The past few weeks have been nothing short of a nightmare. Without downplaying or ignoring the severe physical and emotional impact this pandemic and subsequent lockdown have on any one person, family or group/community, I believe it is necessary to look at some trends that will have an impact on SMEs and entrepreneurs after we have beaten COVID-19.
I am a firm believer in looking at the potential positives and opportunities after any challenge or shock. I prefer to look for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I want to chase the light at the end of the tunnel.
I would like to share some of my predictions on new business trends after COVID-19 and how these may present opportunities to new or existing entrepreneurs/SMEs.
The intention of this article is not to extensively explore or debate each and every prediction. Rather call it “food for thought”. Read it and decide for yourself whether you see potential opportunities.
- Increase in Online Shopping and E-Commerce activity as people may make Social Distancing or a form thereof a part of their every day lives.
- Increase in Domestic Travel within our borders, and a subsequent decrease in International Travel, particularly in the short-term. This may have a positive impact on the local tourism, hotel, and hospitality industries.
- Insurance Companies will redefine some risks to include forced lockdowns and pandemic outbreaks and the impact these have on business. Premiums may increase but so too, purchases of insurance policies will increase.
- I would like to believe that although unemployment will increase and a lot of SMEs will have to close their doors, that we may see a revival in entrepreneurial activity as more people are forced to think outside the box, start a business, and join the entrepreneurial community.
- Investment in EduTech and E-Learning will increase as educational and training institutions start looking at teaching via video conferencing and other service delivery through other technology platforms.
- Investment in Medical Equipment as a precaution to future outbreaks.
- Investment in MedTech and Pandemic Research. New ways to predict, prevent, etc. any future pandemic outbreak. Look at what Tech Giants like Amazon, Google, and Tesla will focus on in 2020/2021.
- Increased investment in local manufacturing, local production, and local industry, thereby having a localisation strategy as opposed to a globalisation strategy.
- Investment in Pharmaceuticals and related Healthcare markets.
- Retailers will have to rethink the way they interact with customers. The conventional brick-and-mortar shops should reinvent themselves to move online and start giving consumers a digital retail experience that will not be heavily impacted by Social Distancing and lockdowns.
What’re your thoughts? Any other predictions or trends you think may emerge in the future?