The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in change, impacting every industry, every company and every individual in one way or another. In times of global change, entrepreneurs look for opportunities to start a new business or explore ways to expand their current venture.
Below are five industries that are expected to witness dramatic growth in the coming decade due to the domino effect of the pandemic.
Employees, customers and occupants have been returning to the buildings in which they worked, shopped or spent a lot of time. The owners of these commercial buildings are seeking solutions to help ease the transition back to normal, and must take precautions regarding the safety and health of the building.
As such, now might be the perfect time to consider launching a post-pandemic commercial real estate services business. The business might help landlords design and optimize their spaces for a hybrid, part-time workforce, or choose the right mix of hardware and software to capture building data and make sense of it in order to streamline operations.
Even a cleaning service that conforms to the guidelines set forth by the CDC or other public health organizations would be viewed favorably by commercial property owners and tenants. This service offers more than just cleaning, but also safety and peace of mind. In fact, the ability to measure indoor air quality or cleanliness could be a service that property owners would find desirable.
According to commercial real estate services company JLL, since COVID-19, landlords and property managers are looking at everything from HVAC systems to particle monitoring technology as they try to improve indoor air quality to attract and retain tenants.
School districts and universities have been offering hybrid learning experiences for quite some time, even long before the pandemic. A hodgepodge of adherence to mask mandates and required vaccinations has left schools, districts, teachers and even parents struggling for solutions to deliver learning that works during still-uncertain times.
Clearly, the pandemic served to disrupt education and even held students back from learning. By fall 2020, students in its sample learned only 67% of the math and 87% of the reading that grade-level peers would typically have learned. According to McKinsey’s analysis, that would translate into a three-month loss in learning in math and one and a half months in reading.
As such, school districts and higher education institutions are in need of services that help students, families, instructors and administrators make sense of the new world of learning.
It’s not just large, enterprise software companies or experienced instructional designers already working in the education field who are the most equipped to enter the industry. Entrepreneurs wishing to capture opportunities in education can consider launching a virtual tutoring or supplemental education service. The business would work closely with the district on their curriculum and either you or the tutors you hire supplement the regular instruction and serve as virtual tutors, meeting with students via a video conferencing platform.
As for payment, you can be paid directly by the family for the tutoring services or you can get paid by the district. Many school districts and universities had to make painful budget cuts during the pandemic, but still need to deliver instruction and content. It might also be easy to find contractors and subcontractors: recently laid off teachers.
While the “Amazon economy” was well underway for several years before the pandemic, COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of e-commerce not only for consumers but also for businesses that had long resisted it or simply relied on their local suppliers.
The pandemic pushed even more U.S. consumers online, contributing an additional $105 billion in U.S. online revenue in 2020 and accelerating the e-commerce industry by two years, Digital Commerce 360 estimates.
E-commerce is certainly quite competitive, but discovering a niche product that the world hasn’t discovered yet or finding a way to sell goods that are not readily available through traditional e-commerce platforms can yield success.
Rather than browsing the internet for ideas, go in the other direction. Go hyperlocal and work with local business owners to discover these “missing” goods and add value between the supplier and local businesses.
Local, “last-mile” logistics can be another avenue of opportunity. Amazon farms out its delivery to partner companies and even to individuals in an Uber/Lyft-type arrangement, but if you are serving as the intermediary between supplier and customer, you can offer the local delivery as well — without Amazon taking a cut.
During COVID-19, a lot of basic health care disappeared as individuals canceled regular check-ups or were shut out from receiving medical care due to reduced hours or office closures. Many medical practices failed altogether, leaving patients needing to find new doctors or services.
However, as the economy returns to normal, there will be a need for companies delivering health care in a new way, or for new companies providing services to existing medical practices and health care companies. While telemedicine helps bridge the gap between online and offline, the health care industry will need innovations and businesses that will help restore normalcy.
Again, as with education, businesses wishing to enter this space need not be started by doctors or those with special medical training. For example, consider starting a local medical courier service, transporting medical items like lab specimens and equipment to hospitals and clinics in your area.
Home health care is another option. In the decade spanning 2018 to 2028, the in-home care industry will need to fill an estimated 4.7 million home care jobs, as reported in Home Health Care News in January 2020, before the pandemic even began. The more specialized the level of care you can provide, and the more qualified your caregivers are, the more in demand your services will be.
As pressure mounts for the deployment of electric vehicles and the generation of renewable energy, products and services will be needed to help in this energy transition.
Entrepreneurs wishing to enter this field can find a niche service that is expected to be in demand in the next few years and for which there isn’t a clear leader or where a leader is seeking distribution partners. For example, just as fuel companies need local distributors to gas stations and businesses, electric charging companies and the current evolving network of charging stations will need service and maintenance. Additionally, school bus, municipal and private fleets will need assistance with charge management and other fleet-related operations.
In a report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, electric vehicles will hit 10% of global passenger vehicle sales in 2025, with that number rising to 28% in 2030 and 58% in 2040. Electric vehicles currently make up 3% of global car sales.
As such, businesses that support this burgeoning industry can expect to succeed, growing as the industry grows.
Jake Wengroff writes about technology and financial services. A former technology reporter for CBS Radio, Jake covers such topics as security, mobility, e-commerce and the Internet of Things.
JLL - Landlords Race To Improve Air Quality in Buildings
Home Health Care News - Demand for Home Caregiver Jobs Continues To Surge
Digital Commerce 360 - Coronavirus Adds $105 Billion to U.S. Ecommerce in 2020
CDC - Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
U.S. Department of Education - Education in a Pandemic: The Disparate Impacts of COVID-19 on America’s Students
Bloomberg New Energy Outlook - Electric Vehicle Outlook 2021
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