For many people, the Coronavirus pandemic has been a chance to reassess their life choices. For some, this has led to a decision to start their own product business.
If you’re thinking about starting a product business, you might be wondering if you’ve chosen a good moment to do so. This article outlines why now is a great time to start a product-based business.
Isn’t the retail industry facing a crisis?
You have probably seen headlines about a crisis in the retail industry and if you're thinking about starting a product business, that might put you off. You may be wondering if now is the right time to even consider trying to sell products when so many big names are failing.
However, the headlines that you see are only part of the story. Consumer spending as a whole has been impacted by the pandemic, however the decline in spending has hit different sectors of the retail industry in different ways.
Larger high street retailers were already battling many problems before the pandemic struck, therefore it actually only sped up the decline that was already happening. To para-phrase retail commentator Steve Dennis, retail isn't dead, boring retail is dead.
Although overall spending will be hit by the pandemic, with larger retailers failing, there will also be room for smaller businesses to absorb some of the market share that is being released by the bigger businesses.
For example, independent baby brands have benefited from Mothercare going in to administration. Some of the money that would have been spent in bigger retailers will shift to other big online players, especially Amazon
How easy is it to start a product business?
Another reason that now is a great time to start a product business is that the barriers to entry are lower than they have ever been. Access to to low-cost services such a Shopify (the web platform that many small businesses are based upon) has meant that you can get an online shop up and running in a very short space of time.
If you don't even want to have your own website to start with, then marketplaces such as Etsy or Amazon are powerful ways for small businesses to reach customers that they simply wouldn't have been able to touch 5 years ago.
Social media opens even more doors, with start-up businesses able to grow their online presence with incredible ease. As the consumer gets more comfortable shopping and purchasing through Instagram, Facebook and other platforms, small businesses will be able to make the most of this trend.
What do consumers want right now?
Another reason that now is a fantastic time to start a product business is because today’s consumer wants to support small and local businesses. The pandemic has accelerated the movement towards “conscious consumerism” where customers buy less but with more intention.
The story of the products you are buying is almost as important as the product itself, with consumers looking to understand how and where products have been made and who made them. Questions around ethics and sustainability have become top of mind for today's conscious consumer.
This is an area that small and independent businesses are perfectly poised to capitalise on, as they can share the ethos and story of the business in a way that larger retailers are struggling to do with real authenticity.
As we move towards more uncertainty for the country and for the retail industry in particular, there are still so many opportunities out there for creative product businesses who are creating the desirable products.
If you’ve got an exciting idea, especially if it fits in to the interests of the conscious consumer, then there has never been a better time for you to launch your business.