It’s not easy to be self-employed. And for those currently up against the impact of COVID-19, “not easy” is an understatement. 

The good news: the potential exists for things to improve. The improvement might not drastically happen overnight, next week, or next month but it’s there.

Small businesses are making it known in the ways they’re reinventing themselves to stay afloat. In the aftermath of what’s happening right now lies opportunity. Here are 12 opportunities specifically to explore as we move forward towards 2021.

Delivery-Only Food Business

The restaurant industry will never be the same—that’s been made clear. This doesn’t mean it will cease to exist. In 2021, delivery-only food businesses are sure to take off as people continue spending more time cooking and eating meals at home.

Small, Unique Online Retail

As more retailers fill the eCommerce marketplace and consumer spending habits shift, online audiences will become even more picky. They’ll seek to align themselves with retailers that are as unique in mission as they are products.

In-Home Entertainment Upgrade

Changes in home entertainment will continue to take effect as media service providers continue to diversify and provide higher levels of programming. Products and services that can help elevate customer experience—from gaming to movie-watching—will be highly sought after.

In-Home Gyms

From Peloton to weight racks, people will continue building out gym systems for at-home accountability. Those that can offer solutions for a variety of spaces (think: small apartments) will prove highly appealing. 

Backyard Gardening Products

Gardening isn’t only great for limiting grocery runs but for your mental health as well. Urban dwellers and suburbanites alike will continue seeking out ways to hone their green thumbs with DIY products that make growing your own food easy to do.

Direct-to-Consumer Farmers

To combat grocery store runs and out-of-stock items, consumers are seeking out ways to support their local farming communities. Those who sell meat, dairy, and produce are flourishing with easy pick-up options and high-quality products.

Large Companies Outsourcing Services

As more companies look to cut internal costs moving forward, they’ll start looking to outsource services to smaller, more affordable businesses. When said businesses start to bring on more work, there will inevitably be more potential to grow and hire more staff as well.

Educational Online Lessons

Language and other education-based apps have been seeing a surge in interest recently. These trends paired with enhanced virtual conferencing technology will evolve the way people learn things “inside” the classroom or otherwise.

In-Home Beauty Care

From hair colouring to skincare, fewer trips to the salon creates opportunities for DIY solutions. Additionally, beauty professionals will continue to find ways to expand their business with online content and virtual consultations.

Remote Live Entertainment

“Quarantine concerts” may not be the forever future of live entertainment but the show must go on. Live video technology, streaming and editing software will be a niche worth exploring for those eager to provide solutions to creators.

Small-Scale Manufacturing

To meet the demands of small businesses, there will be a need for small-scale manufacturers. Additionally, expect to see a rise in manufacturing practices that are both affordable and low waste for brands as environmental consciousness works to gain a foothold among consumers once again.

Home Improvement

The more time you spend at home, the more time you spend noticing all of the ways it could be better. Expect to see a rise in demand for services like landscaping and renovation, as well as repair.