The Covid pandemic has seen winners and losers in the business world. Companies large and small have either profited or fallen by the wayside. So which businesses are thriving in the current economic climate and why? We’ll answer that question right here by looking at what small business trends are reaping the rewards for their owners in 2021.
While many physical stores have had to close their doors to customers for extended periods, those with a strong internet presence continue to thrive. When customers could not go shopping in person, they did the next best thing and hit the internet. Online sales saw a huge boost and escalated globally to levels never before seen, and it looks like even when Covid-19 is well and truly over, that our reinvigorated love of shopping from home will continue. This means that e-commerce is one of the biggest business trends for 2021, not only for small businesses but also for larger companies, even global corporations.
Food shopping – many grocery stores have ramped up or started offering online shopping with the options of home delivery or timed store collection.
Clothing – Online clothes retailers, from top designers to budget clothing suppliers, have all profited from the upsurge in internet sales.
Leisure – The buildup to the summer and doing sporting activities or taking holidays has already started. The growth in the sale of sports and leisure equipment, from kayaks to caravans, has exploded. The reasoning for this is mostly to do with people looking for ways to have fun in the sun, without needing to be around lots of other people.
Crafts and Hobbies – More at-home time has driven many people into discovering new craft hobbies such as painting, crochet, or even furniture restoration. Thus increasing demand for products to facilitate this.
If you’re just a small company or even a one-man band, you can still benefit from the e-Commerce trend. By piggybacking from big markets, you can get your products in front of a global audience. You can even get them to take care of all the logistics of warehousing and delivery too – the key here is finding the right products.
In order to manage your e-commerce business, Akaunting offers a range of inventory and e-Commerce apps to use with it to keep you ahead of the game, including WooCommerce, Shopify, OpenCart, and more.
2. Digital Solutions
Digital solutions have been needed to bridge the gap in many areas. They are a big player in the small business trends for 2021.
Teleworking changed the face of the typical working day, as workers were asked not to come into the office but to stay and work at home. Infrastructure to help with this became premium and saw a steep rise in videoconferencing, time management applications, and other software to facilitate it. Although the idea of teleworking appeals to many, it had never before been largely taken up by companies. One of the reasons cited for this was the belief that there would be “issues” with employees' work ethics and productivity. Many have subsequently discovered that this thinking was wrong and isn’t the case. Instead, their staff was often even more productive when working from home than in the office. Having remote employees can save businesses significant amounts of money, and it is likely to be a trend that will now continue.
Online education was another huge growth area. Not only did school children need to have ways to study, but adults with time on their hands or who’d lost their jobs wanted to retrain, and e-Courses were the best solutions. Parents who were themselves working from home became desperate for ways to educate their kids. This saw new educational platforms springing up to offer help to the overtaxed parents.
Telemedicine, which was already showing promise for rural and underserved communities, suddenly saw a surge in need, as people were encouraged not to visit their doctor's surgeries. Instead, the use of information and communication technologies brought healthcare to patients requiring remote eHealth solutions, directly into their homes or wherever they were.
Social activities also had to be taken online, with many clubs and associations trying to find ways to give their members some form of service despite not meeting in person. Museums and art galleries offered online tours, and even theatre shows were being streamed directly into audiences’ homes.
Fitness has been another area to flourish online in recent times. With gyms closed and exercise classes canceled, people have discovered new ways to keep fit by looking for solutions online. Yoga, HIIT, Pilates, Zumba, and many more, can all be found.
If you’re looking for HR or project apps to maintain your records and communication needs, then Akaunting can help. Akaunting offers solutions that integrate into its free accounting software and help keep your business growing.
One of the best ways to benefit as a solopreneur or small business in the digital solutions market is by providing courses.
3. Social media
Home confinement in 2020 led a lot of people to turn to social media so they could stay in touch with friends and family. It also offered a good way to find support from groups of like-minded people.
Social media would continue to be a growth market regardless of the pandemic, although the speed may have been slower.
Although it’s unlikely you’ll be setting up your own profitable social media platform, you could use ‘Social’ to help grow your business in other ways. It’s a perfect way to tap into great marketing opportunities to target your ideal audience and get you customers.
4. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Needless to say, the PPE market has been a major business trend, growing exponentially over the past two years. With the wearing of masks becoming mandatory in many areas, including schools, offices, shops, restaurants, banks, and so on, demand is at an all-time high.
It’s reasonable to expect this trend to drop off when barrier measures are relaxed over time. But it is predicted that the market will continue to be more buoyant than before the pandemic due to increased awareness of disease transmission and because of learned behavioral habits, and other psychological reasons.
Many organizations found that the sale of their regular products hit a wall. A notable trend was, rather than simply quitting, they decided to retool and supply the growing demand for PPE and hand sanitizer. Perhaps your company might also be able to do the same.
5. Delivery Services
Online purchasing has increased the need for home delivery services. As our desire to maintain the convenience of home shopping outlives Covid-19, it seems fair to assume that delivery service requirements will also stay high.
It isn’t just the big boys who’ve found profit from increased delivery demand. You may find local retailers want to expand in this area too and would be happier to work with smaller enterprises.
Loneliness was one of the key psychosocial areas to affect many people during confinement. This, and increased time at home, has provoked a boom in the pet industry. Suddenly everyone wants a fur baby to love, and prices for pet needs have soared. Along with this, the pet care market, including greater demand for all the equipment, food, and toys that pets need, has also sparked additional sales.
If going into dog breeding isn’t really your thing, alternatives such as selling raw dog food, pet clothing, toys, and other pet-related items might be. Holistic pet care and pet gadgets are growing markets that could be worth a punt.
7. Home Improvement
For those lucky enough not to feel the economic pinch in these challenging times, home improvement has been high on their priority list. New kitchens and bathrooms have been of particular interest. It is reasonable to assume this could due to an increased desire to keep things clean and sanitary and is closely associated with the pandemic.
If you’re a builder, plumber, or electrician, odds are you’re faring OK. Items such as taps and toilet flushes that don’t require the user to touch them are increasingly popular, and advertising these could be a way of doing even better.
8. Outdoor Living Products
Just as the demand for leisure equipment has been driven up, so too has the need for outdoor products such as garden furniture, sheds, and pools. With more people choosing to stay at home, they want to make the most of their outdoor space, giving them the holiday feeling even though they never actually leave their property. Finding a way into this market may be advantageous right now.
New gaming apps, platforms, events, and gear have all become increasingly popular, as people have tried to find ways to keep themselves entertained while stuck at home. It’s not only the leading players, but smaller businesses that have found ways to profit from this industry. Even without Covid-19, gaming is still on a steep upward curve.
Small Business Trends Conclusion
Above, we’ve looked at just some of the business trends helping their owners not only survive but flourish in recent times, trends set to continue well into 2021 and beyond. If you’re looking to cash in, you could try following one or more of these small business trends yourself.
Akaunting is always looking for ways to make your life easier. By using its free accounting software, you can also get access to its wide variety of apps, helping you keep control of all your business requirements as you grow and prosper.