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Business Ideas for the (emerging) stay-at-home Economy?

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ChrisV

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Over the next few weeks and months we're of course going to see drastic differences in the way businesses are run. As is always the case – those who can adapt will thrive, and those who don't will be at the mercy of whatever the government decides to help them with. As a group of resilient entrepreneurs I thought it might be a good idea to brainstorm some ideas for this new emerging economic structure. Maybe not idea that we're going to use ourselves; but getting some ideas out there may spark some thoughts for those who want to help and make an income during this time of economic and health-related crisis.

So how can we capitalize on an economic structure where people will be staying home. How can we avoid being a bunch of whining sissies that are dependent on government bailouts; whether personal bailouts or business bailouts. How can we add value in this new world that has been thrust upon us. What can we do to blunt the impact to our personal lives and to society as a whole.

One idea might be to provide shopping services for the elderly. Right now many older people are really scared to be in public and us younger people are in a position to protect them. So I think that a business that helps them get the things they need (for a reasonable delivery price of course) could thrive in this new economy. A business (or even self-employment situation) that basically provides personal assistance to any elderly person who needs it. Many of them aren't that good with technology so applications like Peapod (that delivers groceries) might be too complicated for them. Purchase items, sterilize them, and leave them on their doorstep. This is also massively scaleable if you could start a service like Uber for this assuming there's no shelter-in-place order in your area.

Something else would be giving lessons to the non-tech-savvy on how to do things from home. Teaching pastors how to livestream, teaching older Americans how to use Skype, teaching various workers how to freelance from home.

This one is my own personal bias but, perhaps teaching Data Science / Artificial Intelligence / Coding classes. People are going to have a lot of time on their hands and what better way to use it than to teach a skill that will be highly marketable as soon as this whole quarantine situation is over. Hell, it might be highly marketable even before this whole quarantine situation is over, since you can do it from home. So teaching any skill that will allow people to make money from home.

Perhaps an iPhone app that tracks when Grocery Stores are expecting deliveries.

So what can you think of? What ideas, business models or inventions do you think can help in a time like this.
 

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Bobby_italy

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Over the next few weeks and months we're of course going to see drastic differences in the way businesses are run. As is always the case – those who can adapt will thrive, and those who don't will be at the mercy of whatever the government decides to help them with. As a group of resilient entrepreneurs I thought it might be a good idea to brainstorm some ideas for this new emerging economic structure. Maybe not idea that we're going to use ourselves; but getting some ideas out there may spark some thoughts for those who want to help and make an income during this time of economic and health-related crisis.

So how can we capitalize on an economic structure where people will be staying home. How can we avoid being a bunch of whining sissies that are dependent on government bailouts; whether personal bailouts or business bailouts. How can we add value in this new world that has been thrust upon us. What can we do to blunt the impact to our personal lives and to society as a whole.

One idea might be to provide shopping services for the elderly. Right now many older people are really scared to be in public and us younger people are in a position to protect them. So I think that a business that helps them get the things they need (for a reasonable delivery price of course) could thrive in this new economy. A business (or even self-employment situation) that basically provides personal assistance to any elderly person who needs it. Many of them aren't that good with technology so applications like Peapod (that delivers groceries) might be too complicated for them. Purchase items, sterilize them, and leave them on their doorstep. This is also massively scaleable if you could start a service like Uber for this assuming there's no shelter-in-place order in your area.

Something else would be giving lessons to the non-tech-savvy on how to do things from home. Teaching pastors how to livestream, teaching older Americans how to use Skype, teaching various workers how to freelance from home.

This one is my own personal bias but, perhaps teaching Data Science / Artificial Intelligence / Coding classes. People are going to have a lot of time on their hands and what better way to use it than to teach a skill that will be highly marketable as soon as this whole quarantine situation is over. Hell, it might be highly marketable even before this whole quarantine situation is over, since you can do it from home. So teaching any skill that will allow people to make money from home.

Perhaps an iPhone app that tracks when Grocery Stores are expecting deliveries.

So what can you think of? What ideas, business models or inventions do you think can help in a time like this.
I see entartainment as a HUGE business opportunity NOW, people are craving stuff to watch/interact with, literally the worst tv shows and youtube series are getting mad success here in Italy.

You're on your way with the YT channel, this is the time to grow, but think about it like an entepreneur and see where you can make money.
It could be opening a premium channel that people pay a subscription for, maybe offer consultation and coaching while you can't work and scale it if it goes well.
 

EVMaso

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As more people and companies are discovering that working from home might actually be a good thing for themselves/their business, maybe there's opportunity for a "working from home tech consultant".

This consultant would take care of the following things:

- Getting all necessary computers and tech in place so a person can start working for a company from home in rapid fashion (less than a day or something like that). They would select the computer, mouse, webcam, etc. and set it up for the home worker so the company doesn't even have to think about it.
- Setting up all necessary software (zoom etc.) so the home worker is ready to go as soon as possible
- Getting a person actually connected to their company's specific network through home (lots of small businesses don't necessarily have a dedicated I.T. person, it's just "the young guy on staff who knows a lot about computers" [been in this position many times]).
- Also takes care of chairs, desks, general ergonomics, etc.
 

LightningHelix

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Not specific to staying at home, but infection prevention (nice ring to it...)

Coat all handrail, doorknob, gas pumps (basically thing that are commonly touched.) with copper, copper oxide or silver. After the awareness (and slight paranoia...) of viruses, you can bet this will be a great business.

Adding to the "don't dig for gold, sell shovels..." idea, any kind of company that can recoup, salvage or mine these metals can see a hefty profit.

Home computer building, home office supplies....Oh! Actually home office tools that combine different tools in one to save space!

Building desks, comfortable computer chairs.

Space management services and interior design firms will have a boom due to people integrating more office in their living space.
 
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ChrisV

ChrisV

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@Kak since everyone is working from home – maybe some type of cloud-based computing system that allows you to access your work computer from anywhere? Jeez, somebody really should invent that!!
 

LightningHelix

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@Kak since everyone is working from home – maybe some type of cloud-based computing system that allows you to access your work computer from anywhere? Jeez, somebody really should invent that!!
I can access my work computer from anywhere using Remote Desktop. Maybe there are advantages to connecting via cloud-based?
 
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ChrisV

ChrisV

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I can access my work computer from anywhere using Remote Desktop. Maybe there are advantages to connecting via cloud-based?
Sorry that was a bit of an inside joke between him and myself.

But maybe a consulting service like @EVMaso said that shows less tech-savvy, traditional companies how to do stuff like this.
 

Kak

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I can access my work computer from anywhere using Remote Desktop. Maybe there are advantages to connecting via cloud-based?
Are you using Microsoft a Remote Desktop?

I can NEVER get that to work right. I would love to set that up.

Cloud based would be more reliable than a single computer at a home. Also potentially more powerful and rent power as needed.

Both have advantages and disadvantages from where I’m standing.
 

LightningHelix

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Are you using Microsoft a Remote Desktop?

I can NEVER get that to work right. I would love to set that up.

Cloud based would be more reliable than a single computer at a home. Also potentially more powerful and rent power as needed.

Both have advantages and disadvantages from where I’m standing.
Luckily, I have genius IT guys who help set me up, I've never looked how to do it myself.

It's pretty sweet, only draw back is I have to remind myself that my devices at home won't work for whatever I'm doing on remote desktop and vise versa. Like If I scan something at home, I have to send it to my work email via my own email. Can't use my webcam or microphone either in conjunction with stuff on my remote access.
 

biggeemac

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Hi all.....IT expert here.

Yes, I have long considered doing a "roaming IT guy" model in my area. Since people need periodic IT support as opposed to a full time guy, a subscription-based model may be a good way to go, kind of like your weekly yard maintenance person. I have thought about crafting a support model. I also do some nice wireless installs (not that cable co wireless modem crap), which I can also manage remotely.

In terms of RDP, there are advantages to both, which @Kak indicated. My wife runs her small business and RDP absolutely DOES NOT work for her company, and never will. There is a significant learning curve that most users just cannot grasp. Office365, on the other hand, isn't so hard to grasp. Its a godsend, but it too has a learning curve, especially when you add OneDrive and Sharepoint into the mix. This is where I have a huge opportunity to sell services to my local community. Not on the office365 subscription, but on teaching people how to set it up properly and use it to its full potential. Figuring out how to effectively charge for my services would be my biggest challenge.

Anyway, I'm rambling.
 

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Office chairs seem to be selling quite well for one of our clients at the moment. I’m sure more people will be upgrading their work-from-home space, and buying their own set of office supplies since they can’t nip to the company stationery cupboard anymore.

Printers? Print-toner? Laptops, laptop risers, monitors, monitor stands, desks, screens? Office pods in the garden?


I went looking for some dumbbells today but everywhere is sold out. My wife wanted a yoga mat to do sit-ups on. All sold out too. I picked up the last chin-up bar in a shop, and it’s not great so I can imagine upgrading soon. Everywhere online is out of stock for home gym stuff. I’ve always wanted a weights bench out back, along with a punch bag. A gym alongside the home office in the garden would be great.

I might even be interested in a podcasting or YouTubing package. Just buy the damn stuff in one box and follow instructions to set it all up. I’ve wasted too many hours struggling with incompatible kit, and the wrong kit too.

Oh, and I pay over the odds for my computer kit so I have the option of dropping it off at the big box business to be fixed. I don’t want to buy online and not get it fixed in a timely fashion if it goes wrong.

Hmmm... it would be nice to lease all this stuff and upgrade it occasionally. I must look into that.

And I’ve accumulated a fair amount of monthly paid services and software over the years. If someone wanted to get setup overnight and working immediately then they might be confused with all the options they need. Buying some package where it’s all setup might be a godsend.
 

Connor

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- Getting a person actually connected to their company's specific network through home (lots of small businesses don't necessarily have a dedicated I.T. person, it's just "the young guy on staff who knows a lot about computers" [been in this position many times]).
- Also takes care of chairs, desks, general ergonomics, etc.
As someone who has worked for two 5,000+ people companies, even the big guys sub out their tech support when not near one of their bigger offices.

Also, ergonomics is a big deal- I work in the world of insurance, and companies are already taking about how there will be more workers' compensation claims in white collar jobs, as people don't have the right setup at home for avoiding carpal tunnel, tripping on cords, etc. Sounds ridiculous but it's true when you have a massive number people working at home.
 

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Entre Eyes

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I am thinking entertainment and infotainment. Will be big surge in video uploading.

People will be going viral with their home hijinks who never intended on doing so.

Teaching/sharing like for example...
How To's.
Magic Tricks.
Gaming
Cooking
Working out
Micro Gardens
How you hooked up the backyard/garage.
Decoration hacks/ tips.

Then there is the option to create infoproduct, app, software on video marketing.
 
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becks22

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Thanks for all the helpful tips! All of these companies will need my service for bringing people on board. Got a great list of future clients that will start popping up. Also as a PSA: if anyone needs any HR help during this time, let me know.
 

MHP368

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I was just thinking a drive-in movie theater could actually be quite a hit in this brave new world.
Would it work with a makeshift sheet I wonder if you had the right projector?

Also as far as this thread in general , lots more tv and internet time now. Remember joe rogans podcast was founded in 2009 , people out of work have more time for staring and listening. Its gonna take quality to break through all the available chatter but in general that seems like a solid plan.

One I thought of is if you had a company that deliverd pre made "picnics" for families with kids that will be going out much more now , could be a subscription model thing maybe?

Right now and for the foreseeable future a trip to the grocery store is a bit anxiety inducing , especially with kids. Charge me say 50 bucks for enough food and snacks and drinks for a family of 4 or 5. I feel like if could get like a dozen or so folks in one area on board that itself would be a decent side hustle at least.
 

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I've been thinking a lot about this recently. I'm living outside the US right now, but I'm from new england and I work closely with a custom fabrication / machine shop in Connecticut. I've been trying to come up with a product that I could design/sell and they could make. So far, I think my best bet would be something with home workout equipment or home office ergonomics.
 

Velocke

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It's pretty sweet, only draw back is I have to remind myself that my devices at home won't work for whatever I'm doing on remote desktop and vise versa. Like If I scan something at home, I have to send it to my work email via my own email. Can't use my webcam or microphone either in conjunction with stuff on my remote access.
Just discovered this recently, myself. I had used remote desktop to work from home before, but never tried to use conference call with webcam. Was disappointed that I could not show my colleagues my adorable cats. Wasn't disappointed for long, though...I just exited remote and logged into Zoom on my laptop, because everyone needs cute animals right now.
Yay, learning new things.
 

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Velocke

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One idea might be to provide shopping services for the elderly. Right now many older people are really scared to be in public and us younger people are in a position to protect them. So I think that a business that helps them get the things they need (for a reasonable delivery price of course) could thrive in this new economy. A business (or even self-employment situation) that basically provides personal assistance to any elderly person who needs it. Many of them aren't that good with technology so applications like Peapod (that delivers groceries) might be too complicated for them. Purchase items, sterilize them, and leave them on their doorstep. This is also massively scaleable if you could start a service like Uber for this assuming there's no shelter-in-place order in your area.
I generally assume that either cost or the "not good with technology" aspect are what stop older people from taking advantage of the grocery-delivery services that exist. You say "a service like Uber", but that's still an app. Would you envision customers ordering services via phone call, then, to make it more accessible?
The trouble with trying to target under-served demographics often seems to be that those demographics don't have money, or at least not enough to support the proposed business/service. Do you think enough older people would be willing to pay for delivery or personal assistance service when a pandemic is not happening (would vary by area, of course).
 

MattR82

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What's everyone's thoughts on how commercial cleaning could fit into this? Obviously things like gyms and office space will see a downturn, but anything that remains open will need more cleaning than normal.
 

Bobby_italy

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What's everyone's thoughts on how commercial cleaning could fit into this? Obviously things like gyms and office space will see a downturn, but anything that remains open will need more cleaning than normal.
most handle it themselves, big ones have a ton of employees so they can just let them clean with better means what they're already cleaning, small ones don't have enough money to outsource the cleaning.

At least this is what happens in the 5/6 gyms in my area.

Offices if the cleaning companies that are already working there don't guarantee the anti-virus cleaning maybe there's a niche
 

dabelge

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Not specific to staying at home, but infection prevention (nice ring to it...)

Coat all handrail, doorknob, gas pumps (basically thing that are commonly touched.) with copper, copper oxide or silver. After the awareness (and slight paranoia...) of viruses, you can bet this will be a great business.

Adding to the "don't dig for gold, sell shovels..." idea, any kind of company that can recoup, salvage or mine these metals can see a hefty profit.

Home computer building, home office supplies....Oh! Actually home office tools that combine different tools in one to save space!

Building desks, comfortable computer chairs.

Space management services and interior design firms will have a boom due to people integrating more office in their living space.
just read this from fastcompany

 

reedracer

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most handle it themselves, big ones have a ton of employees so they can just let them clean with better means what they're already cleaning, small ones don't have enough money to outsource the cleaning.

At least this is what happens in the 5/6 gyms in my area.

Offices if the cleaning companies that are already working there don't guarantee the anti-virus cleaning maybe there's a niche
Is there an anti-viral certification? Could some one create one?
Certified by the Fastlane Antiviral Police to be 99.9% virus free on all hard surfaces.
 

reedracer

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My friend in San Francisco who hosts $150 a plate dinners for 10 as an AirBnB Experience is a Paris trained chef, Sommelier , and used to be marketer for a tech startup.
As she cannot host her dinners right now, she's holding Quarantine cooking parties.
I'm not sure if she'll charge for it eventually, but they sure are fun!
 

TylerH1994

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Fastlane Liam

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@Kak since everyone is working from home – maybe some type of cloud-based computing system that allows you to access your work computer from anywhere? Jeez, somebody really should invent that!!
Citrix and many other companies kind of beat you on that one, virtual desktops.
 

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