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Many people have been left jobless or struggling with their businesses during the pandemic. The effects of the lockdown and the worsening virus situation has led many people become hopeless of the condition. However, even while staying at home and remaining protected from the virus, there are some excellent simple business ideas that you could start. COVID has surely affected e-commerce, but the digital space is endless and offers a lot of opportunities even today.
Business ideas during the lockdown
Dropshipping is probably not a new word that you have heard of. However, the popularity of this term has definitely increased during the pandemic. After all the pandemic has done to e-commerce and businesses of small and large scales, dropshipping is a go-to choice for most people. It offers great opportunity to young and tech-savvy people, specifically the millennials who have a good understanding of the internet.
It is basically a new, digital retail business model that requires an owner/dropshipper to hold no inventory or produce any product of their own. Instead, it is more of a service that makes a dropshipper a kind of a “middle man” between a supplier and an end customer. It is one of the simple business ideas that can be started without much capital.
You have to build and take care of the online store, collect orders and payments from your customers. You will also be in charge of choosing product(s) that are available on your store. Your supplier, however, will be in charge of a product, its quality, shipping and customs specifics and inventory. Communicating an order after receiving it from your customer, to your supplier is your main job. Advertising and marketing the product, making your website or online SEO-friendly and providing customer support is all your job.
Here are some benefits of dropshipping:
No inventory costs and responsibilities
Won’t have to deal with delivery and shipping issues
No need for a physical office or workplace
Can sell absolutely anything that is legal and harmless
Easy to increase the scale
The possible drawbacks of this business idea can be:
Finding a reliable supplier
Shipping time is more if a supplier is overseas
Communication barriers if a supplier and/or customers are from different part of the world
Profit margin can be low initially
2. Freelance content writer
Any product or service that you can offer online will be of great advantage to you. Fast speed and widespread accessibility of the internet like Spectrum packages let people sit in the comfort of their homes and find solutions for anything online.
This is why the freelance community is getting bigger and bigger each day with new opportunities and job requirements. While the pool of choices in freelancing is huge, there is one skill that is highly in demand, pandemic or not. Content writing has become the soul of SEO for most marketers and businesses. Any brand’s website is practically incomplete and incompetent if there is no “blog” section. Starting from writing impressive emails to writing web content to providing valuable content to customers on social media, content writing has become essential.
However, there is one thing that you must keep in mind, pick up content writing only if you have a knack for writing and can take the task seriously. It is not going to be a walk in the park. There are many people with misconceptions that content writing is only a matter of copy-pasting or rephrasing content found from other resources. It’s really not, a thorough research and a good command on your writing (in any language) is the foundation for good content writing.
If you don’t possess relevant skills, there are numerous content writing courses that you can take up online.
If you want to freelance but writing does not sound like your thing, go for things like data analysts, research analysts, digital marketers, graphic designing, video editing and much more. Small businesses even hire freelance social media managers for shorter periods of time.
Here are the key pros and cons of freelance content writing:
A rewarding skill, you can always learn more to earn more
Highly in demand
Allows you to work with small to large-sized companies
Has a long-term relevance
Little to no investment costs
Lots of material and guidance online
Getting well-paying clients will take time
Might need to polish your skills and get basic to intermediate SEO knowledge
3. Gardening services
While dropshipping and freelancing are entirely online or digital services you can offer, here is something more interesting and tangible. Gardening services can be very in-demand during the pandemic and lockdown. People staying at home have turned to new hobbies and activities to kill time, and gardening is one of them. They are showing interest in having kitchen gardens and even taking care of indoor plants.
As a gardening service provider, you can be doing many things such as:
Providing gardening services at people’s homes
Delivering gardening tools and essentials to people
Growing and selling plants
Provide pests solutions to people’s gardens
And much more! If possible, you can also scale up and sell gardening e-books to people on platforms like Shopify.
However, gardening services can be a little more demanding in terms of investment and finances than freelancing and dropshipping. You will have to spend money on a van or a truck that you will use for commuting and moving your gardening tools around. You will have to invest in a new space for your plants that will be up for sale, along with a space to store your tools and products. Building a website, buying and investing in tools, buying pesticides and getting a license to use these will all require a good sum of investment. That’s why, you should go for it only if you are genuinely interested. To begin gardening as a professional, there are many resources on how-to Garden online that can be a good starting point for you. It’s another of the simple business ideas that can be started with little capital.
Here are the downsides of gardening services:
Might need some experience, skill or even qualifications to provide such services
Has to be outdoors and since you have to visiting people’s houses, contamination risks can be higher than stay-at-home jobs and businesses
However, the bright side is:
Can be fun and motivational if you like gardening
Can be a long-term thing
Easy to scale
You can charge a good amount for your services, profitably will be good
The pandemic is giving a lot of time to people to take up new hobbies and skills. Make use of this stay-home time and monetize your hobbies with dropshipping, freelancing, gardening or some other opportunity so that you can deal with any financial crisis in a healthy manner. Hopefully, these simple business ideas can help you think creatively of ways to get started.
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