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We live in trying times. As COVID-19 spreads across the globe and nations race to deal with its containment; many businesses are forced to temporarily close their doors, or wildly alter how they operate. 

Some businesses, however, have found themselves in an unexpected boom. As COVID-19 forced most states to order or advise its citizenry to stay home, businesses providing “socially distant” niches saw an increased demand for their services. These businesses, which cater to some specific convenience or luxury, are what consumers are looking for during this challenging time. 

Drive-in movie theaters

Drive-in movie theater billboard

These businesses have suddenly seen giant growth or even a resurgence. A great example of this is the drive-in movie theater. While standard theaters countrywide shut their doors to avoid spreading the virus, this old-school, socially-distant-by-design business has returned to prominence. Everyone still gets to enjoy movies on the big screen, while maintaining proper distance by watching them from their vehicles.

Liquor stores

Liquor store at night

With many bars around the country closed, liquor stores have seen a sales boom as the public has turned to store-bought liquor instead. With the longevity of social distancing fully unknown, people who enjoy their liquor, beer, and wine, are looking to stock up for the long haul.

Home cleaning services and video conferencing software

Person talking to a man over a video conference

Other businesses doing well are those which cater to the needs of the home. First, there is cleanliness. Look no further than the rampant overconsumption of cleaning supplies to see that to overcome this, people are likely to start contacting cleaning companies. While it’s risky bringing someone into one’s home during the pandemic, it may be worth it to ensure their home is disinfected.

Then there are products and services for employment. As most of the country has shifted to working remotely, the need for consistent communication is rising. Sure, many businesses have used video conferencing tools for a long time, but need outside of business has now skyrocketed. Entire families now require this technology, some for work, some for remote education, some for communication with one another.

Entertainment for both children and adults

Teenager playing a video game while sitting on the floor.

Anyone who has ever worked at home while caring for a sick child knows the value of keeping them occupied. With large scale school lock-outs, many parents are having to both work and entertain their child, which can be challenging. This has prompted a rise in the streaming industry, the gaming industry (video and board), educational software, and even arts and crafts distribution.

Future opportunities

Sign that says “The future depends on what you do today”

While many, rightfully, have mixed feelings about profiting off of people during a pandemic, most of the services mentioned are providing customers an important level of value. Some of these booms might indeed be short-lived, but when the smoke clears and the world’s population comes out of their homes, the world will be different. People will consciously prepare for the now “not-so-unexpected” social distancing events by focusing more on the needs they may have taken for granted. 

The current entrepreneurial wave should also focus on this. There are several unique niches that could help ordinary people in this situation, providing valuable solutions to new hardships. A post-COVID-19 entrepreneur should pay close attention to the solutions for problems that come from this new and difficult situation. Catering to these needs on a wide scale could prove to not only be a profitable endeavor outside of a pandemic, but also a potentially vital and indispensable one for dealing with a litany of other global hardships.

What businesses or services are you using most during the pandemic? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal