Everyone’s in business, no-ones in business!

The recent restrictions of movement has caused considerable pressure on some industries; particularly manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, retail and beauty. But, as one door closes, another opens. Whilst staff were on furlough (paid, but not required to work), a shift occurred. With time to think and consider priorities, many people reflected on their lives and importantly, their lifestyle and whilst having a little less money, a trend to switch money for contentment began.

Getting up at 5am Monday to Friday to go to the gym before the office job in the city has given way to an 8am rise for a 9am seat at a home-adjusted office space and an early afternoon walk. Women’s hair, nails and beauty treatments were all cancelled, hard edged haircuts were ‘city blow-dried’, along with nipped-in jackets and pointy collared shirts were exchanged for a less structured look. Relaxed work from home living with natural hairstyles, casual clothes and no make-up. Casual is the new buzz word.

As extra free time allows the brain to wander, innovation has thrived and the outcome, just six months later from the first day of lockdown, is an abundance of start-up schemes, dreams and business’ all making a debut. They are aided by the free global access of the internet; social media platforms and zoom meetings and free-to-create websites. It’s never been easier to start up a business. They won’t all make it, but those that are internet driven, climate and well-being led stand a better chance than the indulgent ‘excessive luxury’ items of recent times. The public want to know how things work, how they were sourced, what the ingredients/contents consist of and where they came from.

Bill Kenright, self-made businessman accepting an award from Vanessa Brady

Finally, the consumer has a conscience, but the main difference is that now they also have a voice and they use it to make or break a business. Think trust-pilot, forums and trending. The power of the consumer is a huge part of this paradigm shift.

With a purchaser’s conscience, you have an additional opportunity to meet that criteria and follow that tribe’s calling and that is the perfect springboard for a business idea. Add technology to reach 80% of an audience via the internet, particularly through social media channels and you can see how the world has turned on its financial axes in just six months.

With a further six months of increased ‘winter risk’ from the pandemic, let’s stay upbeat and look at what innovations and different business opportunities will be hatched from this mess. My own contractors have individually started a yoga app, a dance class, a beauty guide, a rescue service for animals and a marketing business. The staff have all worked throughout, but we are fortunate to be in a very diverse industry and interior design, unlike other recessions and financial disasters, has retained a constant and steady flow of work and in many cases reached full capacity late into next year!

If you ever thought about doing something creative, this is the moment. Long may it last!