For many people, starting a business is an exciting idea. Others, who may have lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, may see it as a necessity. Before you get started, however, you need to make sure you research your options.
Start yours: Small-business ideas for a post-pandemic world
Many business ideas look great on paper, but the reality can be quite different. Some or all of the 10 business ideas listed below may be of interest to you, but all of them would be extremely difficult to successfully implement in today’s business environment. Before you dive into any of these industries, consult with a small business expert to see if you should consider looking elsewhere.
Pet supply store
It is well known that pet owners are willing to spend almost anything on their furry friends. In fact, many owners consider their pets to be legitimate family members. Opening a pet store therefore seems like a great idea, with a guaranteed flow of customers. The problem is competition and pricing. Pet supplies are now readily available in a number of places beyond pet supply stores, including drug stores, grocery stores, and many online outlets. As with any business, if you can find a place where you’re the only pet store within 100 miles, you might be on to something. However, for everyone else, this might not be the best option.
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Few things seem more glamorous than being a travel agent. From helping clients travel to exciting places around the world and visiting these regions yourself, the idea of being a travel agent is a dream come true for many. However, times have changed. About a third of all trips to the United States are now booked online, and the number of retail travel agencies is declining. While there are still in-person sales at travel agencies, the industry is clearly shrinking. One possible way to counter this would be to operate a specialist or specialist agency, but you will need to do your homework to be successful.
Find out: How budget and plan a vacation in 2021
Opening a restaurant has always been a tricky business. According to Fundera, historically about half of all restaurants fail in the first five years. With the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic, however, this overall failure rate will undoubtedly increase. Going into an industry with a historically high failure rate at a time when restaurants face huge headwinds seems like a particularly risky decision.
More: 18 restaurant chains that have filed for bankruptcy
Blogging is an attractive industry for many because it is an opportunity to express yourself. There are also very few barriers to entry. Overall, blogging seems like an easy way to make money. Yet reality is lacking. To make money, blogs have traditionally relied on advertising revenue. But there is only a limited number of ads that users can click. This is where the low barrier to entry really hurts bloggers. With so many blogs and advertisements making it difficult for an individual blogger to generate income. Unless you already have a lot of social media, are a celebrity, or have a particularly interesting niche, making real money as a blogger can be difficult.
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Much like blogging, there are very few barriers to entry if you want to open an eCommerce store. However, an ecommerce store shares many of the same barriers to profitability as a blog, especially visibility and competition. If you are going to make sales in your online store, you need to let people know that you are online and available. If your site is not showing up in the search engine rankings, you will be lucky to get even a few sales, no matter how good your products are. Even if customers know you exist, you will be competing on price and product quality with countless other sites, including well-known retailers like Costco, Target, and Walmart. You can get sales of a one-of-a-kind product, but if you are trying to make a lot of money, ecommerce is a very difficult route to go.
See: How the pandemic has changed online businesses
Repair of electronic devices or appliances
If you are good at fixing things, you may be considering getting into repairing electronics or home appliances. After all, things break all the time, don’t they? Unfortunately, there are a number of headwinds when it comes to being an independent repairer. For starters, electronics and appliances are getting cheaper. When a product is no longer under warranty, many consumers are more inclined to simply buy new than to pay for a repair, especially if the price difference is not too great. In American consumer culture, many customers upgrade their devices or electronics every few years anyway, even if they aren’t down. The bottom line is that it becomes more and more difficult to be successful as a repairman, especially if you have just started a new workshop.
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Transportation services can always seem in demand, and therefore strong business opportunities. Unfortunately, the landscape for these types of businesses has changed dramatically over the past decade. Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft have significantly downsized the taxi and limousine industry, and even the coronavirus pandemic has made traveling in public vehicles less attractive. Specialized transportation, like rides for the elderly, may be a viable niche, but even that would require passing regulatory steps. Overall, business is difficult for new entrants, with existing players with established infrastructure dominating the industry.
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Good photographers have always been in demand, especially for weddings, family portraits, and other special events or occasions. But there is no doubt that the proliferation of high quality cameras on smartphones has diminished the need for professional photography services. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, for example, has a 108MP camera, 8K video, and 100x digital zoom, professional-grade specs in the not-so-distant past. While photographers are still in demand for some special occasions, the general need for photographers is rapidly diminishing.
Read: Familiar things that will soon be gone
The local liquor store was once the easiest and best way to find your drink of choice. But these days, like many retail operations, you can get almost anything you want from a wide variety of sources. Big box retailer Costco is actually the nation’s largest wine merchant, and online sources and even grocery stores now stock their shelves with a wide variety of spirits. Many of these sources are actually less expensive than independent liquor stores, and buying alcohol during regular grocery shopping is quite convenient for most customers. There will always be spontaneous purchases in liquor stores, but competition in the industry is brutal.
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When it comes to dream businesses, opening a nightclub is at the top of the list for many. Who wouldn’t want to offer a hip experience with shows, special cocktails and good vibes? Again, however, the reality of this type of business is generally far from fantasy. Even in the best of circumstances, a nightclub needs a good location, publicity, and some type of attraction to draw in crowds from other places of entertainment. In 2020, the coronavirus closed all nightclubs, and many will never reopen. Even if the pandemic subsides as expected, customers could remain reluctant to cram into small areas for some time yet. In short, opening a nightclub now might be a short-lived experience.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Business ideas that sound great on paper but fail