New Business Ideas for 2020: Beating the recession

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This video is not about the next Unicorn startup,
$1B business idea. If I had that, I wouldn’t

be here, probably.

This video is about our new world reality,
a reality in which 26MM people have lost their

jobs (just in the US) and industries have been brought to a halt and will take months or years to recover.

So, this video has business ideas for everyone.
They might not become unicorns, but can certainly

provide a job, a lifestyle, and the potential
to grow if you are good at it.

To me, being an entrepreneur was a choice.
I went the corporate route and then decided

to quit my job to start my own business. Not
anymore. The next wave of entrepreneurs, the

world will see, were likely employed up to
March 2020, and their new businesses might

come from necessity.

The thought exercise for this video was, what
if I had lost my job, what would I do?

So here are some business ideas for a world
in lockdown.

So billion-dollar business ideas don’t come
under pressure. They happen rarely, and they

take months and years to test and develop.
You might not have months or years.

So if I didn’t have a job, and couldn’t find
one, the first thing I’d do would be generating

some income for stability, which would allow
me to think straight and use my spare time

to nurture that other idea.

Finding a job is easier than starting a business-
and if I were to find a job in today’s environment,

I’d start by navigating my network, people
I know, instead of applying to openings where

I don’t have any relevant advantages.

But that’s not what this video is about.

Your focus should revolve around your skills
and your experience. I, designer-tech-geek,

am not going anywhere by starting a food truck.

The same rules for unicorn startups apply
here: the first team needs to be able to generate

$10,000 without having to hire anyone else.
If you are missing a specific skill to get

there, then that person should be a co-founder,
not an employee.

But now that we mentioned food, here’s the
first idea: start a home kitchen. This seems

to be a new up and coming trend, which was
officially legalized in California with the

Cottage Food Law and the Microenterprise Kitchen
Operation.

I think there’s an opportunity here. People
are working from home, might not have time

to cook, and want to avoid junk food while
spending less. There’s a growing market that

will not stop when the world reopens.

I expect similar legislation will be available
in other states and other countries soon.

Maybe it already is.

Platforms like UberEats have allowed plenty
of tiny kitchen operations to spring around

the world, small enterprises that probably
couldn’t afford to maintain a full-fledged

restaurant in a location with foot traffic,
but are now exposed to a whole new audience.

Another idea, websites.

While starting a blog is an option, it’s going
to be tough to compete, and it’ll take

months to generate any meaningful income if
you are relying on ads.

But, there’s an opportunity on retail; which
has been forcefully digitalized, and many

stores were not prepared to be completely
online.

While you might think Amazon rules the world
of online shopping, and they do, there are

still billions of dollars of retail transactions
occurring from small stores; many operated

via Shopify.

Not a commercial for Shopify, but there are
over 500,000 stores in the platform, not to

mention Squarespace and Webflow.

So,

a) Build a store of your own; it’s super easy.

At least the store part. I don’t know anything about handling the store.

b) Help other people with their stores.

All these platforms have been created so that
small entrepreneurs can build and host their

stores and they are all pretty easy to use.
Still, not everyone is tech-savvy.

There’s an industry for people who are experts
in these platforms to offer help to the business

owners, either configuring the stores from
scratch or making adjustments and changes.

I know the CEO of AskLorem
which connects those two. Check it out.

Going beyond websites, you can look at platforms
like 99Designs, Upwork, and Fiverr.

While 99Designs is design-focused, Upwork
connects people with skills ranging from writing,

administrative support, customer service,
marketing, accounting- with potential clients.

We are looking for people who can help us
subtitle these videos to multiple languages,

and started our search in Fiverr.

The first money I ever made as a designer
came from Upwork, $99 for a Flash animation.

Ancient history.

These might sound like just freelance work,
but entire companies have been built around

successful Upwork or freelancer.com profiles.
You just need to be good at what you do and

work hard to stand out.

Another growing industry is virtual assistants.
We’ve hired a few at different stages in the

company to lend an extra pair of hands-on
tasks that can’t be fully automated by our

bots.

We have also spent a fair amount of money
on platforms like UserTesting and UsabilityHub.

When we have a new interface or design that
we want to test, we put it there and survey

users on what their thoughts are, and whether
or not they found it intuitive.

You can join as a tester and make money for
each review that you make. You might not be

making a living from it, but it’s income while
you sit at home, which is what we are doing

anyway.

Getting off your computer, look at something
like TaskRabbit- which lets you offer your

services for anything from grocery deliveries
to moving boxes or mounting a TV. TaskRabbit

connects you to clients.

I think the need for TaskRabbit-like platforms
exists around the world, but as far as I know,

they don’t have a strong presence outside
the US.

And there aren’t any established competitors.

Now content creation is another opportunity.
Hey, look at us!

While it’s not easy to stand out in today’s
competitive content and content marketing

world, I believe two key variables our content
has are genuine stories and excellent production

value.

Now, we get tons of questions around the tools
we use to make these videos. All the background

the animation is done in Adobe After Effects.
I found a great course by Jake Bartlett

that goes over all the details on Skillshare,
that I am happy to recommend.

Skillshare agreed to give us 1,000 codes to
get 2 free months on the platform, which you

can access from the link in the description.
Another course I can recommend is Caleb Babcock’s

iPhone Filmmaking. It’s a quick 30 minute
class on Skillshare, on creating Cinematic

Video With Your Phone.

We publish 2 weekly videos on startup advice
and company success and failure stories.

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