Business ideas

How Six Entrepreneurs Unleashed Their Best Business Ideas During Lockdown

The lockdown has created enormous challenges for the companies and their founders, with a sudden drop in revenues, and for some, the closure of their premises, and the knowledge that a very uncertain future awaits them once the pandemic is over. But rather than dwell on the frustrations, many entrepreneurs focused on the opportunities and used their forced time in isolation to make the most of them.

Raise your sustainability profile

The aim of The Wood Life project is to replace everyday plastic items with beautifully designed and environmentally friendly British wood products. The business was started in early 2019 by Hazel and Jimmy Russell. A year later, they were supplying to 45 retailers and were in talks with some big brands, until COVID-19 and the lockdown suddenly ended new orders and their talks with potential large retailers.

“We focused our efforts on online sales through our own website and other online marketplaces, where we worked on blogs and social media platforms to drive sales and increase brand awareness,” says Hazel Russell.

Importantly, the husband and wife team took advantage of the downtime to demonstrate their commitment to supporting sustainable businesses in the UK by becoming Grown in Britain and Forest Stewardship Council certified, and are in the process of becoming a B- certified company. Corp.

“We’ve found a way to run our business openly, and more socially and environmentally conscious, that won’t hurt our bottom line,” adds Russell.

Go global, go virtual

Yena, a community of startups that offer accelerator-like business benefits through a subscription, has been ultra-productive during the lockdown, moving its global events program online, launching Intros-as-a-service to enable the implementation. network of those who are isolated and make their product free for two months. Their community grew by 50% during the lockdown.

“Our overall mission is to democratize entrepreneurial opportunities for everyone, whatever the circumstances, including location,” said founder Ash Phillips. “Since the lockdown, we’ve seen greater engagement due to the lack of active physical hubs, which has highlighted the importance of digitizing high-quality business support for all stages. As a result, it helps fuel conversations with investors. “

Improve skills and reputation

As an online business translation company, Inbox Translation was in a better position than many others when the impact of COVID-19 hit, but it still took a heavy hit as demand for services from customers fell sharply.

General Manager Alina Cincan, Romanian translator and licensed linguist, invested her confinement time and energy in marketing, including the website redesign and her own personal development.

She says: “I have conducted a thorough investigation of the translation services industry, and the results will help me better understand the field in which I work and build new relationships.

Her research prompted her to undertake doctoral studies in translation. “I found that I loved doing this kind of research and looking at the data from different angles,” she says. “I have just been invited to present these results at at least one translation conference.

Explore new technologies

Little Beau Sheep sells a range of handmade laundry and body care products, from woolen dryer balls to felted wool soaps and laundry scents, and was founded in 2015 by Sarah Turner.

She says, “The foreclosure has dramatically altered our routes to market, so direct sales through our website are now our primary channel and have provided the impetus to think about how our business should adapt to the market. post-containment world. “

The changes include a redesign of the main retail website and the development of a dedicated website for professional customers when they can reopen.

“We are also exploring the introduction of robotic automation to eliminate inefficiencies in the manufacturing process and allow our team to focus on higher value-added activities,” says Turner. “This will deliver benefits far beyond lockdown, increasing efficiency and ensuring the business is in the best possible position for the future. “

Tap into your entrepreneurial spirit

The withdrawal from his full-time job triggered Paul Hulatt’s hidden entrepreneurial ambitions. He used the lockdown to develop and launch an app, Supermarket Check-In, which allows people to check out and share their shopping experiences at their supermarkets and other local stores. By helping them make a more informed choice about when to visit, they can reduce their time outside the home and the risk of exposure.

In the first few weeks after its launch in mid-April, the app drew nearly 500,000 users, leading the App Store and Google Play charts.

Hulatt says, “I’m not sure where this will take me at the end of the lockdown and leave, but it could be the catalyst I need to go it alone with my own full-time business, or an effective way to build. my skills to help me in my regular day job.

Become more visible

Author, coach and public relations consultant Elaine Harrison helps people write books, get them published, and promote them. She started the business after a 37-year career in media and her work has grown steadily, primarily through word of mouth.

“I’ve been doing it peacefully for 14 years,” she says. “During the lockdown I started working with a top trainer and when he read some of my clients’ testimonials he couldn’t understand why he hadn’t heard from me before. This had the effect of freeing my inner entrepreneur.

During the lockdown, Harrison started working with a branding expert and logo designer, started writing a book on how to write a book and get publicity, started a Facebook group for authors and future authors and started planning a podcast.

“The podcast is forcing me out of my comfort zone, but in an exciting way,” she says. “Things are already moving and I have taken on two new clients in the past two weeks. I’m ready to let more people know what I can offer, and the foreclosure has helped me get off to a good start. “