Is starting a business during the coronavirus pandemic extra risky? Perhaps, but there are plenty of opportunities to start a successful business now.
By filling gaps in the market made either by other businesses closing or changing trends in the marketplace, there are openings for new businesses to find a niche and flourish for years to come.
If you naturally set your sights high and want a scalable business to grow, look for ideas where you can grow the revenue for minimal incremental cost. And think carefully about how you set up your company in the early days because there are pros and cons of different business structures.
For example, establishing as a limited company can bring bring tax benefits and certain protections. However, bear in mind that being structured as a limited company can bring additional costs and responsibilities such as needing to submit your company’s annual accounts to Companies House each year. Also, public liability insurance and other types of business insurance for limited companies does typically cost a bit more than for other business structures.
Ready to brainstorm for your next business? Here are five ideas for scalable businesses that suit the times.
A recent survey by McKinsey showed that 53% of business leaders think that building employee skills is the best way to close their company’s capability gaps – this share is larger than the combined share who cite external hiring, redeploying people, and hiring contract workers as the best ways to close gaps.
This means the market is ripe for products and services that can expand employee skillsets. If you have an expertise that you can sell to businesses – whether marketing, human resources, writing, research skills or any other specialty niche knowledge – you can package it and sell it as a learning tool. The appetite for virtual learning tools will be particularly strong in this environment.
Outsourced Business Services
Businesses large and small are watching the budget and many do not want to invest heavily in permanent staff to perform functions like HR, admin, customer service, IT, accounting and more.
As a result, businesses providing outsourced B2B services in any of these areas has real potential for growth. Even more so now that many functions such as customer service can be organised remotely and people are now used to working from home.
Venture firms are attracted to Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) because small BPO providers can successfully compete against larger ones and margins for BPO providers can reach 40% or more. But this type of business is not for everyone as the expertise and tech behind a successful BPO service can be time consuming and difficult to develop.
Online Speed Dating
Singles, both young and mature, are losing precious time during Covid to meet their match, and many are quite anxious about it. Singles are as eager as ever for a chance to meet someone and start a relationship – but while there is motive there is no opportunity.
This situation provides a tremendous chance for an online speed dating business to flourish. Later on, once we return to some semblance of real life, the business could transition into offering in-person speed dating options.
Domestic House Cleaning
Cleaning businesses are another highly-scalable option to consider. Between people spending more time at home (leading to messier houses) and a keen desire to rid the home of potentially-deadly germs, the demand for cleaning services has skyrocketed during the pandemic.
Starting a company that emphasises customer safety can go a long way towards attracting new customers right now. For example, by guaranteeing cleaners wear a mask and gloves at all times in a customer’s home and the use of products proven to kill the coronavirus on high-touch surfaces.
Virtual Health Care
How about a virtual health check-in service for the elderly? Imagine a service where a trained nurse checks in, say, with your elderly mother once a day. They can enquire about general wellbeing, symptoms, questions, concerns, or other health issues your mother might have and then send a report to you afterwards. This type of service could be a boon for those who need light-touch medical supervision but are reluctant to head to the GP, hospital or a care home.
Think of it like the 111 NHS advice line but with no queues and regular reports back to a caring party.
These are just a few ideas for business ideas that could thrive in our new world. Any business that is both scalable and meets the changing needs of today’s consumers and companies will have the best odds for long-term growth and success.