The Covid-19 pandemic has affected almost everyone in the UK in terms of the way they work. While many small businesses and entrepreneurs will be nervous about what the future holds, there could be many new opportunities on the horizon.
Over the last few months many people and businesses have been exploring new ways of working, whether out of necessity or because they have had more time on their hands to follow a passion.
But how will things change again as we move out of lockdown and learn to adapt to a recession and social distancing?
What changed during the pandemic?
We are all aware of the many changes that have been seen during the lockdown period. Working from home has become the new normal, businesses have had to pivot their services to online, and many workers who have been furloughed or laid off have been pursuing new business ventures or side gigs.
There has also been a huge change in the way we’re shopping and spending as consumer, which has a knock on effect on businesses.
Many businesses have had to invest in new technology, equipment and procedures to see them through this period, and may be considering how their ‘old normal’ and ‘new normal’ will come together.
There have also been many lockdown start-ups created, as people have had more time to explore their passions and have been looking to make some extra money on the side. These entrepreneurs will now have to decide whether they give up their new venture to return to a more stable job, pursue a new business, or try and balance the two.
What could come next?
Government schemes introduced during the pandemic have focused on getting businesses through the last few months, but in recent weeks we have seen a shift to focus on returning to some sense of normality.
Businesses are being encouraged and even rewarded for bringing their staff off furlough, with the hope that as many jobs will be preserved as possible.
Schemes are also in place to reward businesses who take on and train new staff, so if you do have any opportunities within your business now could be a good time to consider how you fill those roles.
Of course, for a business to be able to provide stable jobs they have to be able to generate enough capital. Many sectors have already opened and the public are actively being encouraged to support sectors that have been hit hardest, such as housing, hospitality and catering.
For some businesses, a combination of their lockdown business model and their ability to return to interacting with the public could open up new opportunities. This could be as simple as a new online channel to sell goods or offering delivery from your restaurant.
It could also be that during this period you’ve found new ways of connecting and interacting with your audience, or else have identified a new need that you can incorporate into your offering.
Many people have come out to show their support for small and local businesses during this time, and this could give you a good platform to grow awareness of what you do and build your community as well as your customer base.
During the next few months, businesses will have to be resilient and flexible, finding new ways to adapt to their challenges.
Being forced to embrace change isn’t always a negative, however, and those that are able to grasp new opportunities and overcome obstacles may even find that their business will end up stronger than before.
Have you started or adapted a business during lockdown? Tag us in a tweet (@so_fourteen) telling us what you do and we’ll give you a shoutout on Twitter to our network.