It's been two months since we started lockdown in the UK. It seems longer. The air is cleaner and the traffic is quieter. It has been a peaceful time, but it is soon over. The country is slowly waking up; people are moving.
One thing has happened during the lockdown that I did not predict but is obvious afterwards: There has been an explosion of small internet companies.
Many people have turned to their hobbies during lockdown and thought about how to make money from them. E-commerce is an obvious choice. Originally, they used Facebook and other local social media sites to market their goods. Those who found a clear market are considering a proper e-commerce site.
There has been an explosion of small internet companies.
I listened to a radio program BBC Four where these new entrepreneurs asked for advice. The program provided answers to two entrepreneurs. Both had grown businesses with millions of pounds from their homes. The dialogue was interesting, but it was wrong. These millionaires had begun decades ago. The Internet is very different now. They recommended Weebly and other generic template sites – not Shopify, WooCommerce or really any real e-commerce platform. These owners were too high up in the management chain to advise on starting.
Guidance is needed
Here is an opportunity for service providers such as designers and developers. Although many of these start-ups are unlikely to be viable, some will have real potential. With the right guidance, they can grow and create meaningful, profitable e-commerce companies.
Many of these new entrepreneurs will lack sufficient capital. However, some will have money to spend and will seek the right advice to go the next step.
Idle designers and developers can help – and make some money. Many freelancers have experienced a decline in their operations. Here is an opportunity to get new customers.
Probably these new entrepreneurs are not rich. They cannot afford large fees. Many are not technical. They may not know much about domains, about hosting or collecting payments. It is probably much easier to sell them a monthly service to do everything.
Initially, the work would probably be more than the monthly allocation of the fees. However, once set up, your time should be reinvested with the recurring fee. Having several of these companies on containers would probably make the load more efficient as much of the work would overlap.
The Covid-19 pandemic is changing the way we all work. Change the way we shop. It speeds up online shopping and creates new businesses. The e-commerce industry can benefit. Look for these new opportunities and profits.