Business Opportunities Arising from COVID-19

COVID-19 has started as a threat to human life and looks to end as a threat to everyone’s livelihood. The effects have now begun to be felt as many companies around the world started laying off employees. Some stronger companies adapted the no work, no pay scheme, and others have reduced employee’s compensation by 25% or up. Many businesses have started to collapse, and some have adapted to the situation. Job loss is inevitable to many employees.

“Survival of the fittest.” That’s a phrase from Darwinian evolutionary theory. Applying to the current situation, we need to be strong to survive. We need to plan for our future and prepare for all eventualities.


In every threat, there is an opportunity that anyone can turn into profit. Finding a new job in the Philippines this time can be challenging, then why not start your own business with a small capital taken from your saving. You can create partnerships with friends and relatives to pool the needed capital.

In this article, I’ll be enumerating business opportunities in the Philippines that you can select to start, improve, or innovate. Hope this blog helps many to survive and win in these trying times.

Sanitation Services: The first business I want to highlight is a retail janitorial service. It experienced a boom in clients thus far but was able to see an opportunity to expand its offering in terms of sanitization services. Your target markets are offices, stores, shops, and even homes. You can begin offering shelving and store sanitation services as well as cart sanitation for grocery stores and shops.

Sanitation Tools and Supplies: Many buildings, offices, and shops will ensure a very clean and safe environment to safeguard its customers and for business continuity. You can sell sterilization machines, thermal scanner, thermometer, door frames with a sanitizer, utraviolet disinfection units, etc.

Bike/Motorbike/ eBike/e-Scooter (Including supplies and repairs): In the new normal, mass transport is being discouraged. Social distancing is a must. A jeep that usually takes a load of 20 passengers might be allowed to load only 10 passengers or even less. Bicycle, Motorbike, eBike, and e-scooter are social distancing-friendly means of transport. I can recall how motorbikes are dominating the streets of Phuket, Bangkok, and Bali and how every household in Amsterdam owns a bicycle.

Rolling Grocery Store: With restrictions in movement and limited acceptance of customers in the supermarket, a rolling grocery store/palengke will be a great solution. You can use any vehicle you have – sidecar, tricycle, or van to go from house to another and sell your goods.

Fresh Produce Online Shop: Perishable goods (meat, seafood, fruits, and vegetable) are challenging to store. Amongst the hundreds of shops, including Sari-Sari stores, you can only find a handful of them that offer fresh meat, fruits, and vegetable. With the difficulty of buying supplies from a public market (palengke) or supermarket (SM, Robinson’s, etc.), offering an online shopping option with free delivery would be a great business to start.

Personal Protective Equipment: You can sell face mask, face shield, gloves, disposable protective clothing, etc. Many have been doing this already but the demand is still high as more and more governments are requiring citizens to wear protections. You can sell washable and reusable ones, which is favored by many Filipinos for being economical.

Lending/Micro-financing: Since everyone needs financing, then lending can be another business to try. Be just and fair with interest, and do not exploit the situation. Likewise, ensure to put up some effective screening and collection measures to succeed in this business. It would be best to require collateral in every loan.

Agriculture: One of the most common human practices during the quarantine and lockdown periods was ‘shelf sweeping.’ Strategists have looked at the sectors both unaffected by the situation financially, and that are critically needed during the situation. The Venn diagram reveals that agriculture is that sector; providing food is the number one priority. Along with technology and the high-level business services being provided, this sector could be the future of business.

Urban Farming: When there is a logistical problem in fresh produce delivery, a farm within the city walls takes advantage. Using a hydroponics system, you can grow vegetables all year round on a small land area. Mushroom farming is another option of producing food in an urban setting.

Gardening Supplies: You may put up a store to sell seeds, gardening tools, garden fixtures, pesticides, fertilizers, and maybe with free delivery. Gardening had helped me a lot to fight boredom and cabin fever. It helped me maintain my mental equilibrium. You must agree with me that at times it’s depressing. Furthermore, growing your veggies ensures the cleanliness and safety of your food plus significant savings too.

Pickup & Delivery: With reduced mobility during or even after the quarantine, then the delivery business is another opportunity to try. Grab has been doing this, but you can make innovations and replicate the same on a smaller scale. These can include food, grocery, medicine, letter, or parcel delivery.

Food Delivery: Several restaurants had to shut their shutters after the government ordered an enforced lockdown. Waiting for the situation to get back to normal seems no longer a good option for them. But switching to online delivery sounds undoubtedly perfect. Food delivery services thrive, as consumers opt to stay in to avoid the spread of contagious diseases. Launch your branded food delivery app to enable your customers to order food online and delight them with contactless deliveries.

Medicine Delivery: At this moment, pharmaceutical businesses have an essential role to play. People quarantining themselves find it difficult to reach medical stores. Not only those affected by the virus, but others who are dealing with minor or major health issues are failing to get medicines on time. With the right tech partner by your side, you can switch to an online medicine delivery business in just a few weeks.

Fitness & Wellness App: Gyms are closed, food is within reach, and people are gaining weight. I have to go on a low carb diet because I gained weight during the lockdown. Offline gyms and health centers are among the businesses severely impacted by pandemic outspread. On the contrary, digital platforms have turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the health and fitness industries. As major gym chains close their doors to curb the coronavirus outbreak, people are increasingly turning to digital workout programs to maintain their exercise routines from home. From online training apps to yoga and meditation apps, the sector promises tremendous growth.

Online Fitness Class: Develop online training classes for people who can workout from home. It might include recorded videos or live sessions where hundreds to thousands of participants can join from the comfort of their homes. Likewise, meditation and yoga sessions can be incorporated.

Rent Out Gym Equipment: If you have a gym or own gym equipment, then you can rent them out and profit from it rather than keeping them idle. One gym owner is giving their best clients gym equipment to take home and then do virtual training sessions.

Create a Website: At a time when many companies are closed for business, many are wondering which ones are open. You may create a website that tracks the working hours of individual companies in a particular locality. Another example is Trekking The World did almost $100k in revenue in a week. Everyone is stuck at home—a great time to create activities for your friends and the world.

Office Furniture/Supplies: The need for office furniture and fixtures is expected to rise. With the WFH set up, many would buy office tables, chairs, and other office supplies.

Kitchen Equipment and Cooking Wares: Everyone has become a chef nowadays. Trying a new recipe or just satisfying their cravings. A good cooker will be required, and a set of cooking utensils are a must.

Cooling and Airconditioning: Beating the summer heat is tough, especially if you brought your office to your home. Making innovations in cooling and airconditioning might be an excellent business to start.

Movie Snacks on Delivery: Going to the cinemas will be a long way to go. With cinemas closed, there is a sharp rise in demand in digital entertainment platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Although movies can be watched from the comforts of our homes, the whole film out experience is incomplete without the cinema snacks that we love munching like popcorn and nachos. Vox Cinemas in the UAE is delivering snacks to customers at home.

Teach English Remotely: Teach on italki.com, preply, or takelessons.com. Great way to find students looking for teachers.

Be Creative With Your AirBnB Or Real Estate: If you are currently having a room/apartment listed in AirBnB, then you must have been suffering a direct blow from the travel industry downturn. You can turn your AirBnB into a Short-term office.

Share Your Expertise: There are many sites begging for your knowledge. You can earn in Skillshare, Teachable & Udemy when you share your expertise.

Date Night Boxes: Everyone is stuck at home, and many couples need food, drinks, activities to do together. You can call up your friends and offer this.

e-Commerce: This is not something new, but this pandemic has turned many to online shopping. You can sell your products through established e-commerce platforms like Lazada or Shopee, live selling thru Facebook, or even create your own platform. As per the Quantum Metric report, online sales have surged 52% from the year-ago period, and the number of online shoppers has increased by 8.8% since the outbreak began. Taking your e-commerce business online, you can enable contactless commerce deliveries now.

Educational Entertainment for Children: Parents are desperately looking for entertaining and educational content for their children. The prospect of months off school looms large. Edtech companies are already experiencing extraordinary growth. Indian unicorn BYJU has experienced a 60 percent increase in students since it offered children complete access to its online learning app for one month.

Youtube Channel for Kids: Containing kids within the four walls of your house can be very challenging, especially if they are used to playing outdoors. If you have a kid, then you can start creating videos of him/her doing activities or games that are enjoyable and educational for children while on isolation at home.

Ornamental Plants: Plants are a good subject of inspiration. With the extra time people spending indoors, then tending the plants can be an enjoyable pastime. You can sell ornamental plants to urban clients and offer online shopping options and free delivery.

Upskilling / Online Courses: Paid access to videos, modules, and training on a particular skill. Adults are using the extra time at home to learn and to upgrade their skills in preparation for the new job market landscape post-COVID. Coursera, one of the world’s biggest online providers of education, has seen a 23 percent month-on-month increase in overall enrollments among learners in the Middle East, and a 21 percent increase in the UAE. Some famous courses by Imperial College in London on the coronavirus and some of our top courses are ‘The Science of Well Being’, ‘Positive Psychology’, and ‘Managing a Virtual Organisation’.”

Virtual Training Centers/Classrooms: Just like schools, training centers are closed. You can create an online platform for virtual training, webinars, or live lectures. These ensure continuous education while maintaining social distancing. You can offer selected courses that are suitable for distant learning.

Online Education App: Educational institutions around the world are forced to shut down and shift to online learning programmes. This crisis has definitely triggered an online boom for the education industry. As per the stats, education app downloads spiked in March 2020, increasing nearly 300%. While it is helping to cope with the current emergency, it is also preparing the world for the next future. It is a great idea to build your trusted platform for learning. DepEd is pushing for online education. This has been the trend worldwide to protect the children from the virus. Also, many people nowadays use the free time they saved to study.

Healthcare Consultation: Telemedicine is another sector experiencing strong growth, as patients seek virtual reassurance and diagnosis online, without the risk of infection from busy waiting rooms in doctors’ surgeries and hospitals. Qualified doctors can be accessed through an app for a live video consultation. If a medicine is required, the prescription is sent digitally. You can offer the best possible solutions to their health issues with the help of your own branded online healthcare app.

On-Demand Doctors/Nurses/Caretakers: A Manchester-based online doctor platform Push Doctor saw a 70% increase in consultations. Hence, developing a platform where users can seek on-demand doctors, nurses, and even other healthcare service providers seems to be a future-proof idea. Build an app which simplifies the process of booking for medical professionals visiting their home.

Office Cost Reduction Opportunities: Office rent is expensive and flexible work arrangements are yet to be explored in their full functional scope. This will open up opportunities across multiple and linked sectors, such as office space redesign, building remote work systems, software platforms, and cloud-based services – all of which will likely see significant gains once the world economy goes into post-COVID-19 recovery mode and employers keep their office space costs in check in case their staff will need to work from other locations.

Emergency Kits: Being ready is the most crucial factor for survival in case of an emergency. I remember watching documentaries about the Cold War, where many American houses have bunkers built underneath equipped with emergency food, medicines, and tools. This pandemic reminds people how to become ready. You may offer packages like travel emergency kit, 3-day survival kit, pandemic kit, flood/typhoon/earthquake kit.

Car/House/Lot Buy and Sell: When we are running out of cash, we tend to in cash our properties for survival. We sell houses, lots, cars, jewelry. This is now happening in this time of pandemic when people’s livelihood has been compromised. You can buy properties and sell them for a higher price later. Or you can simply become an agent mediating the transaction between seller and buyer in exchange for a commission.

Apartment/Condo Unit Rental: WFM (work from home) is seen to increase the need for a spacious house used as a home and an office at the same time. Cramped living quarters affect the employee’s efficiency and productivity.

Mobile Application/Online Games: When everyone is staying at home, most of us are now spending more time on our mobile devices. Even after COVID-19, the new normal would still focus on social distancing, where many would still be confined at home. Working from home saves hours of commute that can be utilized most likely on using out gadgets like mobile devices, game consoles, and Smart TVs. The gaming industry is one of the beneficiaries of the lockdown. If you know how to develop an app, then you may think of something that can be very useful. Mobile app spending is expected to double by 2024.

Develop a Software: With many businesses adapted the work from home set up for their employees, many companies are forced to go digital. You can develop a software or program that can be used by a company to simplify the process.

Disclaimer

EarnPeso holds no control over your financial fate. It is here as a guide. Exercise prudence in every investment or business you undertake, and success will follow.

I hope this article encourages you to start your own business/investment. Click the links for Business Ideas and Investment Options for more insightful essays.

Chat with me

I have ventured into an e-commerce business (online selling) that you might also be interested in setting up. You can visit our website at colibers.com, where you can have a chat with me (just select Contact Us), and I will be more than willing to entertain your questions regarding this post and e-commerce.

References:

  1. 10 Business Ideas That Are Worth Investing Amidst COVID-19
  2. 15+ Recession Proof Business Ideas During Coronavirus
  3. Which businesses are thriving during India’s lockdown?
  4. 7 reasons to still believe in emerging markets in 2020
  5. Covid-19: The new business opportunities in the Middle East and beyond
  6. Finding the Hidden Business Opportunities Around the Coronavirus Pandemic
  7. BUSINESS AFTER COVID-19
  8. COVID-19’s Grim Milestones: Impact on Business is Real but Opens Up New Growth Areas

Author: Jundril Colita

Jundril Colita is a Filipino expatriate based in Dubai. An entrepreneur/investor and a minimalist who loves traveling.

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