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5 business ideas for post-pandemic needs

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Niches for the new normal

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have been devastating. From health concerns to the economic downturn, we experienced it all. Luckily, as vaccines continue to roll out and the world starts to normalize again, a plethora of business ideas for post-pandemic opportunities sit on the horizon.

A lot has changed since the onset of the pandemic.

First, we saw digital interaction companies like Zoom, Microsoft and Slack take off as we found ways to stay connected through our screens. Then, we saw companies that relied on physical interaction and travel take massive financial hits.

As we look to the future, we must leverage all the changes over the past two years to build sustainable businesses for the long term.

Related: 3 low-cost marketing trends for the new normal

5 business ideas for post-pandemic needs

This post will cover the five business ideas that are perfect for the new post-pandemic world. These ideas will range from concepts that you can run from your iPhone to in-person experiences including: 

  • Start a dropshipping business.
  • Offer virtual assistant services.
  • Become an Airbnb host.
  • Manage influencers.
  • Open a food truck.

By the end of this post, you’ll be familiar with these five ideas that you can pursue and leverage to build a profitable business.

1. Start a dropshipping business

Woman packing a box

More and more people are turning to digital commerce to buy the things they need. People no longer want to go to their local store, wait in line and travel back home. Instead, with a click of a button, they expect to get the products they want in a timely manner.

A great way to capitalize on this new shopping trend is through dropshipping. Dropshipping is a timeless business model that can work under any economic situation.

The great thing about this business model is that it’s a very low-cost business to start. Dropshipping is when the retailer (you) does not keep any inventory on hand. Instead, you work as a middleman, transferring the customer’s order to the manufacturer.

By not holding any inventory, there are virtually no startup costs.

You may have to pay a monthly subscription for many ecommerce platforms. However, your hosting costs shouldn’t exceed more than $30 a month when you’re just getting started. You will likely have to pay for additional tools like a landing page builder or an email service provider, but these services should only cost around $10 to $20 a month.

Interestingly though, it is possible to start a dropshipping business for free. Many successful dropshippers use platforms like eBay and Etsy to list their products. The benefit of using a platform like eBay, outside of the zero-dollar startup cost, is that they already have users on their platform looking to purchase items. Whereas, if you build a brand new store, you start with zero traffic. You will have to run online ads to your website or create content via social media or a blog to attract visitors.

Although the traditional online store strategy is more expensive and takes more time to generate sales, you will benefit from designing your own website and creating your own custom pages. You also will have the ability to collect the email list of your buyers and market to them in the future.

2. Offer virtual assistant services

If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s that we can continue working even if we’re not sharing the same office space.

With the proliferation of technology that allows us to have virtual communication, it has never been easier for businesses to outsource tasks.

As a virtual assistant, the services you could offer are limitless. I would recommend teaching yourself a high-income skill. When most people think of high-income skills, they think of jobs like being a lawyer or a doctor — skills that need years and years of education before making a living in that field.

However, there are many skills you can learn on the internet with no need for formal education. For example, skills like copywriting, search engine optimization, coding, web designing or social media marketing can all be learned through YouTube or how-to articles.

Once you have a solid foundation of the skill you just learned, you can sign up on a freelance platform like Upwork or Fiverr and create a seller’s profile to start getting projects.

Also, don’t be afraid to leverage social media platforms, like LinkedIn or Twitter, to message business owners about your services.

3. Become an Airbnb host

Brightly-lit living room

Brightly-lit living room

As the pandemic comes to a close, people are starting to “revenge travel” to make up for all the time they spent in their house since the start of COVID-19.

If you have a spare bedroom in your house, you may want to look into monetizing that space by becoming an Airbnb host.

The process of becoming a host is effortless and can be done within a couple of minutes.

Like eBay dropshipping, becoming an Airbnb host is great because it is entirely free to list your home on Airbnb. In addition, the platform already has more than 150 million users who book vacations or experiences.

If you do happen to have the extra space and becoming an Airbnb host is a reality for you, you can check out the free rental property calculator on their website to see how much money you could make based on your location and property size.

4. Manage influencers

Influencer marketing has grown from a market size of just $1.7 billion in 2016 to an expected $13.8 billion by the end of 2021. With platforms like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok all growing in popularity, it is no surprise that brands are looking for ways to get their products in the hands of influencers who have an engaged following.

Still, many influencers don’t know the monetization potential behind their accounts. Most individuals with a large following have amassed their following because they love what they do, not because they want to sell something to an audience.

A great strategy is to pick a platform and reach out to influencers within a specific niche.

The more specific you get, as in makeup influencers on TikTok, the easier it will be to represent them as a manager.

Reach out to these influencers and ask them how much they would charge to promote a product in their video. Many influencers won’t know the value of their audience and will give a number below market value.

Once you understand how much they would charge for a promotion, message companies in that niche and ask if they would be interested in promoting their product with that influencer. When they ask for pricing, give a number 10x higher than what the influencer told you.

Make sure to be upfront with the influencer that you will be making from these placements. However, they will usually be fine as long as they get the amount they ask for.

5. Open a food truck

Person holding a sandwich in a food truck

Person holding a sandwich in a food truck

Although a food truck doesn’t sound like a sexy idea, it’s one of the most practical ways to get into the food business without taking on the risk of starting a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

The food truck industry has been growing in consumer demand as the need for high-quality, affordable food has increased over the years.

With a food truck, you can meet your customers where they are instead of having them come to you.

Additionally, by not being stuck at a physical location, you can try placing your food truck in different areas at different times of the day to see what strategy generates the most sales for your business.

Editor’s note: If you need point-of-sale payment options for your food truck, check out the offerings powered by GoDaddy Payments. With low transaction fees, you’ll keep more of your hard-earned cash. 

Which business idea for post-pandemic needs appeals to you?

There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic is full of unprecedented problems. However, now that we can see an end to it, it’s time for business owners to start looking toward the future. There is no shortage of business ideas for post-pandemic needs worth pursuing in this new environment.

With this new economic landscape, you can do anything from creating in-person experiences to leveraging digital commerce. As long as you deploy patience and consistency, the sky’s the limit.



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How to Kick-Start Your Online Clothing Resale Gig

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With the recent rise of resale apps like Depop and Poshmark, the idea of selling old clothes online is becoming more fashionable. Many people have turned clothing resale into a lucrative side gig or even a full-time job, gaining thousands of followers and making dozens of sales per week.

The secondhand-clothing market is projected to more than triple by 2030, according to a 2021 study by reselling platform Mercari and research firm GlobalData, as more fashion enthusiasts clean out their closets and search thrift stores to find valuable pieces to resell.

But whether you have a collection of band T-shirts or office attire, finding success on these platforms takes time and effort. Before diving into your closet, there are a few things to know.

You set your prices

Unlike consignment and resale shops, you can price items yourself on an online platform. Before listing a piece of clothing, look it up on multiple platforms to find out what it’s currently selling for. Depending on age, condition and brand, prices can vary widely.

You can also take advantage of direct messaging to negotiate with buyers and use features on apps like Depop and Poshmark that let you accept offers and create multi-item discounts.

“Sales can be sporadic,” says Andres Castillo of Los Angeles, who sells rare designer pieces through Depop, eBay and Instagram under the name Debonair Vintage. With rare or high-value items, it may take a while to find the right buyer, especially if you’re looking to break even or make a profit.

There’s a big time commitment

“I treat [reselling clothes] like my job,” says Eve Perez, a full-time student in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, who sells under the name Fitsfinesse and was featured in Teen Vogue in 2021 for her Depop success. She responds to messages daily, on top of taking product photos, sewing custom pieces, and packaging and shipping orders.

Communicating clearly with first-time buyers is essential: “If you don’t build that relationship, then you won’t get sales and returning customers,” she adds.

Although you have control over the prices, reselling online takes much more time and energy than selling to consignment stores. According to Depop, sellers who list consistently — around 15 items per week — sell more over time.

“It takes a lot of time and dedication,” says Castillo. Top-notch sellers have to learn to take eye-catching photos, understand shipping rates, negotiate over text, and research brands and trends to make the most of their inventory.

Overhead costs add up

Yes, you can set your prices — but there are a few overhead costs to factor in. Online resale platforms charge commission fees, plus additional fees for shipping through the platform or accepting payments through a processor like PayPal. Depop takes 10% of every sale and eBay takes 15%; Poshmark takes $2.95 for items under $15 and 20% for items over $15. PayPal, which integrates with Depop, Poshmark and eBay, charges another 3.49% plus 49 cents per transaction for payment processing.

On top of that, you’ll need to pay for packaging, label printing and possibly storing inventory including bins, hangers and shelves. Top sellers also recommend adding a personal touch in shipments, like free stickers, small accessories or a thank-you note. When all those costs add up, you may find that only higher-value items are worth listing.

You can cut costs by reusing shipping mailers and boxes, and printing labels at your local FedEx or UPS store instead of purchasing a label printer. Or, reduce shipping costs for buyers by bundling several items into a single shipment, which can motivate buyers to purchase more from your shop.

The social aspect is a priority

The most successful online resellers have one thing in common: a strong personal brand. Finding your niche and building a loyal following is essential to long-term success on a resale platform.

“It’s like Instagram, but for selling,” says Perez, who focuses on curating a consistent aesthetic and marketing her shop on social media platforms like TikTok.

Castillo grew his business by catering to a very specific market: vintage designer collectors, specifically for Moschino and Chanel. He sells across several platforms, using his Instagram to rent pieces out to stylists for photo shoots and red-carpet events. Though he targets a fairly small community, his narrow focus helps him reach his ideal buyers.

Other top sellers on resale platforms can be seen taking a similar approach, with shop themes ranging from band T-shirts to vintage gowns. “Lean into your personal taste,” says Castillo. Even if you don’t have a curated collection to sell, personalized packaging or a unique photo background can help your items stand out.

Both Perez and Castillo emphasize the importance of cross-linking social media platforms to reach as many potential customers as possible. Creating a dedicated Instagram Business account and following other online sellers and designers can help drive buyers to your shop. Check popular pages for trendy hashtags and add those to your posts. Making the time to promote on social media can help transform your closet into some serious income.

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Turning Your Hobby into a Business? Here is What You Need to Know

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Do you dream of one day quitting your job and following your passion in life? You can do it! Many successful entrepreneurs turned their hobbies into profitable businesses.

Do you have a hobby? Doing the things you love keeps you engaged with life, gives your mind a focus, and helps you enhance your concentration. Investing time in your hobby also provides you with a great way to relax, unwind, and relieve daily stress.

photo credit: Giulia Bertelli / Unsplash

You shouldn’t be ashamed of your hobby even if your friends and family don’t share it. Only because they find interest in something else doesn’t mean that no one in the world shares the same interests that you do. In fact, millions of people engage in the same hobby as you do daily.

So if you thought that no one shared your enthusiasm for this activity until now, think again. Whatever activity you can imagine, millions of other people on the planet are doing it as you read this article.

If you’re one of the individuals who wonder how they can transform their hobby into a successful venture, this article provides information on how to start a business based on the things you love.

Do a Self-assessment

Do you know what it takes to turn your hobby into a lucrative business? Do you have the required stamina and energy to take the necessary steps and transform it into a venture? Yes, it would be nice to spend your days doing what you love and making money, but make sure you don’t ruin your hobby by transforming it into a business. You started pursuing it to blow off some steam, but you could take its charm away if you add a lot of pressure on it to deliver money.

Research to understand what starting a business in this sector implies and make sure there’s a paying public before you bet the farm on it. Running a successful company requires plenty of work and responsibility, two things that could take the fun out of your hobby.

Plant hobby as a business

Test The Idea

If you decide that you have what it takes to turn your passion into a business, the next step is to test the concept by starting a side hustle. When the profits reach a level that allows you to cover monthly bills and support yourself, you can quit your job and pursue this venture.

However, don’t leave your present job if your side gig doesn’t make enough cash flow to last you at least two years. Be ready for the shock you’ll get when you turn from getting a monthly salary to having to pay taxes yourself. To make sure that you won’t worry about housing, food, or monthly bills, save up at least two years of living expenses.

Research

Before investing time, money, and effort into starting a business, take a look at the market and see what your future competitors are doing. Research the niche online, on social media and among the public to see what customers expect from you and what other companies provide.

You can research the market on your own or hire a professional company to do it for you. It’s recommended to work with specialists because they know the aspects that require extra attention and can help you determine if starting a business in this niche is worth it.

Make a list of your biggest 10 competitors and analyse their activity to figure out what they do to position themselves as leaders in the industry. Check their website, evaluate its functionality, and have a look at their Google ranking. Remember that people start searching for a product or service online in the present digital world, and it’s crucial to rank high in search engines to reach your ideal customer.

After doing research, you’ll have a clear idea of what you’re dealing with in terms of competition.

Reading small business plan

Write a Business Plan

The business plan serves as a blueprint for your company, and you’ll definitely need it if you want to apply for a loan. However, don’t skip creating a business plan because it’s quite useful in starting your venture, even if you don’t seek funding. Research shows that the business people who make a detailed business plan are 16% more likely to develop a profitable business.

Here are some elements your business plan should include:

  • Financial plan
  • Executive summary
  • Business overview
  • Management team
  • List of services and products
  • Marketing and sales plans
  • Marketing strategies
  • Metrics and milestones

If you want to transform your hobby into a profitable business, you need to take it seriously and write a complete business plan.

Build a Brand

Branding is essential when trying to build an easy-to-recognise business. It would help if you had a unique business name and logo that match your company’s personality and values. Pick brand colours that resonate best with your target audience, and craft a message they resonate with.

You can use free online tools to create a logo and elements for your business cards and advertising materials. Canva is such a solution that provides access to a huge library of elements.

Digital aisles

Establish a Strong Web Presence

In the digital era, all businesses need an online presence to attract attention and reach their target audience, no matter their size or specific. You should create a website that allows you to present the benefits your clients get if they purchase your products and even create a shop page that allows them to buy online. However, establishing a solid web presence extends beyond creating a website. It also implies creating and maintaining the page, connecting it to social media profiles, and posting regularly on the blog.

Your purpose is to brand your company as an authority in the industry that also provides valuable pieces of advice beyond selling products.

Try to be consistent in how you present yourself to your public because you need to establish an image. Your web presence and brand are the main elements that impact your company’s identity and help loyal clients differentiate your products from your competitors.

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Q&A With Dr Ryan Shelton on Starting Up a Natural Healthcare Business

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”Dr Ryan Shelton is the Medical Research Director For Zenith Labs. He believes that there is a way to help sick people with natural treatments complimenting the conventional pharmaceutical approach. He has created a regimen of natural treatments consisting of holistic and complementary medicine, and it’s all backed up by science-based research.

Dr Ryan Shelton had dreams about being a doctor from a young age. His love for helping people inspired him to study the human body and how its internal and external environments change it for the better or for the worse.

Dr Shelton’s path to becoming a doctor was anything but typical. His undergraduate education focused on biochemistry and genetics. After attending medical school for one year he withdrew to “think in slow motion” and received another degree in Philosophy. He left because he disagreed with the way doctors were being taught to practice medicine. Dr Shelton believed that the better way to treat his patients was to heal their whole bodies rather than just treating the symptoms.

After receiving his Philosophy degree, Dr Shelton understood how important it would be to be able to treat or prevent chronic diseases holistically. He returned to medical school, where he earned his Naturopathy Doctorate. Now, Dr Ryan Shelton gets to follow his passion by helping his patients achieve their best overall health through natural remedies.

With chronic disease being on the rise, Naturopaths like Dr Shelton want to do their best to try and stop it from spreading by treating patients holistically. He does this by turning their food into medicine first and using natural remedies to increase their overall health. His goal is to balance his patient’s systems, and he passionately believes that his ultimate goal is to help his patients achieve optimal health.

Dr. Ryan Shelton’s work with Zenith Labs has helped him attract patients interested in pursuing wellness rather than focusing solely on disease care. His successful medical practice complements this passion, as does the company he founded. Whether you’re looking to improve your overall wellness or just want an alternative to the traditional pharmacological regimen, Dr Ryan Shelton has a plan for how to help you.

Hello Dr. Shelton, can you briefly tell us who you are and what you do?

Currently, I’m the medical research director for Zenith Labs and a Naturopathic Doctor with a successful private practice. I am also the Wellness Director and on the admissions team for a behavioral therapeutic program.

For the last few years, I’ve been running an online supplement business where people outside of where I am can get the same kind of advice that I give to my in-person patients from anywhere in the world. I do my best to promote a concept of total wellness and natural health solutions.

I have developed several natural health regimens over the years based on my research. I’m working hard to teach people that everything else will follow if they improve their overall health.

Please describe your company in a few words

Yes, it is a company, but really what we’re trying to promote here is a culture. Sure, we could go online and sell supplements till the cows come home. Lots of people do that. This naturalistic approach has been my life’s work ever since I was in medical school. I initially left medical school because I felt that the traditional way medicine was practiced was to treat the symptoms rather than treat the whole person.

I’m working hard to use my company as a vehicle to teach my customers and patients that they can improve their total body health, which makes healing other symptoms easier.

What is your company’s biggest achievement in recent years?

The surge in online business, I would say, has been our best achievement in recent years. When we first moved into this space, I felt like the company wasn’t getting the attention it deserved. We did traditional promotions and bought advertising, but nothing was really getting us over that plateau.

Just when I thought I might have to just let it go, word of mouth started spreading, and it spread like crazy. Satisfied patients were telling other people about what they’d experienced by using these treatments, and those people turned out in droves to get these benefits for themselves.

In what direction do you see natural healthcare going?

The coolest thing I think I have seen recently is that natural medicine is becoming more and more mainstream all the time. For a long time, people who preferred natural remedies were seen as “uninformed” or “Weird.”

Nowadays, people are flocking to find out what natural remedies they can incorporate into their own life. We’ve all seen so many odd things come from big pharma over the past ten years, so is it any wonder people are looking for a way that they can take charge of their own health. It will become much more focused on environmental medicine, lifestyle medicine, and anti-aging medicine.

We will begin using natural treatments not in response to crises, but rather to promote a level of optimal health not yet seen in the general population.

Natural medicine
photo credit: PhotoMIX Company / Pexels

Which recent developments in your industry do you find exciting?

The way in which people seem to be flocking to natural medicine. It’s no longer on the fringes of people’s thoughts. I see people take a more open-minded approach to learn about things that natural healers from around the world have known for centuries.

The general attitude that people have, that they want to discover things for themselves rather than just taking the proscribed wisdom as gospel, is really exciting. I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to being able to reach more people than ever before.

Again, environmental medicine and anti-aging, natural agents specifically targeting your unique specific genes and DNA to promote optimal health. The days of degeneration and disease are hopefully going away soon.

What keeps you motivated?

My vision. It’s been front and center in my mind since I was a child. I watched so many of my older relatives that suffered from chronic conditions just wither away with the traditional medical approaches. I knew there had to be a better way, and I feel like I’ve found it.

What keeps me motivated is the drive to bring what I’ve found to as many people as possible, so maybe they won’t have to watch their loved ones suffer as I did.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the health field?

Hang in there. It’s the best advice I could give anyone. Medical school is tough, and it should be. Then you’ll have your residency and boards, which are brutal. Becoming a doctor is a privilege that we, as a society, only bestow on those who have proven themselves to be the best at what they do.

If being a medical professional is your dream, then hang in there, and fight for it tooth and nail until you’ve achieved your dream.

Thanks for your time, Dr Shelton!

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