More than 40 million Americans have filed for jobless claims since March, according to the Labor Department. However, a few surging industries give entrepreneurs new business opportunities: the new normal means blurred lines between work and home. Let's look at strong sectors that have stayed recession proof.
Improve the WFH experience.
Remote technologies have seen an obvious jump in popularity as Americans work and study from home. An April report by LinkedIn found that hiring rose 2.3 percent for the hardware and networking industry "which includes semiconductor makers, internet service providers, wireless companies and producers of computer and networking equipment."
That means companies like Zoom, Comcast, Dish Network, Verizon and AT&T have stayed resilient. In contrast, April hiring plunged 23.9 percent for the overall economy, led by travel (50 percent) and real estate and construction (40 percent).
There are business opportunities in improving the work from home (WFH) experience. For example, Zoom stock is up 235 percent since April 2019 due to the massive rise in demand for its video and chat services. Sales increased 169 percent from a year ago to $328 million.
In May, Google announced it would pay each employee $1,000 for WFH equipment and furniture. Other big companies will likely follow suit, which is a boon for manufacturers and distributors of ergonomic furnishings. If you've got a prototype for a noise-canceling device or wall cover, you'll want to license your product now.
Help people be productive at home.
Gyms have been hit hard by the lockdown. However, play-from-home companies remain robust: exercise-bike maker Peloton saw a 94 percent increase in subscriptions during Q1.
Startups and larger enterprises that help people be productive indoors can see more opportunities. For example, a small business can provide equipment and services that build a home studio where professionals can record, broadcast and live-stream YouTube music, lectures, podcasts and presentations. Audiences include teachers and students who are tutoring and learning online.
Provide regulatory-driven essentials.
There's that saying, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer." Now it should be "keep everyone at arm's length."
The definition of what's essential has changed radically from recent memory to now. What's considered today's essential items and services will have strong demand: the new regulatory environment calls for widespread availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), blood and saliva test kits, thermometers, spray bottles, sanitizers, plastic separators, face shields, N95 masks and other tools that protect public safety. The global growth of PPE is estimated at 6.1 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years.
If you can supply, deliver and/or guarantee essential goods, you'll find abundant orders from the government, airports, hospitals, hotels and transportation networks. That includes international demand.
Finally, there are long-term trends (like changing demographics) that weren't affected by the virus outbreak. There's massive demand for healthcare workers such as personal care aides, home care assistants, nurses and therapists. If you're in the recruiting or hiring assistance industry, follow the hiring spree at hospitals, nursing homes and hospices.