Jan 21 - 4min readThe Opportunity in the Chaos: Launching Your Business in 2021By Launchbase

Today, amidst all that is happening in the world, is the best time to launch a business?

We at Launchbase believe there’s never really a “wrong” time to start a business. Either way, you’re going to face challenges. Either way, you’re going to have to deal with some level of competition. So instead of waiting for the perfect time, you might as well dive right in. Our CEO spoke more in-depth about this topic on the podcast, Launch Base where he interviewed the Co-Founder of Flexa on launching your product during a pandemic and seizing the opportunities during this current climate.

But more concretely, the economy right now is fertile ground for entrepreneurs and business owners. Interest rates are as low as they’re ever going to get. Millions of people are looking for jobs, which means labour markets are abundant. The rise of “working from home” has opened a larger pool of talent to choose from when hiring. And most importantly, major industries are showing their vulnerabilities—which means opportunity for entrepreneur’s savvy enough to invent new, compelling solutions.

There are a handful of trends that have emerged over the past year that will certainly begin to accelerate as we head into 2021. As the vaccine starts rolling out for COVID-19, we are starting to see a rise in the amount of pent-up demand for consumers who have been waiting to travel, go to concerts and sporting events, and even just to get back to shopping in retail outlet environments and dining at their local restaurants. At the same time, some of these other trends like remote work and leaner workforces we believe will also continue to accelerate—so finding ways to capitalise on both will be crucial for entrepreneurs. Whether you’re looking to launch a new product or start a business soon, these are the three big trends we would encourage you to keep a close eye on in 2021.

The Rise of At-Home Health Products and Remote Wellness

Health and wellness products are certainly going through a major push right now. Over the past year, we have talked to dozens of entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries: supplements, at-home genetic illness analysis, testing, home fitness, you name it. These businesses have quintupled in revenue in the last six months. And while we do believe this growth is deflating slightly with the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, we also foresee this trend roaring back with even more sophisticated products not long after.

For example, just in the at-home fitness market, sales of dumbbells and weight plates on eBay increased around 1,500% this year compared to 2019. Private-label vitamin and mineral supplement sales jumped 1,286% compared to a year ago. And according to CNBC and a study done by consulting firm Bain & Company back in May, “Only about 3% to 4% of grocery spending in the U.S. was online before the pandemic, but that’s surged to 10% to 15%.”

If there’s one thing the coronavirus really showed society it’s that many of the ways we thought to take care of ourselves (going to the gym, going to the grocery store, etc.) can, in some way, also be done at home. We do not believe after COVID-19 the everyday person will stop leaving their house and only want to work out at home and have their groceries delivered. But more and more, people have certainly found it to be a convenient alternative on certain days when they need it.

The Diversification of Supply Chains

Many businesses outsource manufacturing to other countries: China and Mexico being two of the most common. But depending on how trade wars continue between America and these other countries will heavily impact many businesses in the states particularly. That said, there has also been tremendous innovation and investment around manufacturing automation. And so, depending on the product, price point, and consumer base you’re targeting, it could begin to make sense to manufacture the product locally as opposed to outsourcing those efforts to another country. You can also control all parts of your process a lot more easily than if you were to do so overseas.

For example:

– Less lag time

– Can receive just-in-time inventory

– Less strain on company cash flow

The trend that is emerging is that more and more entrepreneurs are beginning to realise how risky it is to have their entire business reliant on one supply chain, or one manufacturing partner. If something happens politically, or even just with their partner in the business, suddenly, they’re in a tough situation. So, if you’re launching a new product or venture, we would strongly encourage you to at least have other supply chain options at your disposal and know what the possible implications would be if something were to go wrong.

E-Commerce Acceleration

E-commerce is quickly establishing itself to be the best and easiest way to launch a product and/or business. From a testing point of view, it’s much more effective to engage and gather feedback from customers online than if you were to try to do something similar to a brick-and-mortar type of business. Facebook and Google remain the easiest ways to market to broad customers and end up leading to the highest margins—because you end up owning the relationships you have with your customers directly (as opposed to someone walking into a store, buying a product, and leaving).

The reality is, the coronavirus has severely impacted both retail and mom-and-pop style businesses. Many have either pivoted to e-commerce or gone out of business. We are still a believer in retail, and we think long term the category will come back and thrive in new, exciting ways.


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