Is this the right time to start a business?

The challenges faced by companies amid the Covid-19 pandemic have forced them to shut down or cut their workforce.

As such, massive unemployment is expected and this has pushed many of the unemployed to go into self-employment and start businesses to meet demands from the shift in consumer behaviour.

Property consulting firm REI Group CEO and founder Dr Daniele Gambero said many people were asking how his business was coping during the movement control order (MCO).

“From people’s reaction they are sceptical when said that I am doing better now compared to before. They asked me again, is it a good time to start a business?

“I confidently said yes, it is! All you need to do is a digital transformation, which might be much easier than you expect, and then you’re set to go,” he told FocusM.

Gambero said a good and wide digital footprint (social media platforms) is important to start a business during this critical period so that everything will be smooth and practical.

“Less than one month ago, one of my followers on LinkedIn asked me if I could talk to one of his friends about digital marketing. He connected the two of us digitally.

“From there we brought the discussion to email, Whatsapp and Zoom. In less than two weeks, I had a six-month contract signed without even ‘physically’ meeting my client. What you need to have is a business with products that offer solutions to pain points of the market.”

A professional consultant said for some people who have skills, it will be easy to get started with a home-based online consultancy business.

“They can virtually connect with clients via an online portal. There are a few consultancy businesses that they can explore such as online music classes, fitness consultancy sessions, online cooking/bakery classe, online dietician consultancy business or even online photography classes,” she said.

She noted that during and after the MCO period, people will find it difficult to go out and join these classes on account of the pandemic fear. Moreover, during this period, people are willing to learn new skills.

She also said that it is easy and convenient to set up an online consultancy business, as only a low initial investment is needed.

“I believe it is a home-based office set-up, special instruments such as a good camera for a photography class, musical instruments for music classes, or cooking ingredients for your cooking classes. And you are good to go!”

A former journalist who had been recently retrenched has explored her new career as a delivery driver.

“The online delivery business is at a high boom. Currently, everyone is preferring online shopping mode. And the mode will carry on even after Covid-19. Many of the existing online food delivery companies are in the market.

“Hence, I grabbed the opportunity to get an alternative source of income during this time. My job is not taxing. The on-demand for delivery business is a low-overhead business that could bring impressive and easy returns to your initial investments,” she said. – May 22, 2020

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