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Starting business ventures during a pandemic: which ideas will work?


It might feel like the absolute wrong time to be starting business ventures, but these business ideas will flourish. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic, Coronavirus lockdown, having to work from home, and the world is changing all around us. However, the fact that this virus is changing the way we live and work, it has also created new opportunities for businesses.

Starting a business from scratch during a pandemic doesn’t sound like a good idea, but in fact it can be a great entrepreneurial decision. Just as many companies were inspired by the needs generated by the coronavirus pandemic to transform their activities, many new ideas emerged in entrepreneurship with the imposition of a new consumer demand.

As an entrepreneur, you still have time to adapt to current challenges and start a thriving business during this pandemic. See some markets that gained prominence in the midst of the crisis.

As well as this, many people have found themselves with extra time on their hands and the time to think about what they really want from life while others are out of work and looking for something they can do and new ways to make money, so what do you need to do if you want to start a business during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Basically, it’s no different from starting business ventures at any other time. You will still need to create a business plan, work out your start-up costs (which could be very minimal if you are going to work from home), and how you will finance the business. You may need to allow a bit more time to set thing up, for example as less people are in offices, it could take longer to process certain licenses or your LEI application, but as time is something many of us have right now, it’s not such a huge deal. Remember that as lots of people still need to stay at home, and social distancing measures may be in place for some time, so you need to think about how this will affect the business and work around that.

Ideas for starting business ventures

Start a delivery business

With safer people staying indoors, delivery services have taken on another level of priority. Whether for meals, medicines, supermarket purchases or any other merchandise, many businesses need available professionals.

For those just starting business ventures, the ideal is to provide a service to local companies, acting as a bridge between suppliers and customers until gaining recognition in the market. The advantage of starting a local delivery system is that it is more efficient and cheaper than traditional services. All you need is a reliable route planning app for delivery drivers and vehicles.

Over time, it is possible to specialize in a certain area, adapt a vehicle and understand the costs and benefits of each niche, as well as learn about your customers and their buying habits to improve your service.

As so many people are stuck at home, they are bored and having to forgo many of their normal luxuries; they are looking for new ways to treat themselves. That might be more takeaways than usual, and as many restaurants who wouldn’t normally offer this service are now doing just that, there is a huge opportunity for food delivery. Pubs and restaurants who don’t offer your traditional takeaway food are making a killing during this pandemic as people treat themselves to gourmet meals to make up for the fact they can’t go out.

So, with that in mind, you could be starting business ventures like a takeaway food business, and there are opportunities to be had such as healthy food to help people lose their COVID weight, you could start a milk round, delivery groceries, or anything really – it doesn’t have to be food. You could even start a courier service.

Fitness businesses

The coronavirus made people work from home and stay indoors most of the day. This, combined with the anxiety resulting from a pandemic, transformed the population’s routine and perception of well-being.

By doing less physical activity, eating less healthy and generally taking less care of yourself, more than ever people need extra motivation. Fitness and wellness content became very popular during the pandemic.

In 2019, the so-called digital fitness sector had a turnover of US$ 3.6 billion in the United States. With the onset of the pandemic, Peloton, a leading monthly subscription spinning remote class business, saw its shares rise by 9.2% in early March after its app downloads quintupled from February. In one month, the appreciation was 60% and the company started to hold virtual classes for more than 23 thousand participants.

Secondhand clothing

New priorities and new needs give new meaning to the concept of thrift stores for starting business ventures, inspiring a trend that should impact businesses of different aspects, above all, retail. The English term recommerce evidences this movement with the growth of resale platforms or the adoption of the strategy also by consolidated companies.

Businesswoman Stella Kochen Susskind, founder of SKS CX Customer Experience, a consultancy focused on customer experience and satisfaction, highlights that the challenge posed by the pandemic has brought a reality of recession to the planet, boosting a market for the sale of used items.

A survey by GlobalData and WGSN indicates a 69% growth in this business model by the end of this year. Stella mentions that the entry of luxury brands in this scenario – Gucci, Burberry and Stella McCartney – has contributed to combat prejudice in relation to the purchase of second-hand vehicles.

Levis, in tune with the growth of reverse commerce, launched its own platform, Levi’s SecondHand, associated with a buyback program that offers consumers the option to buy used jeans from the brand or exchange items for points that can be used both in the purchase new products and used cars.

In Brazil, some examples have emerged. Marisol is developing the Re-conta project. The premise is that “standby clothes don’t tell stories”. The initiative encourages consumers to choose, in their wardrobe, items that are ready for new stories, and take them to Lilica & Tigor stores to exchange them for credits on new purchases. In a partnership with the Enjoei platform, the donated pieces go to a small online store, feeding the circular economy proposal.

Another example comes from the book market: bookstores like Cultura transform semi-new books, taken by customers to the units, into credits for new acquisitions. In addition, there is an exclusive area on the platform, Sebo Cultura, where used works can be purchased with discounts.

Antiviral textiles

Amid the pandemic, brands are selling products made with materials that promise to eliminate or neutralize the new coronavirus, called antiviral clothing. A success story during the pandemic is the startup Insider Store. The brand invests in the production and sale of fabric items with anti-perspiration, anti-odor technology and thermal regulation.

The company was the first to launch antiviral clothing. The masks and shirts are made with a fabric impregnated with silver nanoparticles, which inactivate 99.9% of viruses and bacteria in up to 5 minutes. The products were certified with this effectiveness after tests carried out by Unicamp’s virology laboratory and other private companies, following the ISO 18184 standard.

In addition, the masks, mainly, gained strength in the market by the anti-acne action, which became a constant complaint of those who wore masks made of normal fabrics. The company grew four times from 2019 to 2020, reaching BRL 30 million in revenue last year. The forecast is to reach the mark of BRL 60 million in 2021.


The online sales sector registered a record in 2020. According to data from the Association of Electronic Commerce, in partnership with Neotrust, the growth in sales was 68% compared to 2019, increasing the participation of the e-commerce in total retail revenue, which went from 5% at the end of 2019 to a level above 10% in a few months of last year.

The data reflects habits acquired during the coronavirus pandemic and the need for digitization of companies. Brands that even before the pandemic scenario were working 100% online saw their sales numbers soar.

The digital platform for services and purchase of Eniwine wines was boosted during the pandemic. According to a survey carried out by Ideal Consulting, the import of wine in the first five months of the year 2020 increased 5% in volume, totaling 43 million liters.

Increased demand for certain businesses

Sadly there has been an increased need for certain services and businesses such as funeral directors and florists, which are both ideas for businesses. Also, as many businesses try to return to normal, they want to make sure their premises are safe so you could start a specialist, deep-cleaning business as it’s certainly going to be needed.

Starting a hobby-based business

For many people who have been furloughed or made redundant, it has been a perfect time to concentrate on their hobbies, but why not turn that hobby into a business? If you enjoy sewing, for example, you could start making face masks and scrubs and selling them online on platforms like eBay or Amazon, Etsy, or Not On The Highstreet.

Health and fitness businesses

The pandemic has seen many people take up exercise for the first time in years as it gives them something to do and a reason to get out. While gyms and sports stadiums are still on lockdown, other sports that are suitable for social distancing are becoming more popular. More people are getting out on their bikes, so perhaps you could start selling bicycles or start a personal training business.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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