In 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic changed the world and the subsequent lockdowns changed the business world in particular. Many were forced to close their doors, professionals were encouraged to work from home where possible and some even lost their jobs as a result. In fact, the number of people on payrolls fell by 649,000 between March and June of last year.
What’s more, it was a tough time to be a business owner, especially those that had just started out. And with the UK now on its third lockdown, the effects of the pandemic are still very much being felt. But there was something good to come from the last year. People quickly learnt to adapt and lots of new business ideas emerged. People thought innovatively and it quickly became apparent which industries were able to survive, perhaps even thrive, during lockdown.
So, whether you’re looking for a career change, you’ve recently lost your job or you just want to set up your own business, we’ve got you covered. Below, we’re going to take a look at five lockdown-proof business ideas that will be able to survive in 2021 and beyond.
1. Gardening and landscaping businesses
With (pretty much) everything closed and everyone being encouraged to stay home as much as possible, our gardens have become our sanctuaries. They have become a place for children to play, for families to gather, to eat and to enjoy the fresh air. This is particularly true over the warmer months with many people still reluctant to visit busy public places even when they do re-open.
Because of this, gardening and landscaping businesses boomed during the first lockdown and this trend looks set to continue. People wanted their outside spaces to look good and to be fun and functional. But more than this, once their gardens are complete, they also need someone to deal with the upkeep.
This makes gardening and landscaping businesses a very viable option right now. The best news is, depending on which area you want to go into, you might not need a huge amount of training, qualifications or startup capital to get going.
2. Food and drink businesses
You might think we’re crazy for suggesting the hospitality industry right now. After all, most restaurants, pubs and cafes are closed! But the result of this is that takeaway food has skyrocketed. With people unable to go out for dinner and drinks, many are ordering in so they can still treat themselves to a nice evening meal or a lovely lunch.
What’s more, many are sending food and drinks packages or parcels as treats to their loved ones to show they’re thinking of them. For example, boxes of homemade brownies or fancy pre-mixed cocktails and beers from local suppliers.
So if you’re a dab hand in the kitchen or you’re an expert baker, this could be your time to shine! Plus, it doesn’t require a lot to get started at home. You could start simply by delivering to your local area. Just be sure to look into any licensing you need and register as a sole trader if that’s your plan.
Because let’s face it, people will always want delicious food. Particularly when they’re unable to dine out like they usually would.
3. Dropshipping and e-commerce business
Although essential shops are allowed to remain open during lockdown, everything else must close and this has led to a boom in the e-commerce industry. Online shopping almost became the norm in 2020. Even after lockdown, people will still be wary of public spaces. Plus, with queues for shops and limits on capacity, often online shopping is the easiest option.
Because of this, e-commerce and dropshipping businesses are very much a lockdown-proof idea. Dropshipping could be the simplest way to make money if you don’t have the space to store any products. This option allows you to set up an online store and have your products shipped directly from the supplier, you’re just acting as the middleman. This is usually reserved for novelty or personalised gifts you might not be able to stock yourself.
Alternatively, if you create your own products or you have storage space and you want to make your packaging and products that bit more special, then a regular e-commerce store could be for you.
4. Online teaching
Lockdown has also meant lots of children are out of school and having to conduct their learning at home. This can be a real challenge for parents, particularly those who need to work at the same time. As such, online teachers have become a lifeline to many. If you’re already a teacher but hoping to work for yourself, this can be the perfect next step. If you’re not a teacher but you’ve got particular skills or knowledge, you can become an online tutor.
Even after lockdown when children return to school, many parents might still be concerned that the time out has left their child behind on their learning. As such, they may still require the extra support of an online teacher.
Furthermore, if you have timeless skills like a language, there are lots of children and adults out there that require a teacher for this type of learning. As such, this is a good business to start up, perfect for the era of online learning.
5. Freelance online marketing assistant
If you’ve got experience in the marketing industry or even if you’re just a whiz with words and social media, becoming an online marketing assistant can be a great business venture. Throughout lockdown, many businesses have taken the opportunity to work on their marketing. Not to mention with lots of new businesses emerging, people are in need of some promotion.
If this sounds like the career for you, there are several online courses and tutorials you can do to help get you started. You might also wish to choose an area to specialize in. For example, freelance blog writing or as a social media assistant. The greatest part is that often all you need is your laptop and an internet connection, and you can get started right away.
Then, even post-lockdown, many brands will want to continue with their marketing efforts. Especially in a time when competition amongst businesses is so fierce.
Written by Stuart Cooke, Marketing Manager at NI Parcels. They are a courier comparison service that helps businesses find the best shipping deals.