embrace employee-oriented policies that prioritize the safety, protection, and well-being of your team to set yourself apart from other businesses. Putting your employees first can help you recruit new, highly-qualified personnel and retain your existing staff, as well as boost your company’s public reputation.
2 Post-COVID Business Opportunities for Medical Businesses
Medical businesses have undergone some of the most significant changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, pivoting from exclusively in-person care to telemedicine and other technology-powered treatment options. These changes have been generally well-received, presenting medical businesses with two opportunities to thrive post-pandemic:
- Continue offering telemedicine services: Some telemedicine technology providers have reported a 40% increase in use of telemedicine services since December 2019. Remote care was already gaining wider acceptance before the pandemic, and has only continued to grow in popularity as people opt to stay home and reduce unnecessary contact, particularly for seniors and those with mild concerns that are easy to manage remotely. Medical service providers who adopt telemedicine permanently will be well-positioned for long-term success post-COVID.
- Remote patient monitoring (RPM): Biosensors that accumulate biological data along with AI-based analytics allow medical practitioners to monitor patients, catch any changes in health, and step in as necessary with minimal contact.
5 Post-COVID Business Opportunities for Retail Businesses
Retail businesses have been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but many resilient businesses have found creative ways to stay open—and even thrive—as the pandemic continues. Here are 5 post-COVID opportunities for retail businesses:
- Continue to sell online : Set up an e-commerce store if you haven’t already done so. If you do already offer e-commerce with curbside pickup or local delivery, consider expanding to offer nationwide or even international delivery.
- Offer online customer service: Creating more touchpoints and ways for potential customers to reach you can help you connect with new customers and generate revenue. Chatbots on your website or Facebook page are ideal for handling routine inquiries so your human staff can focus on more serious problems, such as helping people find the right products without entering your store.
- Virtual classes and workshops: Create a stronger connection with your audience by hosting virtual classes and workshops. Sell products and required supplies to attendees and offer local delivery or curbside pickup.
- Subscription models: Offer monthly deliveries of people’s favorite items, such as sweets, houseplants, books, coffee, or even essential items.
- Collaborate with other businesses: As people are encouraged to stay (and shop) close to home, local businesses have a unique opportunity to connect with their immediate community. Work with other businesses in your local area or seek out ways to contribute to your local community in a meaningful (and safe) way, such as offering joint promotions or volunteering.
The Best Post-COVID Business Opportunity for Offices
Many office-based businesses have undergone significant adjustments to how they do business. Some businesses and employees are eager to return to in-office work, while others have already committed to remaining remote post-COVID. The widespread acceptance of remote work presents office businesses with one compelling opportunity:
- Continue to embrace remote work: A survey conducted by PwC indicates that over 60% of CEOs say their business model will be more digital in the future, with 78% saying remote collaboration is here to stay. Another study by Gartner suggests that 74% of CFOs expect to transition a number of previously in-office employees to remote work permanently after COVID-19, primarily driven by a desire to cut commercial real estate costs. Consider letting employees continue to work remotely so you can save money on office space, whether you allow select employees to work remotely all of the time or let all employees work remotely part of the time. As part of the transition, create more permanent and secure structures to replace any hastily-made solutions you implemented at the start of the pandemic.
Questions to Ask When Planning for Post-COVID Growth
Not all businesses will be in a place to grow as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you’re considering making permanent adjustments to how you do business or are investigating opportunities to expand, there are a few questions to ask to help guide your plans:
- What new problems do people face? Things won’t return to normal right away, and some things may never return to the way they were. Think about the new problems and concerns your audience might have as the pandemic continues and how those problems and concerns might evolve as the pandemic eases.
- What needs and wants do people have? New problems mean new needs and wants. If your audience’s needs and wants have changed as a result of the pandemic, what can you do to adjust your business to meet their new needs?
- How can your business solve these problems and meet these needs? Set goals and consider new strategies and tactics for how your business can help solve new problems and adjust to changing needs.
Prepare for A Post Pandemic World with Small Business Funding
Taking the time now to contemplate post-COVID opportunities and prepare for how your business will continue to grow gives you a chance to identify what resources you’ll need to acquire.
Whether you’re rebuilding your business or looking to grow, taking advantage of the opportunities that exist for small businesses post-COVID requires working capital, and you may not have the funds you need to support these goals. If you’ve run out of PPP or EIDL funding or never received any in the first place, alternative funding from direct online lenders like Greenbox Capital® can help you access the working capital you need to make the most of any business opportunities that emerge after COVID-19.
With loans as small as $3,000 and up to $500,000, alternative lenders offer a number of advantages over traditional lenders like banks or the SBA, including:
- Easier qualification criteria with less paperwork to gather so you can jump on new opportunities quickly
- Faster review and approvals, with approval in as little as 2-5 business hours and funding in a little as 1 business day
- No restrictions on how your funds are used—use them for acquiring inventory or equipment, boosting your marketing, or adopting new technologies that will help your business grow after COVID-10
- A variety of funding options are available to suit your business’s needs, including merchant cash advances, small business loans, invoice factoring, collateral loans, and business lines of credit
- Businesses with low credit can receive funding. Instead of focusing on your credit score, our Funding Advisors will review the overall health and potential of your business
- Businesses in high-risk industries can also receive funding
- “The Biggest Business Impacts of the Coronavirus Pandemic.” eMarketer. March 14, 2020.
- “3 Big Post COVID-19 Opportunities for Small Businesses.” Gene Marks. Small Biz Ahead by The Hartford. Updated December 16, 2020.
- “CEOs: Post-COVID changes are permanent and there are more to come.” PwC via Newswire. August 10, 2020.
- “3 Ways COVID-19 Will Permanently Change the Future of Work.” Falon Fatemi. Forbes. June 3, 2020.