A lot certainly has changed in a very short time. Within just a few months, the world has seen some dramatic shifts in the economy and personal habits, all as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. While each nation is being impacted differently, the global economy as a whole has been feeling the impact of Covid19.
The Government of Canada has put forth an emergency response plan, to provide individuals and businesses ability to cope with the economic impact of the public health emergency. Canadian businesses are being provided with relief to assist with business continuity through this time.
However, there have been some incredible, yet not surprising, shifts in demand resulting from Covid19. Within the last few weeks, Amazon has seen a tenfold upswing in searches for their food delivery service. This sudden increase in demand for their products and services has prompted Amazon to look towards hiring 100,000 new warehouse and delivery personnel to fulfill these new orders.
Additionally, as their services are in higher demand than ever, Amazon’s stock value has not seen the same negative impact as other industry giants, like Facebook, Google and Apple. In fact, this current upswing could result in sales that exceed their numbers at Christmas.
A shift in behaviour
What this tells us is one simple thing – many people have instantly changed their buying behaviours due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Although the trend was already moving towards online shopping, these recent events have accelerated this shift. In fact, 25% of Americans surveyed confirmed that they have changed their buying habits because of the Covid19 outbreak.
This means that there are plenty of opportunities to create a successful business, even while social distancing. Here are some examples of businesses that continue to thrive, amidst the recent Covid19 outbreak:
Never has the importance of cleanliness been made abundantly clear than within the last few weeks. Cleaning businesses are seeing a spike in demand, because their clients want to ensure their spaces – both at home and in their place of business – are being professionally cleaned and sanitized.
If you already run a cleaning business or you were thinking about starting your own cleaning business, now might be the time to get started.
In addition to cleaning businesses, many existing businesses are converting their operations to meet the demands of those things that are in higher demand. For example, some alcohol distilleries in the Canada and the U.S. have stepped in to fill the need for hand sanitizer when the existing supply chain could not meet the demand. Not only has this helped fulfill the demand for this critical product, but it is also helping businesses affected by Coronavirus to stay active.
Ingenuity and a willingness for business owners to adjust their business plan is helping to keep these businesses active. The Province of Ontario has asked any business owners who are able to reconfigure their traditional business operations to fulfill demands for these highly needed items go to Ontario Together.
What the example set by Amazon has shown us is that anything that can get delivered to our doorstep is in demand. From groceries to shoes, increasingly people are turning online for the products they need. Whether you are providing local deliveries for clients in your area, or you want to operate on a larger scale, there are opportunities for building and growing a successful delivery service.
Shopify offers the opportunity, at very little cost, to begin an online delivery service. Using their library of products, you can select those that you wish to offer, then promote them to your clients. You will never have to keep an inventory or ship anything, as Shopify and their third party suppliers will do it all for you.
Meal Preparation Services
With more people sticking indoors and social distancing themselves, meal preparation services have seen a serious increase in demand. While individuals are doing their best to avoid crowded spots, like grocery stores, they’ve turned to meal preparation services to stock their freezers and fill their bellies. For those with dietary restrictions, a meal preparation service is a great option for getting the customized meals they need.
Governments worldwide have been responding to Covid19 by limiting the activities of certain businesses, including closing restaurant doors to the public. With this restriction, many restaurants have shifted their business plan to focus on take-out and delivery services.
While people are spending more time at home, they’ve got more time on their hands, and they’re spending that time now on things they may have put off until later. This includes landscaping the space around their homes. Whether they are looking for landscaping supplies, grass seed and flowers, or landscaping services like hedge trimming, you can create your landscaping business to fulfill this demand.
If you have an existing landscaping business, think about creative ways that you can adjust your business plan to deal with the economic and social shifts happening.
Although the economic impact of Covid19 has been drastic for many Canadian businesses, there are ways that traditional businesses can look at the shifting trends and adjust operations to meet these new demands.
What Amazon has shown is that individuals are still demanding products and services, but have shifted their buying habits in direct response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Amidst the economic and social uncertainty, Amazon continues to grow.
If you have an existing business or are thinking of starting a new business, take a look at these trends and see how your current business plan might be adjusted to thrive during this time. As well, if your business has felt the impact of Covid19, there are relief measures being offered by the Government of Canada that you can access.
Ontario Business Central is committed to supporting business owners through these difficult times. If you have questions about starting a new business or making changes to your existing business, please feel free to reach out to our helpful staff for assistance.
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