With people required to stay confined in the four walls of their home, Filipinos have set in motion a number of online businesses. In less than a year, with what seems to be an endless guessing game on our quarantine status at that, people managed to find other sources of income. It’s true when Napoleon Hill said “a resourceful person will always make opportunity fit for his needs.”
Although we’re allowed to go out for a purpose, there were restrictions. During the more stringent modified enhanced community quarantine, people can go out of their homes provided they bring with them their quarantine pass. Sadly, the quarantine also meant the closing down of some businesses that couldn’t operate for months during lockdown, and to those that were allowed to enforce a skeletal workforce, they still found the need to let go of some of their employees. The complexity of the situation called for creative response.
Here are the seven (7) online businesses that emerged during the COVID-19 crisis:
Online Food Business
From the time the government has enforced lockdown in the country, restaurants and food stalls could reopen their business for the public. For one, there weren’t any public to serve at all. A skeletal workforce was barely an option for the main reason that their employees did not have means of transportation; all public vehicles were not allowed to operate at the time. When things were seemingly turning out well for most areas in NCR and other neighboring regions, it was only then were they allowed to return to business, but with restrictions. No dine-in, only take-outs and delivery. Thus, gave them the idea to take their business online, and because a lot of Filipinos are into cooking, it was not surprising that a high number of online home-cooked food businesses also began. In line with this, the national and local government encourage online businesses to get their permits to protect both the business owners and their customers.
Delivery Service Provider
Community quarantine has truly elevated the importance of delivery service. Experts see that this kind of service will be carried on in the new normal, most especially by those engaged in the ecommerce business. Delivery service apps like Grab, Lalamove, foodpanda, and MrSpeedy, to name a few, are spearheading the game in this industry. Trading, retail, merchandising, and grocery stores businesses now rely heavily on these delivery service providers to meet the need for lesser physical contacts compared to when people go shopping in their stores. It also generates income for motorcycle, bicycle, and van owners, male or female, from aged 18 and up. The hassle-free booking process allows merchants to offer their products and services through these mobile or web-based apps, riders to have a source of income, and for customers to book a delivery service in seconds.
Digital Marketing Services
The demand for digital marketing services has skyrocketed during this pandemic. While brick-and-mortar businesses take their products online, they need help from digital marketing experts with the knowledge from web and graphic design, social media management, social media marketing, search engine optimization, online promos, and more. Due to the inevitable changes that are occurring these days, chances are that the marketing plan business owners prepared pre-pandemic now belongs to the trash bin. While businesses are figuring out what can work out for them in the months ahead, digital marketers start making things happen for businesses. The country may be under quarantine, but it’s essential to keep market positioning on top, and that is where digital marketing services come in handy.
Online medical consultations like KonsultaMD are now encouraged and have never been more important to lessen physical contact with other people. Physicians are now able to provide medical care to the public through such an online platform that even the Department of Health is boosting their efforts to provide their telehealth services. This is most beneficial for those who live in remote areas but where there is access to the Internet, other than mobile and landline service. For others, it helps them reduce their spending in visiting their doctor in the hospital and it reduces the anxiety that some experience while waiting for their turn in the queue. You could say that this will now be part of the new normal not only because of the current situation but also because it is convenient for many. If you can create a platform that offers this type of service, then you are heading to the right direction.
Remote IT/Network Support
Though it is nothing new, Remote Technical Support has undeniably increased when the coronavirus pandemic has started. The primary reasons companies would avail this kind of service during a crisis is for their work-from-home employees and it reduces costs. It’s natural for business owners to worry on the productivity level of employees working from home. An access to a reliable IT support will ensure their employees can perform their tasks without the worries of technical issues becoming a hindrance to their output level. It also reduces costs for many since they would only pay for the services that they actually need. If an in-house IT or Network Support is not an option for them yet, these IT professionals are their go-to guys in fixing computer issues using basic or advanced solutions.
One of the many residual effects of the COVID-19 crisis is offices or stores being required to close down during the stricter Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). Before the government had even put NCR and other Philippine regions under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine, some businesses chose to declare bankruptcy early on. This is when Filipinos staying at home and needing to find other sources of income found the beauty in dropshipping. It is a retail fulfillment method wherein online sellers accept orders from customers through e-commerce platforms such as Lazada and Shopee, two of the most popular platform that have become a great avenue for online businesses that have no physical inventory. The sellers would only need to advertise or showcase the products listed in the e-commerce platform through social media, forward the list of orders to the suppliers, and have the items delivered directly from the their warehouse. Their products could be anything from clothing, footwear, jewelries, women’s and men’s accessories, electronics, to appliances.
Virtual Fitness Sessions
It has been a real struggle for many to stay in shape while stuck at home. The government may have eased the restrictions under General Community Quarantine, allowing the return of most business. One of which are gyms and other fitness studios. However, there is a limit to the number of gym members and non-members that may enter their facilities, and with the threat of the coronavirus disease still at large, many are hesitant on going back to their favorite gyms for an hour of running on a treadmill, weightlifting, doing crunches, etc. That is why, some fitness experts saw the opportunity in online businesses to make up for the lost hours in the gym with their clients. They started offering paid workout sessions with fitness buffs to join them through a platform such as Zoom, a cloud-based video conferencing service that is now popularly used for virtual meetings.
YouTube Channel and Other Social Media Channels
All you need is create a content that is relatable and entertaining for Internet users. Not so much like the online businesses abovementioned, but the rise of YouTubers and social media influencers in the country began years ago but is increasing even more these days. The truth behind its popularity is that online media influencers can earn as much as being able to afford a house and a new car through their creative content. These influencers also receive opportunities in product endorsements, which also pay a good amount of money. Evergreen content that promotes social responsibility are what’s gaining the most views, based on research.
Selling Plants Online
As more and more people convert into becoming a certified Plantito and Plantita, selling of plants has become one of the lucrative online businesses to those who have a knack for gardening. House plants like Bacularis, Red Siam Fiddle Leaf Fig, Peperomia Obtusifolia, Philodendron, and many more are being sold like crazy in the online marketplace for plant lovers. Most recently, preserved and dried plants have also started gaining popularity.