I’m going to state the obvious: it’s a stressful time for most people around the world right now. Small businesses are closing for good, restaurants are barely making end’s meet offering takeout, and event venues are wondering if they will ever be able to host concerts again. On top of all of that, many individuals are grieving the loss of a loved one, or weathering their own COVID-19 diagnosis.
The economic numbers are certainly harrowing in the United States: 26 million jobs have been lost over the last 5-weeks due to coronavirus. Even worse, as of earlier this month, 36.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment, making it the worst unemployment rate since the Great Depression.
You’re probably saying to yourself: “how on earth could I potentially launch a business in the middle of all of this?” That’s exactly what news outlets and doomsayers want you to think – that there is no opportunity for a fresh start in the midst of a pandemic. I am proposing quite the opposite.
The Online World is Bustling as We Speak
If you don’t believe me yet, just think back to last month when Amazon announced they were hiring 100,000 new workers to accommodate for their surge in product demands. Walmart also hired 100,000 new workers amid product requests, with other companies like CVS posting 80,000 new available job openings. Other e-commerce companies across the board are presently experiencing a surge in their products, as shopping online has become the only way to get our hands on the products we love the most.
Moving into the world of freelancing, many assume that freelancers and online gig workers have suffered a blow throughout this pandemic. Think again. Forbes highlighted that freelancers are experiencing increased demand in their digital services for the new companies pivoting online. Companies once only accessible through brick-and-mortar now need websites built, pictures taken, copy written, and videos edited. Instead of hiring a person that costs them $ 60,000 per year, they can outsource all of it to freelancers happily awaiting their orders on the likes of Fiverr.com and Upwork.com.
So, although the physical world may look like a ghost town, product demand, service offerings, deals, and discounts didn’t disappear. In fact, they’re all still there! You just need to go online.
Get In on the Action Before It’s Too Late
Millions are pouring online to launch their online version of their business today. Traditionally in-person industries, like personal training and dance lessons, are also pivoting online using video streaming software. Many personal trainers are offering one-on-one Zoom lessons, as well as nutrition consultations. And don’t forget doctors – the telemedicine advancements have been astronomical. Every single industry could benefit from leveraging the internet.
Right now is the perfect time to launch a freelancing profile, an online business, or a service-based streaming site. People are looking for their same beloved products and services today, even if they have to stay at home. If you don’t get online and accommodate the change, someone else will.
Before I wrap this up, here are 4 more reasons why you should finally make that business dream a reality through your laptop:
- Many Sites Are Offering Discounts Today: Businesses are ready to negotiate right now. The uncertainty of the future has many big name companies, like WordPress or Squarespace, willing to offer their usual website packages for less money if you sign up with them for 12-24 months at a time. Be sure to call these companies in advance and ask for deals.
- There is Demand for Your Services: Whether you want to freelance write or sell a product, the statistics above don’t lie: there is a lot of demand for what you could be offering.
- Accumulate Reviews Before Your Competitors Do: On most freelancing sites, user profiles come with reviews as social proof. The more reviews you accumulate, the more people will readily buy from you. If you get started amassing these reviews today, you will be that much farther ahead of the person who decides to freelance one year from now.
- Digital Immersion is the Future: The world was already heading towards total gig economy immersion. Coronavirus has just confirmed it. Previous studies estimated that 60% of the U.S. workforce would be in the gig economy by 2027. I say that number comes much sooner after this pandemic.
What are you waiting for? The beauty of launching an online business is that it costs much less than opening a retail store. You just need internet, a laptop, and the desire to make it happen. Get in on the action before it’s too late.