Welcome to the final blog in my lockdown start-up opportunities series. Hopefully you’re feeling inspired to go out there and take full advantage of the benefit of a crisis generating new and unusual opportunities.
I’ve used Startups.co.uk’s list of ‘best business ideas’ published over the past few years to take a look at which businesses might make the startup success list in 2021.
1. Living With Less
I’ve certainly noticed an increase in people having clearouts during lockdown. Skips have arrived on driveways and random piles of unwanted belongings have been left with ‘please help yourself’ signs. It’s true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure but the trend these days seems to be to minimise clutter wherever possible.
One angle on this is the ‘borrow instead of buy’ trend, started by the likes of Uber and AirBnB who ‘lent’ lifts and accommodation and now, justpark.com has a list of over 300 ways to borrow anything from textbooks to surfboards.
Add to this the current burgeoning trend for reusing and there are business opportunities aplenty to avoid reducing our spend and what we send to landfill. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of making something which is broken beautiful; the Swedish philosophy of ‘lagom’, meaning not too little and not too much; and not forgetting Marie Kondo and you have a wealth of areas to explore for your next opportunity.
2. Is online the only way?
An interesting comment in the 2019 business ideas article reads as follows: “…in 2019 consumers will turn to the internet for traditionally face-to-face services they previously wouldn’t have considered accessing online.” Hmmm. I suspect the author didn’t think this would quite reach the scale it has given coronavirus and a worldwide lockdown. However, we are where we are, and online activity is certainly a necessity for many of us.
Pivoting your business – or launching yourself into the online market anew – definitely needs to be part of any new business plan being prepared for 2020 and beyond. There are also many new opportunities to be exploited in terms of the associated fallout of all this screen time. Meditation, digital detox and time management being just a few.
3. Plastic alternatives
Think back to life pre-coronavirus, and remember the incredible progress that was made in the war against plastic. Sadly, some of this good will have been undone by our sudden and overwhelming need to access disposable PPE but, rest assured, the plastic issue isn’t going to go away forever. As our ‘new normal’ dawns, we’ll need ever more inventive ways of living without pollution.
So many great initiatives were started before lockdown, any budding product entrepreneurs out there should be capitalising on the lull in activity to develop their designs. Never before has the world had to entertain such a level of change to our everyday lives. Now must surely be the perfect time to stay on the crest of that wave and launch new and better products for the future health of our planet.