It is said that in the Chinese language, the word or ideogram for ‘crisis’ is the same symbol used for the word “opportunity.” In short, in every crisis — there is an opportunity.
The world shut down for a few weeks, but it is now up and running. Despite setbacks faced by the high and mighty global corporations as well as the mid-sized companies down to the neighborhood Mom-and-Pop stores, businesses must continue. Economic activities are the lifeblood of any nation, and no virus or pandemic can stop people from making a living and pursuing the call of commerce.
New businesses are even being built by using the tools of the financial world. For the bold and daring, opting to refinance their homes has enabled them to have enough liquidity for a start-up.
Business Must Go On
Since the quarantine and travel restrictions began across the globe, many businesses have had to take a serious hit. With no travel allowed and people staying indoors, business and trade consequently slowed down.
In the US also, researchers say that at least 100,000 small businesses will close down. The National Restaurant Association even reported that at least three percent of all food establishments have already shuttered their doors, perhaps never to open again. In what was called a ‘retail apocalypse,’ at least 5,500 retail stores also closed due to poor customer traffic and a severe drop in sales. Other industries are bracing up for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
A University of Chicago study states that at least 36 million jobs were lost. Of these layoffs, the study says that 42% will never be recovered.
But hope is not lost. Businesses must continue.
Several businesses have thrived even amid the global health emergency. Some restaurants that closed down continued their operations by converting their kitchens into food delivery hubs. As people opted to shut themselves inside their homes, it created a market for door-to-door food deliveries since they no longer go to supermarkets and have no option for dining out.
Online retail hit it big, as the case of Amazon proves. According to a report by Forbes, when the lockdown began in March this year, Amazon’s stock price was already at a remarkable $1,676. Two months later, the stock price closed higher by almost another $1,000.
Zoom, the video conference technology company, also made its mark and carved a niche for its services at the height of the lockdown. Many companies allowed their executives and employees to work from home, leading to high demand for this kind of service.
Quite obviously, companies that manufactured face masks, personal protective equipment or PPE, and hand sanitizers also did exceedingly well during this time.
New opportunities also sprouted even in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
An excellent business opportunity is in supplying gardening supplies and equipment, which include seeds, growing media, pots, fertilizers, and other items related to DIY planting culture.
Products like paint rollers, carpet cleaners, essential carpentry tools, air diffusers, and even home security cameras are selling hot in the market. CNBC reported a 140% growth in the home improvement segment.
Selling pet products online is also showing signs of a boom. Many people in quarantine have chosen to adopt pets as a means to manage the isolation caused by the quarantine.
Hair clipper sales skyrocketed by 200% since barbershops and salons all had to close as part of government restrictions.
Many fitness gyms and martial arts studios have also evolved into online coaching platforms to keep in touch with members and sign-up new customers.
Indeed, many start-ups are rising, and new entrepreneurs are making their presence felt online. Not to be discouraged by the initial downturn in business outlook, these intrepid businessmen and women are looking for suitable products and services that will meet the ever-growing demand from customers.
Refinancing as a Source of Business Capital
So, how do we take advantage of business opportunities during these extraordinary times?
What if we do not have enough cash to fund our small start-up?
The way forward may be in home refinancing. The journey to “becoming your own boss” starts with just a few start-up tasks. Here’s a quick run-down of things to check before opening a new business:
1. Review your list of liabilities
It is best to start with a list of monthly payables. Having a review of one’s liabilities will enable a realistic taking of stock of how much disposable money is left after taxes and bills. That will also give details of regular cash flow, i.e., how much money goes in and out of one’s pocket or bank account. Cash flow means everything in a start-up business since there will be many necessary expenses and investments that need to be made at the beginning of a business.
2. Get Your Home Appraised
To get an idea of start-up capital that can be raised through refinancing, approach your lender or another home loan provider for a new appraisal.
3. Find a Good Lender
Finding a suitable lender that offers the best deal in the mortgage lending industry is vital. With professional advice from a refinancing expert, one can estimate the interest rates and other fees that will be applied for the process. With a reasonable appraisal, one can also expect a good share from the equity that can be used for the start-up capital.
All businesses have risks. The way to succeed in business is careful planning, disciplined execution, and a ton of optimism. As they say, those who risk may gain something great, but those who risk nothing gain nothing at all. Use this challenging time to explore opportunities out there. Success awaits those who dare.