Thinking Outside The Box

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has had a disastrous effect on small businesses worldwide. Except for those multi-billion dollar enterprises like Amazon, the last year has been a loss for SMBs in most cases. However, just because the present environment is hostile to profit doesn’t mean you must succumb to such market forces.

There are ways to start successful online businesses despite this unprecedented set of circumstances. In this writing we’ll go over a few things you can do to establish an operation that brings money in despite the crisis.
Classic Strategy: Identify A Void And Fill It

People aren’t traveling, they’re ordering things online; but there are things which people need that are hard to order online. Go shopping for people more cost-effectively than if you went to a big retailer. Run errands for them. Make a business out of being a “gopher”, where you “go for” certain items as clients need them—that sort of thing is in demand right now.

You can also function as a contractor for certain operations that governments haven’t figured out yet. For example, masks aren’t stored in biohazard waste containers. You can position your business as a hygienic local agent preserving your community from a spreading disease by picking up such masks; you may get a government contract in some small towns that way.

Identifying a void where there’s a demand that is unfulfilled, and filling that void, has always been a good plan for business. Because people are buying things online like never before, there’s a lot of digital opportunity at the present time.

Making online portals where people can enter shopping lists, monitoring your local community, or even doing things like providing online tutoring services for kids—these are all business ideas that some people have been able to work with.

Working With A Business Broker

There are companies out there called business brokers who make it easy for you to sell a company. It’s their business model to buy a company either at a percentage of the cost involved, or to facilitate the acquisition of a company similarly.

Business brokers either hook entrepreneurs with deeper pockets than the SMBs they buy, or they purchase such struggling businsses wholesale for other purposes. It depends on the broker involved, just as with real estate. When it comes to real estate, most realtors hook sellers up with buyers and take a percentage of associated costs.

But there are real estate solutions which simply buy houses for the purpose of selling them like a retailer sells goods in a store later. It depends on the real estate option in question. Similarly, business brokers operate on whatever business model keeps them profitable.

If you’re an entrepreneur, there are a number of things you can do with this information. On the one hand, you can peruse what businesses such brokers have available to see what isn’t working. On the other hand, you can purchase some businesses built around sound concepts but mismanaged. Or, you might start acting as a business broker yourself.

That Chinese Proverb: Every Crisis Is A Disguised Opportunity

Perhaps proverbs out of China aren’t quite as attractive as they used to be, but that doesn’t invalidate the truth behind them. And here’s the reality of our present situation: we are definitely in a crisis. But crises are of a quality that predicates possible opportunity. It just requires carefully understanding your situation, and taking appropriate steps.

Because of the lockdown, many businesses have imploded; but the niche services they provide the community are still necessary. The internet, decentralization, and remote infrastructure have leapt in to fill the void. These things were on the fringes percolating to begin with, now they’re on center stage.

The internet can act as your portal to providing consultation services. It can act as a portal to allow those stuck under quarantine the ability to get what they need through third-party shoppers. You can even buy and sell businesses as a business broker if you’ve got enough capital to get that ball rolling profitably.

The key is determining where there’s a void in your market, and how you can fill it. Selling things online, buying them, providing services, and determining where there’s a lack of services represent viable ways to achieve such outcomes. Explore our local situation, and do a little research to see where you might be able to provide something profitable.