It may seem risky to make assumptions after the year we've had, but with the arrival of the vaccines we can hopefully see an end to the coronavirus pandemic. This will mean a return to normality for most of us, at least in terms relative to the previous year. However, it's also likely to produce a sort of backlash, and a desire to catch up for lost time by embracing social and outdoor activities. Moreover, many companies have gone out of business over the course of the pandemic, leaving a hole for new ones to cater to this demand.
This presents a unique opportunity for anyone looking to start a business, as there is likely to be elevated demand for all sorts of products and services. The trick will be identifying which ones people will opt for, and how best you can deliver them - both problems that we're here to help you solve.
1. Event planner
One of the first things many people will want to do when emerging from the pandemic is to see other people - and particularly lots of people at once. This is particularly pertinent when it comes to weddings, concerts and other events, which have been put on hold for almost a year now due to the numbers involved.
Related article: Six Home Business Ideas for a Self-Isolating Future
The end of the pandemic is likely to see a sudden splurge in event planning, and this is something a savvy entrepreneur could take advantage of. With so many people looking to organise events at once, anyone who can avoid the hassle of sold-out decorations, booked-out venues and busy suppliers will be in high demand. Depending on the size of the event, there may also be other ways to enter the planning process. With some sort of infection controls still likely to be important, health & safety services and first aid will likely be of added importance. This could be an opportunity for providing direct safety planning and supervision, or training temporary workers on site.
If there are going to be a lot of events, they're going to need something to eat and drink. From set meals at weddings, to buffets and banquets, to food and drink stalls at festivals, there are all sorts of opportunities for a new catering business to thrive post-pandemic.
Related article: How to prepare your business for the end of Coronavirus
Catering is often thought of as something provided en masse at low cost, and it can be, but it's also one of the more scalable ideas on this list. Depending on the size and nature of the event, a catering business can easily begin in a home kitchen, and match your specialities in terms of dishes. Like any form of cooking, catering can be high stress, given the strict requirements it places on time and quality. It is also one of the more actively regulated industries, with a requirement for food safety training and other certifications depending on local law. If you have a passion for cooking and are cool under pressure, though, this could be the business for you.
3. Photographer / videographer
While mainly applicable to weddings, all sorts of events can require the services of a photographer or videographer. Indeed, it may not even be events, with an increasing number of businesses using videos and professional photography to stand out online. Shooting and/or editing either artform is a valuable service, and should be in for a boom in 2021. While the top-level equipment used by most photographers will set you back a bit, it isn't an impossible burden compared to other startup expenses. And while a decent camera and lighting setup is important, you can make a lot out of even fairly basic hardware with a bit of skill, and the know-how to configure your camera in the right way.
Related article: Best business apps for remote working during Coronavirus
If event photography isn't your thing - or is a risk you still wouldn't be willing to take as long as the virus lingers - there are smaller-scale approaches to the art. A small studio or portable setup can help you to shoot photos or videos for clients, using tools such as a green screen and good studio lights. Editing meanwhile requires only a moderately good computer, and can be done entirely from your bedroom - an entry-level business with a potentially stratospheric ceiling.
4. Hotels and rentals
For a large part of this year, renting property has been a bit of a non-starter. With international travel severely impeded by the pandemic, and many people wary of even traveling outside their local area, the tourism industry at large has been decimated. Once again though, where businesses have folded, there's an opportunity to step into the breach.
Related article: Restarting A Holiday Rentals Business After Coronavirus
If you have property to rent or are thinking about investing, this could be the perfect time to do it. The new year should see a confluence of events, whatever course the virus takes. If vaccines are widely available, international holidays will see a huge boom, as people look to spend holiday funds seeking some winter sunshine. If not, then staycations are likely to see renewed popularity, as people look for a break from the monotony of lockdowns. Airbnb is the most obvious option for anyone looking to begin holiday rentals, but it's far from the only option. There are numerous booking sites where you might look to advertise your room, property, hotel or B&B, and give people a welcome escape from what has been a testing 2020.
5. Tourist services
Of course, rentals are far from the only way to capitalise on a sudden influx of tourists. There are all sorts of aspects to the tourism industry, and a canny entrepreneur can harness this influx of visitors to great effect. The only thing to consider is how you will improve their holiday experience, and harness your existing expertise in the best way possible.
Related article: 5 Ways the Tourism Industry Can Recover After Coronavirus
If you already live in an area that usually attracts tourists, one easy option would be to offer themed tours, such as of local landmarks or the hidden history of your town. If you're looking more at a retail or recreational space, it may be a good idea to poll visitors to the area on what they feel is missing. While there may not be tourists to answer those questions right now, other visitors such as university students could give you valuable tips on the kinds of shops and amenities they want to see. It may also be helpful to get a sense of the demographics of visitors in order to cater to them. If your area gets a lot of visitors from China, for example, then having Chinese menus or signage translated and printed could make a world of difference.
The opportunities that stand out and are available to you will always depend on your existing expertise, and your passion for your business idea. However, we hope that this article has given you some idea of just how many possibilities there are to harness a wave of interest for all kinds of businesses in 2021. As society unleashes itself back on the outdoor world, many businesses will flourish - it only remains for you to be ready when they do.
We’ve helped businesses open up and expand to more than 30 countries worldwide so if you need more information on company and branch formation, registering a business address, opening a bank account, tax advice or help in finding a chartered accountant, please click on the links, and either call us directly on 0033 (0)1 53 57 49 10 or email us from our contact page. We also offer free in-depth guides to starting a business in France and starting a business in Ireland which you can download below.
Download our free guide on opening a business in France
Learn the ins and outs of company formation in one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious markets
Download our free guide on opening a business in Ireland
Learn the ins and outs of company formation in one of the world's premier business destinations