We are living in one of history’s most precarious times. With a deadly virus sweeping across the globe, countries have been forced to enter into a state of self-imposed quarantine. While parts of the world are coming out of lockdown and restarting their economies, we are most definitely still within the eye of the storm.

Despite stringent social distancing measures and quarantines being put into place, new clusters of infections are still popping up sparking fears of a yet unseen second wave of infections. 

With COVID-19 being as infectious as it is and still no hope of a cure or vaccine on the horizon, business owners and entrepreneurs will need to adapt to the “new normal” if they are to survive. From cashless payment solutions to more remote operated enterprises, the future of business in 2020 is a unique one indeed.

Here’s what we think that the future of business will look like.

1. A New Generation of Entrepreneurs

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the various vulnerabilities inherent in our interconnected economies. With most businesses becoming overly reliant on outsourced labor and overseas supply chains over the years, no-fly orders and travel bans have essentially crippled thousands of billion-dollar industries overnight.

Whilst some businesses have been fortunate enough to operate remotely, the future still remains bleak for millions of employees who stand to lose their job in what may be the greatest economic depression of all time.

Fortunately, necessity is the mother of invention and a new generation of entrepreneurs have begun to slowly find their way in this world. From creating content to e-stores, business owners will be pushed to develop newer and more innovative ways to reach out to their customers.

2. New Ways of Working

Remote working while once thought of as a perk will likely become the new normal for many employees still lucky enough to be employed. Offices are the ideal environment for a virus to spread quickly within a matter of hours – plenty of shared spaces, close quarters and high pedestrian traffic.

Because of this, business owners looking to manage their risk exposure have opted to allow employees to work exclusively from home on the long-term. Besides reducing the risk of infection, remote working arrangements allow both employer and employees to conserve precious resources where able.

For employers, there is the opportunity to reduce overheads i.e. utilities and rental whereas employees will be able to enjoy greater savings in terms of commuting costs and rental.

As remote employees will require a conducive environment to work in, coworking spaces may begin to make an appearance outside of cities in order to be closer to be closer to remote working employees.

3. The Rise of New Niche Enterprises

The key to success in business is reliant on an individual’s ability to identify and make the most out of any and all opportunities. While COVID-19 has crippled dozens of industries, it has also created plenty of opportunities for those willing to try.

One example of this can be seen by the rise of designer face masks produced by companies looking to keep their customers safe and stylish at the same time.

Given the highly infectious nature of COVID-19 and the fact that it is spread primarily from coming into contact with shared spaces, there has been an increased emphasis on hygiene and cleanliness.

Other example are online gambling services, while allow you to bet on the NBA odds on the comfort of your home. This is a business that grew over the quarantine period, as people found it easier than visiting physical betting places (like casinos).

Businesses such as restaurants and airlines will likely come under intense scrutiny due to the large quantity of shared spaces. Hence one can expect specialized cleaning companies to step up in order to meet this new niche. 

Also, with most consumers becoming increasingly wary of close contact and hygiene, logistics service providers too will need to assess the way deliveries are made in order to best protect their employees and customers.

While 2020 is fast shaping up to be one of the worst years in human history, it’s not the end of the world. Humanity as always will persevere and it’s up to us as entrepreneurs to make the best out of a bad situation.