14 Pandemic-Proof Business Ideas You Can Start Today

Published: April 24, 2021 | Updated: May 6, 2021 | Posted by: Rouselle Isla | Personal Finance


pandemic-proof business ideas | Moneymax

If there’s anything that this COVID-19 pandemic has taught everyone, it’s that an economic crisis can happen anytime and cause you to shut down the business you’ve worked so hard to build.

Is your business pandemic-proof? Does it have what it takes to survive or even thrive in this pandemic?

If you own a pandemic-proof business, may it continue to fare well and prosper. But if not, we’ve listed down some pandemic-proof business ideas that you can consider for your next business endeavor or for when you want to put up your own business.

What is a Pandemic-Proof Business?

A pandemic-proof business can withstand the shocks of a pandemic and still retain a strong position in the market. This can be achieved by having the right business strategy, introducing creative, diverse, and in-demand products and services, and using the internet to reach and engage with customers.

Read more:

Pandemic-Proof Business Ideas in the Philippines

Despite the many challenges brought on by this pandemic to businesses, there are those that continue to thrive and operate as usual. Some are also more in demand now.

1. Online Grocery Store / Market

pandemic-proof business - online grocery stores and palengke

An online grocery store or market offers convenience and speed. You don’t need to go out, walk the grocery aisles, and queue up at the counter. You can just go online, browse different product categories, add them to your cart, and check out.

It saves time, energy, and money, which is why grocery store owners and market vendors have also started selling their products online. Customers can just pick what they need or send a list of items and wait for them to be delivered at their doorstep.

Why it’s a pandemic-proof business:

  • You’ll be selling essential goods that people always buy.
  • It’s easy to create an online store that you can run even after the pandemic
  • You can fulfill orders even with a small team, either through your own fleet or a third-party logistics service provider.

See also: Shopping in the Time of COVID-19: 30 Online Grocery Stores with Delivery Services

2. Online Bakery 

crisis proof business idea - online bakery

Whether it’s sourdough bread, banana cake, garlic bread, ube cheese pandesal, or blueberry cheesecake that’s your specialty, you can sell your home-baked goodies in your own online bakery.

Leverage demand and find out which baked goods are trending or are fast-selling. Or take advance orders so that you bake only what’s already been paid for.

Why it’s a pandemic-proof business:

  • It’s easy to set up an online store.
  • You can bake and run the business from home.
  • Advertise and market your products both online and offline.
  • You’ll be selling essential food items, which means you’ll always have customers.

3. Online Retail Store

crisis proof business - online retail store

Since brick-and-mortar stores can close at a moment’s notice when community quarantines are imposed, micro and small retail business owners should have other options to continue their business operations. An online retail store will ensure that the business keeps running and items continue to be sold.

Having an online retail store will also boost a brand’s online presence and get more reach.

Why it’s a pandemic-proof business:

  • People can browse products and place orders 24/7.
  • No rent or lease to pay.
  • An online retail store can be operated from anywhere.

4. Food and Beverage Delivery Service

crisis proof business - food and drink delivery

As consumers stay at home and restaurants operate at limited capacity, there’s a surge in demand for food and drink delivery services. Many of these delivery services have stepped up in this pandemic with home deliveries and contactless payments.

Ordering food and drinks online has been a habit for a lot of Filipinos even before the pandemic, but even more so when the pandemic hit. And in the future when things go back to normal, food and beverage delivery services will still be a regular thing for a lot of households in the Philippines.

Why it’s a pandemic-proof business:

  • You can offer added convenience to customers who have no time to shop for ingredients and cook meals, as well as those who are under quarantine.
  • It’s profitable, as food and drinks are a necessity
  • No need to open a physical restaurant, cafe, or shop to start selling.
  • This crisis-proof business can be managed easily with a lean staff.

5. Mobile / Pop-Up Coffee Shops

pandemic proof business - coffee shop
Photo from: Papakape’s Facebook Page

Although you can order coffee online and have it delivered, there’s something special about having it fresh and piping hot and drinking it somewhere with real coffee house vibes.

Enter mobile and pop-up coffee shops that sell coffee right from inside a van or a stall on wheels. Some set up shop in front of their houses, at street corners, or even on dirt roads where lots of bikers take a rest stop.

It’s a flexible and viable alternative during a pandemic, especially for budding entrepreneurs. Mobile and pop-up coffee shops offer a cost-effective way to sell coffee to customers while keeping operating costs low.

Why it’s a pandemic-proof business:

  • You can both be a barista and cashier.
  • The shop can be set up anywhere as long as there’s a power outlet and foot traffic.
  • No costly overheads, allowing you to offer more competitive coffee prices.
  • You can offer a small menu of crowd favorites and bestsellers.

6. Online Plant Store

crisis proof business - online plant selling

There’s such a thing as pandemic stress, and Filipinos have been looking for ways to keep stress at bay ever since the pandemic started. One way they’re coping is by surrounding themselves with lots of fresh and vibrant plants and blooms. Hence, the rise of the plantito and plantita movement.

There’s always been a high demand for houseplants, and even fruit and vegetable planting. These days, everyone just wants to take care of a living object. Not only is it therapeutic. It also promotes relaxation and happiness, which is much-needed during this scary and stressful time.

You don’t need to be a plant expert to start selling plants. You can start with cacti or succulents first and then transition to easy-to-grow plants like pothos, philodendrons, and aglaonema.

Take it from, Gugma, owner of SucculentsPH.[1] According to Gugma, she didn’t even have time to water her plants, but she’s now running a successful online shop that sells succulents.

Why it’s a pandemic-proof business:

  • You can easily start a plant business by propagating plants from cuttings and buying pots and soil.
  • Sell online or from your own home.
  • The tropical climate of the Philippines makes it easier to grow plants.
  • Your business’ digital presence can sell to customers outside of your physical location.

7. Online Reselling / Buy-and-Sell 

pandemic-proof business - online reselling or buy and sell

Got a few items that are good as new but you no longer need? You can sell them online and earn a few bucks. Depending on the size of the item and the demand for it, you can earn a few hundred to thousand pesos.

You can easily set up shop online and post your items to sell. Engage your audience on social media through live selling. In addition, you can even sell your items flea market-style for customers who can personally check, purchase, and collect them.

Why it’s a pandemic-proof business:

  • It requires only low to no start-up cost.
  • You can operate from anywhere and sell anything (shoes, vintage electronics, collectible toys, books, video games and consoles, brand-name clothes, baby items, furniture, and many others).
  • Get paid and get rid of clutter as well.

Read more:

8. e-Loading Service 

crisis proof business idea - e-loading

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t own a cellphone these days. With millions of Filipinos who buy prepaid load for calls, texts, or data, e-loading services are still a very low-risk but high-demand business.

All you need is a cellphone, a SIM card, and an initial load of PHP 1,000 to start your e-loading business. Just go to any Globe or Smart business center to get your e-loading kit, and you can already be an owner of a small crisis-proof business.

Why it’s a pandemic-proof business:

  • You can start with low capital.
  • Profits may not be huge, but it’s still a good and easy way to earn extra income.
  • Prepaid phones will always be available, and people will always buy load for connecting with their loved ones.

Read more: Online Business Ideas You Can Start Even with Small Capital

9. Transport / Delivery Service 

crisis-proof business - courier service

With people staying home and unable to go anywhere, online shopping has been the activity of choice for most Filipinos. With that comes a significant increase in parcel deliveries.

It’s a much-needed service that keeps businesses running smoothly. Transport and parcel delivery services are always in demand, even in small, remote towns. In short, there will always be someone somewhere who needs something delivered.

Transport and parcel delivery services can be relied on even in a pandemic. Profit will depend on the number of bookings and deliveries. But what makes transport and delivery services work are efficiency and scope.

You can be an independent local courier with partner riders/drivers or operate your own parcel delivery franchise, like 2Go, TokTok, or J&T Express.

Franchise prices will vary depending on the location and the franchise package itself. TokTok currently offers an online franchise package for PHP 17,888.

Why it’s a pandemic-proof business:

  • It’s an essential service that individuals and businesses need to move goods.
  • No formal education or training is required. You just need to be able to communicate clearly with customers.
  • This can be a home-based business.
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10. Money Transfer / Remittance / Bills Payment Service

Like banks, money transfer, remittance, and bills payment centers provide an essential service to ensure that the economy keeps moving even in a pandemic. Filipinos who need to send funds or pay bills but don’t have a bank account can still do so by sending it through remittance centers.

They’re another example of crisis-proof businesses that can give a fast return on investments.

Palawan Express, Bayad Center, M Lhuillier, Western Union, and Expresspay offer franchise packages that are already fully set up and ready to operate. The franchise fee can range between PHP 99,000 to PHP 600,000, depending on what’s included in the package and which franchise it is.

Why it’s a pandemic-proof business:

  • You can set up your business in a strategic location for wider reach.
  • Not a lot of requirements are needed to start operating (You just need a computer or tablet, printer, and an internet connection).
  • It provides an essential service.

11. Professional, Technical, and Lifestyle Services

pandemic-proof business idea - yoga instruction

Whether it’s providing legal advice, accounting or bookkeeping services, interior design consultation, translation, or writing services, you can operate anywhere in the world and earn from it.

Yoga instruction, sports and fitness coaching, insurance selling, workshops and webinars, graphic design, and many other trades continue to thrive even in the new normal. As long as you have a computer and an internet connection, you can run your business from anywhere, land new clients, and get paid.

Why it’s a pandemic-proof business:

  • It involves a low cost to operate because you’ll be capitalizing on skills or expertise you already have.
  • Widen your reach through your personal and professional networks.
  • This crisis-proof business has unlimited income potential.
  • You can do it from home or anywhere in the world.

12. Online Pet Supplies Store

pandemic-proof business idea -online pet store

In a pandemic where people can’t readily go out to buy pet essentials, they simply go online to buy them.

An online pet supplies store is a good pandemic-proof business idea because pet owners will still buy pet essentials even during an economic or health crisis.

To be successful with this kind of business, you need to have great product offerings in your inventory. Stock up on pet food and grooming products that your desired customer base will buy. You can also check out other online pet stores and see which of their products are selling well.

Why it’s a pandemic-proof business:

  • No need to purchase or rent store space.
  • You can partner with a courier service if you don’t have a vehicle for deliveries.
  • You can also consider drop shipping,[2] so your third-party supplier will handle the shipping of items to your customers.
  • This business doesn’t require huge capital.
  • You just need to have good knowledge about pets and pet products and some technical know-how on building a good e-commerce site

13. Cleaning Services

crisis-proof business - cleaning service

Everyone knows the importance of proper hygiene and disinfecting your space, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Cleaning will always be done in homes, offices, restaurants, shopping malls, hospitals, and practically everywhere.

In short, it’s not a trend but a necessity. And it’s a very common yet in-demand service, pandemic or no pandemic.

Why it’s a pandemic-proof business:

  • Very low start-up costs to start the business.
  • You can run this business by yourself or with small cleaning staff.
  • No office required. You just need a handy set of cleaning tools and equipment.
  • Marketing and advertising can be done online.
  • Get paid right away and book clients in advance, so you can set how much you want to earn.
  • You just need the right outlook, motivation, and personality to succeed in this business.

Read more: 25 Small Business Ideas You Can Start With Low Capital

14. Hardware and Construction Supplies

pandemic-proof business idea - hardware and construction service

The pandemic has given everyone a lot of time to reorganize, redecorate, or renovate their homes. While self-isolating or home quarantining, they also use this time to create more functional, clutter-free, and aesthetically pleasing homes.

When most businesses were temporarily closed because of the lockdown measures, construction projects continued as usual, even with limited manpower or work hours. This is why it’s worth considering having a hardware supplies and construction service business.

Why it’s a pandemic-proof business:

  • It can cater to various needs of customers (home redecorating, renovation, repair, etc.).
  • You can stock up on fast-moving items to jump-start the business.
  • You can sell a niche list of products to stand out from competitors.
  • A website can be created to sell products and take inventory.

Final Thoughts

How do you pandemic proof your business? In an economic crisis, it’s crucial to be flexible and adapt to the times. You must respond quickly and learn new ways to address your customers’ needs.

Make the most of the opportunities that are available. If you can secure funding that will cover the cost of your daily business operations or help you get the business capital you need, go for it. There are many personal loans or business loans that you can apply for with more lenient repayment periods or lower interest rates.

Also, be proactive with your sales and marketing strategies and try new ways to run the business effectively, like working from home or fortifying your online store or online presence.

More importantly, invest in digital solutions that will help your business adapt and thrive in the digital world.

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