There is no better time than now to start a business!Nov 26, 2021
The disruption we have all been through over the past 2 years due to the pandemic could be seen in two ways; a temporary inconvenience to our lives which will hopefully disappear soon so that we can get back to life as normal, or a paradigm shift in the way human beings live, work and play.
I happen to think it is the latter. Life as we know it has changed; for the better or for the worse can be debated based on personal circumstances, but one thing for sure is that it has changed.
We are spending more time at home, shopping online more, eating out less, ordering more take out, cooking at home more, connecting with our immediate families more, spending more time online and watching streaming channels, renovating/furnishing our homes more, and entertaining more at home.
We are spending less time in the office, socialising less with our work colleagues, balancing work and personal tasks during and after work hours, travelling less, achieving higher levels of productivity, and spending less on fuel, coffee and meals at work.
We are travelling on holidays less, flying overseas less, exploring local holiday destinations more, playing games online more, connecting with friends and family virtually, going to the gym less, and socialising in public spaces less.
If you are an entrepreneur and have a pre-pandemic business, you should be closely evaluating how your customer's needs and behaviours have changed. The way they live, work and play has surely been impacted like many of us around the planet. Just think about yourself and observe how you have changed, the same holds true for your customers.
An example of this is the fitness industry which during the lockdowns saw a massive decline as gyms were forced to close. The fitness need still existed so online fitness apps like Peloton in the US and UK, and JEFF in South Africa saw a massive growth of customers. Customers now had a new way to keep fit which is cheaper, more convenient and flexible to their schedules. Personal fitness will never be the same again in a post-pandemic world. This has created opportunities for new business models in this sector and significant challenges for the pre-pandemic businesses.
If you are an aspiring business owner, there is no better time to act on your aspirations. The pandemic has brought about a plethora of new business opportunities to serve the changing and new needs of consumers. The paradigm shift has not only changed the rules of some of the games, it has also changed some of the games completely.
An example of this is the University of Cape Town’s partnership with Valenture Institute, an Edtech startup, to launch an innovative South African online high school in January 2022. The school is designed to serve a broad range of South African learners from varying socioeconomic circumstances at an incredibly low monthly fee, which makes it one of the cheapest private schools in the country, and accessible from anywhere in the world.
If you have a business idea that could serve a newly formed need, a changed need, or old needs that could now be served differently; there is no better time to start an online business or take your existing business into an online world.
The speed and ease of setting up an online business has increased exponentially over the past few years and the costs have decreased drastically. Creating a brand, website, e-commerce portal, electronic payment service, and many other components of an online business has never been easier and cheaper to set up.
Platforms supporting start-up businesses have created cost-effective enabling solutions that offer do-it-yourself levels of ease. Monthly subscriptions with cancel anytime policies allow a risk-free approach to building an online business, testing your product idea with the market and pivoting your business as you get customer feedback on what works and does not work.
What are you waiting for? Great businesses were founded in times of crisis and change. It’s the ideal time to act on the business idea you have been thinking about for a long time.
by Kamal Patel, Founder & CEO of Treptor