Updated: July 6, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected several industries in the Philippines, like those in labor, manufacturing, travel and tourism, restaurants, and gyms. Practically any business that has a physical store has been forced to either shut down or transition their operations online, as the quarantine and lockdown measures prevented sales.
No one is sure yet when the pandemic will be over, and it’s not safe for businesses to run the way they used to. Industries are unsure how to cope with COVID-19, and as a result, many people have been out of jobs. In addition, there’s not enough government support to last those who are affected throughout the unknown future.
Understandably, many are seeking business opportunities so they can survive this pandemic. Here are some ideas on how you can look for extra income or new business ideas that are in line with the new normal.
1. Take a look at what people need.
Ever since the pandemic started, you may have noticed that several shops have begun to sell their versions of face masks, protective gear, and health supplements. That’s because health is everyone’s number one concern right now. Finding ways to reassure people that your products can help them stay COVID-free is the way to go.
A lot of financial advisors also rose to the occasion to help their countrymen manage their money better or redirect previous investments that could’ve suffered due to the business closures. Again, this is relevant, because it speaks to a primary need at this time: managing finances and ensuring a brighter future.
You don’t need to go into those fields per se, but if there’s something you think you can offer that many people need right now, then that’s your best bet for a business idea.
2. Try doing something homemade.
The spirit of the Filipino people cannot be beaten even during times of crisis. A lot have decided to do some kind of food business at home, whether it’s selling all kinds of food””may it be sweet or savory””and things have been pretty successful for many.
The key here is to find a specific area you can tap, whether that’s your neighborhood or the entire village. Filipinos understand the difficulty that the pandemic has caused to multiple households, which is why there is a spirit of supporting communities in times of COVID-19.
No matter how many cookie shops you’ve seen online, all of them are guaranteed to get support from customers, including friends and neighbors who want to lend a helping hand.
3. Take advantage of remote work.
Since everything has transitioned to digital now, the opportunities for jobs online are abundant. Whether it’s a gig as a part-time virtual assistant, taking on freelance content writing roles, designing a logo for a business, managing the social media websites of a few brands, or anything related to digital marketing, there’s something for everyone.
However, be careful in falling into the hands of illegal practices like phishing, website fraud, or SMS scams, to name a few. Some offers may be too good to be true, and because of the pandemic, as some people have resorted to new creative ways of extorting money from others.
Review the job listing and make sure you’re talking to a real person. Ask for referrals from people you trust, so you don’t waste your time in someone who will take advantage of you.
4. Consider offering discounts or support.
If there’s still a way you can operate your business, try transitioning online and offering discounts to your buyers. Remember that when you market your business, you need to speak with empathy and understanding.
Connect with your audience and ask them what they need to make their lives better during this pandemic, and find a way to give them financial assistance through discounts or a new affordable version of the product or service they’re using. When all of this is over, many customers will remember your hospitality and the positive customer experience they had with your brand.
Doing Business in the New Normal
It’s tough right now, but people will bounce back eventually. With resilient hearts and creative minds, it’s only a matter of time before everyone adapts to the way things run””and more businesses will start popping up with unique selling points.
About the author:
This article was written by Lou Zandrian Lobrin. He is the Marketing & Sustainability Manager of Esquire Financing, a lending firm offering non-collateral business loans to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). He enjoys traveling, cultural immersion and meeting new people outside work.