It’s been almost a year since the coronavirus pandemic changed our lives. A year in which we turned to new habits (roadside pickups) and technologies (zoom) and found solace in old leisure activities (gardening and baking). Many behaviors and preferences that we have inherited will last long after the crisis ends, which opens up opportunities if you are thinking of starting a business or a sideline in 2021.
What are the main trends that you could benefit from?
Below are four that I saw recently in a webinar from SCORE (the US Small Business Administration’s national small business mentoring program) presented by Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBizMedia. For each trend, please find my suggestions for related business opportunities and resources.
Trend # 1: More Americans are starting businesses
In 2020, requests for new business tax IDs actually rose the fastest since 2007.
Opportunity: In the recent Next Avenue article, “Smart Move for Your Home Business: Hiring a Virtual Assistant,” new entrepreneurs (especially one-person businesses) often turn to freelancers and consultants to run, manage, and grow their businesses. The people they hire can be accountants, virtual assistants, business coaches, and the like.
“By hiring these services instead of hiring them directly, entrepreneurs lower costs and in many cases gain access to insights from higher-quality talent,” says Jon Eckhardt, professor at the Entrepreneurship Science Lab at the University of Wisconsin and editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur and Innovation Exchange or EIX ( full disclosure: EIX and the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation help fund Next Avenue).
LinkedIn’s 15 Most Demanded Jobs Report for 2021 includes four jobs in this category: Data Content Creator; Business development and sales professionals; Digital marketing professionals as well as professional and personal coaches.
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How much you would make starting a helping company like this depends on a number of factors including your skills, your industry, and years of experience. According to ZipRecruiter, home virtual assistants make an average of $ 67,115 a year, but some make up to $ 130,000, or as little as $ 15,000.
Working as a freelancer or consultant can be particularly beneficial for professionals over 50 who bring a lifetime of experience to their clients but who sometimes struggle to find full-time positions. Many independent consultants charge more than $ 100 an hour. those with specialized knowledge can command significantly more.
“A good external consultant will not only fulfill the function, but also create added value by using his specialist knowledge,” says Eckhardt. “For example, a contract accountant, accountant or CFO should be able to improve the business by performing their basic contract function.”
For more information on starting a business to support entrepreneurs, please see the many excellent training resources available on SCORE.org.
Trend # 2: gardening is blooming
The pandemic created a new generation of gardening enthusiasts. The seed supplier Burpee recorded the highest turnover in its 144-year history last spring. And the gardening trend is unlikely to wear off anytime soon. According to a survey by Axion Marketing in the fall of 2020, 86% of homeowners who worked in the garden said they plan to hold onto it in 2021.
Opportunity: The increasing interest in gardening is driving the demand for horticultural services. Options include teaching a gardening class, running a lawn care service, or providing landscape advice services. To get a feel for what’s possible, check out the New York Botanical Gardens online catalog, which has a variety of courses to help you get started in this fertile territory.
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Another possibility from this growth trend: Sell a garden product or accessory. For example, father-son team Seth and Mark Samuelson of Coupland, Texas, have seen a 300% increase in sales for their SeCa hose holder (a hands-free tool that people cannot bend over while gardening) since 2019.
“As people spend more time at home during the pandemic, many turned to gardening and found the SeCa hose holder to be the perfect match for them,” says Seth.
Trend number 3. Here come the brides
The wedding industry is expected to recover in 2021 after a gloomy 2020 due to pandemic cancellations and postponements. However, with many traditional wedding venues lagging behind in reservations, some newly engaged couples are opting for more intimate celebrations of 50 people or less, also known as “micro-weddingings”.
On the flip side, some couples who got married privately last year are planning “continuation weddings” in 2021 – larger celebrations that show off their original wedding vision.
Opportunity: Whether their weddings are going to be intimate or extravagant, most couples want to make the day extra special. This means likely increased demand this year and next for wedding providers, including photographers, wedding planners, and caterers.
Kathy Kristof, Editor of SideHusl.com, told me that she saw a lot of demand for wedding photographers on her website. She recommends taking advantage of the “buying place” trend by promoting your services on free neighborhood websites like Nextdoor. “This is particularly attractive right now as many consumers are re-pledging to make their local businesses survive,” said Kristof.
Connected: Hotels are pushing for “elopement packages” to market empty wedding rooms
Another way to capitalize on the wedding trend: if you own a property that could be rented for a small reception or milestone celebration, Kristof recommends listing it on sites like PeerSpace or ThisOpenSpace. Of course, you don’t want to do this until after you’ve been vaccinated and if you live in a cool climate, in the summer or autumn months when it can take place outside.
“Be sure to check city regulations and zoning requirements,” warned Kristof. “The city of Los Angeles, for example, has famously threatened to shut down utilities in places where more than ten people can congregate,” during the pandemic.
Trend # 4: Pet adoption is increasing
According to the American Pets Product Association, US sales of pet food, supplies, pet care, and other services were estimated at a whopping $ 99 billion in 2020.
Opportunity: There are tons of ways to capitalize on your love for pets, including as a pet sitter, dog walker, dog groomer, or trainer. You can start your own business or freelance as needed by signing up to any of the online platforms that list jobs in pet care, such as: B. Rover.com. The average Rover.com dog walker makes $ 20 an hour, according to Indeed.com.
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For more information on opportunities and training programs in the pet industry, visit Worldpetassociation.org or Petbusiness.com.
Nancy Collamer, MS, is a half board trainer, speaker, and writer on Second Act Careers: Over 50 Ways to Capitalize on Your Passions During Partial Retirement. You can now download her free workbook titled 25 Ways To Identify Your Ideal Act Two from her website at MyLifestyleCareer.com (and you will also receive her free bi-monthly newsletter).
This article is part of America’s Entrepreneurs, a Next Avenue initiative made possible by the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and EIX, the Entrepreneur and Innovation Exchange. This article is reprinted with permission from NextAvenue.org, © 2021 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved.
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