COVID-19 has altered our reality in an almost incomprehensible number of ways. The economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic continues to bring financial insecurity to millions of businesses and individuals across the country. And yet the world marches on. The marketplace hasn’t closed so much as changed—and creative, hardworking entrepreneurs are starting new businesses every day.
The job market has undergone significant change, and it might be unstable for a while. In many cases, it might be better to embrace flexibility and adapt to current needs, rather than remain in a severely damaged industry. Whether you’re just interested in earning extra money to see you through the crisis, or you want to build a thriving, full-time business, now might be the perfect time to figure out how to start working for yourself.
Here are our top small business ideas that meet the needs of consumers in this unprecedented moment. For each idea, we also provide a free step-by-step guide to starting that business, covering everything from initial tools and costs to liability protection and insurance.
Businesses That Meet COVID-Specific Needs
The spread of COVID-19 has created some entirely new consumer needs. It’s also made existing needs—like keeping homes and businesses clean—even more essential. By addressing ongoing health and safety concerns, you can build a successful business venture while contributing to the greater good. Here are two business ideas that help meet the challenges of the current moment.
Online Mask Retail Business
Wearing masks in public places is one of the best ways we can keep each other safe now and in the months to come. It’s also not much fun. The good news is that online retailers have begun offering masks that are soft, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. If you have a sewing machine, some solid crafting skills, and the motivation to market your goods, you can set up an online mask retail business with very little start-up money.
Offices and workspaces have heightened sanitation needs right now, but residential cleaning is in demand as well. To start a cleaning business you don’t need much more than a strong work ethic, a desire to clean, an ability to interact well with customers and some cleaning supplies. Of course you’ll also need a means of marketing your services. If you think a cleaning business is the right choice for you, you can find all the basics in our guide.
Businesses That Meet the Needs of Families
With school closures possibly stretching on through the fall and many daycare centers closed as well, families need solutions. If you have previous tutoring or childcare experience—or if you just have a knack for it—your skills are are in great demand right now. (And you stand a chance of making some decent money).
One of the things this pandemic has brought to light is just how essential caregivers are. Without someone to look after their children, parents can’t go to work. A business that provides high-quality childcare will have no shortage of clients in the coming months (and years).
This is a business you can start from home—if you have the space for it. Starting small (4 to 5 kids) is your best bet. Word of mouth and social media marketing can help you grow your business from there.
Having a background in Early Education helps, but is not a requirement. The main question to ask yourself is whether you’re passionate about caring for, nurturing and educating children. If the answer is yes, and your home environment allows for it, starting a daycare business can be a rewarding, sustainable career option.
Private Tutor Business
Millions of school-age students have lost the benefit of in-person teaching in recent months, and many of them have fallen academically behind. It’s safe to say that a lot of parents are worried and looking for a way to help their kids catch up. This is where private tutoring comes in. By demonstrating how your expert knowledge and personalized instruction can help children succeed academically, you can build a solid client base fairly quickly, and with very few resources.
Do you have a background in SAT prep or writing? Start a tutoring business that helps high school students ace their college applications.
If you prefer teaching adults, aim for the college student market. There are also adults (in the U.S. and elsewhere) looking to perfect their English skills, so teaching ESL is a yet another option.
Let Northwest Registered Agent Be Your Guide
If you need help launching your small business, Northwest has you covered. We can register your business with the state and provide registered agent service too. Check out our How to Start a Business guide for more information and tips.