As the pandemic begins to wind down in the U.S., people are starting to return to restaurants and bars, plan summer travel, and even head back to the office. For many people, life is starting to get back to something like normal. And yet, over the past 18 months, many people have adopted new habits or made major life changes that simply won’t snap back to pre-pandemic norms.
Economists are predicting that the pandemic will be followed by a period of rapid economic growth that could even be called a “boom.” But that rising tide won’t necessarily lift all boats equally, as consumer habits have changed in potentially long-lasting ways.
Here are 7 small business types that are poised to thrive post-pandemic:
Millions of people adopted new pets during the pandemic to keep them company at home or help cope with the stress of isolation. The rate of pet rescues from shelters rose 12% in 2020. But now that people are starting to return to the office, 40% of new pet owners are nervous about leaving their furry friends at home. Doggy daycare services could benefit by stepping up to help reassure pet owners that their new dogs are safe and well-cared-for while they’re at work.
During the pandemic, food service businesses of all kinds had to innovate to survive. Now, companies are still figuring out how many workers will be returning to the office and how many will continue working from home at least part-time. Food trucks could step up to serve as a more flexible catering option than the traditional on-site cafeteria. Some experts are predicting that food trucks could see success with a double shift—serving lunch to office workers during the day and heading out to residential neighborhoods for dinner. Food trucks’ strength, of course, is their nimbleness and ability to quickly adapt to changing trends. Devices like the Clover Flex or Clover Mini are especially designed to work on the go, allowing maximum flexibility.
Home sales were up 22% in 2020, as people looked for more space while they were stuck at home. Now sales have slowed down, but prices and demand are still high. People who have bought new homes over the past year may still be working on renovations, people who’ve just bought new homes may be looking to make improvements, and many others may be looking to improve or expand their existing homes rather than moving–because house prices are so high and supply is so tight. All that adds up to more business for contractors and other home improvement services. A Clover Flex or Mini could also help on-site service providers easily process payments on the spot.
Millions of people’s financial situations have changed due to the pandemic. Some have seen their savings rise after a year stuck at home; others have been out of work and struggling. About 3.2 million Baby Boomers have retired during the pandemic, many of them earlier than planned. A record number of new small businesses were formed during the pandemic. All these people who’ve made major financial changes in the past 18 months will need help getting their houses in order, spelling opportunity for financial planners, accountants, and other service providers.
The rise in remote work makes cybersecurity a growing challenge for businesses of all sizes. And given that remote work appears here to stay, this sector is poised to continue to grow. IT and cybersecurity service providers should be prepared to work with people who are working from home and help provide secure environments for remote work.
Like other industries that rely on people getting together in the same location, coworking spaces took a serious hit during the pandemic. But in the new post-pandemic world of hybrid work, coworking spaces could get a boost from workers who enjoy the flexible schedule of remote work but still want some human interaction during the day. Coffee shops could get in on this trend, too—though they may want to set some ground rules to keep customers moving during busy periods.
While the pandemic was all about athleisure, the post-pandemic world looks to be more of a mix. Many people will be working from home during the day, at least part of the time, and then heading out to social events in the evenings. Trend-watchers say the new look is likely to be a mix of comfortable-yet-structured work-appropriate pieces and fun, expressive pieces for after hours.
To learn how Clover can help you run your business faster and easier, connect with a Business Consultant today.
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