With us still experiencing the effects of a pandemic, it is useful to think about the kinds of businesses that are surviving best, and even increasing their customers and client bases in such an environment. As Charles Darwin is quoted to have said: ‘It is not the intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt to the changing environment in which it finds itself.’ This applies also to businesses trying to survive in a pandemic that threatens livelihoods. This article will look at four examples of businesses that are flourishing.
With shops ordered at times to close, customers have turned to online shopping in greater numbers. It has quickened the switch by many from high street shopping to that using a computer. The retail businesses that are therefore flourishing, or at least surviving best, are those that have a business model where they solely operate online, have an online store in addition to their high street branches, or have a facility for click and collect. Those retailers relying solely on the high street for business may be fighting a losing battle as people are not only forced to use online services but start to see the benefits of using them. The convenience of being able to shop from their armchair at any hour of the day or night and have the items delivered directly to their door, or to a convenient outlet they can collect them from.
Businesses selling food, except for those in the hospitality sector where takeaway has sometimes been their only option, will always flourish because foodstuffs are essential items that we all need to buy.
The knock-on effect of increased online trade is more work for couriers. It is becoming increasingly more cost-effective to have a courier deliver your parcel to you or collect it from your door and deliver it to someone else. These kinds of delivery options are expanding online.
Apart from how busy hospitals are, and the continued need for medical treatment from primary care, too, those employed in areas supplying medical equipment are also experiencing increased business. That is, anyone making PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as face masks and coverings, or gloves and gowns. The manufacture of alcoholic hand gels has increased as more people get into the good habit of thoroughly washing and cleaning their hands. As the Victorians were preoccupied with their health, we are also heading further in that direction once again.
With so many online activities expanding, so has the work for anyone involved in computers. From those developing apps, expanding social media platforms, and anybody designing websites for companies wanting to move their business online. Technology has advanced sooner than it might have otherwise done with the range of video call providers increasing. From primarily just Skype to now Teams, Zoom, and Google Hangouts, to name a few.
Work where inputting onto a computer is required, is something that can be carried on at home. If it involves the input of scientific data, it is particularly important at the minute. Meetings can be held from home because of the technology mentioned above. A virtual meeting allows someone to communicate with colleagues as if they were in the same room, able to view another’s body language as well as hear the tone of their voice. Emails or messages back and forth cannot always be the most effective way to communicate and agree on something when there are a lot of people involved in making the decision.
Anyone starting a career now may wish to think seriously about how robust it is in a pandemic. How essential that occupation might be. Whether it is possible to work from home with it, such as where data input is involved. If it is currently defined as a job where someone is a key worker, such as a teacher or healthcare provider, this is a clue to the sector surviving in environments others can perhaps not.