Why start your own business during coronavirus pandemic?

BY: Andrews Ayiku

Why would anyone want to start their own business now, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread? Social distancing is becoming the new norm and most startups owners I have interacted with recently, confirmed they have not made a single sale due to lockdowns and other government regulations.

Restriction on life activities have led to the closure of many startups and laying off staff either permanently or temporarily. Despite these numerous concerns of many startup owners, some are starting to look for unseen opportunities within this crisis by adopting creative and innovative solutions.

Some steps in starting a business include conducting a market research, planning your finances, considering the business model and structure, register your business, licensing and permits, online store or a business location, set up your team and promote your business.

The following business opportunities can be considered if you want to start your own business during this pandemic.

Pickup and Delivery Service: Pickup and delivery services have become the new opportunities in the changing economy regardless of the business size or type. Businesses are finding innovative ways to reach their customers doorsteps, and this has resulted in a surge in this business during this crisis. Businesses in need of these services include pharmacies, groceries shops, restaurants etc. Steps include getting a vehicle or a motorbike and the necessary licensing, you need to determine your delivery boundaries which will narrow your customer base and puts a cap on gas and mileage expenditures, determine your daily routes and working hours, create a list of business contacts and partners and advertise your business online.

Cleaning Service: People are constantly reminded to clean and disinfect commonly used areas, offices to prevent the spread of the virus and this has resulted in an increase in requests for additional services from cleaning companies. There will be a high demand for cleaning services even when the pandemic is over due to new measures being taken by government and companies. Starting a cleaning business will require creating a budget, choosing the right business structure, applying for a license, purchasing cleaning equipment and marketing your business.

Face Mask Maker: This has become a protective gear against the infectious diseases and has recently become mandatory to wear in Ghana and other parts of the world. Some financial institutions are preventing customers without face masks from entering their banking halls. There is a business opportunity in producing face mask especially when wearing of face mask is becoming the new normal for now. Currently, wearing the face masks is becoming fashionable with people especially on social media, advertising the mask made from same fabric design to match their outfit or attire.

Growth of Mobile Business Applications: There has been a huge demand for the development of mobile applications due to the pandemic especially with the on-going lockdowns and restrictions on movements and social distancing. Mobile marketing applications especially in the area of health, fitness, education and food business has been on high demand. There has also been an increase in online shopping and shifting to an online marketplace has become the right business model and resulted in making great savings on resources by both customers and businesses. Starting a mobile app business will require a market research to understand the current market offering and find the gap your app would fill, your target market and seeking technical advice on your programming language and finally knowing your revenue model options.

Set up your Online Business: The pandemic is shaking up the global economy, market systems and the customer journey map which will greatly affect the way businesses operate. Even the consumer taste, preferences, lifestyle and personality has also changed drastically. There is a great opportunity in setting up online business which include tutoring business, app developer, online marketplace for handmade goods, virtual assistant, blogger, web designer or developer etc. Some steps to consider in setting up include: Identifying a need and fill it, design and build an easy to use website, use search engines to drive traffic to your website, established a brand and reputation for yourself, establish the target market and follow up on them and develop your revenue model.

The writer is the Coordinator, MBA Impact Entrepreneurship and Innovation
University of Professional Studies, Accra, Ghana
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