Whenever the year is about to end, people take time to review and look back on what has been happening so that they will plan for the coming year. They do this by looking at the goals and plans they had when the year started, and then they start looking at why the plans did not come to fruition. In other cases, they also look at what made them succeed. An ordinary person does this, so do those in business.
What I have just said above is probably not what many did in the year 2020. They were a lot of unexplainable happenings. These mysteries of 2020 were made possible by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
No one has been spared from these mysteries, business people, entrepreneurs, workers, students, politicians to mention a few. Motivational speakers would say that in times of difficulties lie the opportunities. As for 2020, around March this was not the case, almost everyone, entrepreneurs included got into a moment of confusion. The lockdowns came as almost a surprise; major sectors of the economy such as education, tourism, transport, oil were hit the hardest.
However, some of the businesses thrived if not survive. We talk of the internet related business, ICTs, food and beverages, banking sector, and online retailers. Some of them made a lot of money such as the Silicon Valley world (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Zoom).
One would ask that will the hardest hit industries come back to life? Will the surviving industries continue to make it? Or will there be emerging business opportunities in 2021? The truth of the matter is that all these questions are difficult to answer but some predictions can be made.
VIRTUAL/SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
The world was moving to digital long before 2020 but the uptake was gradual and somewhat non-uniform. Ecommerce and digital got a huge push forward and the change will affect everything permanently. More and more businesses will look for people with digital marketing skills and pay more for them. With this new normal upon us, this sector can continue growing. More and more people in the business world are no longer operating in the setup we used to know. It’s more of work from home and social media marketing has become more useful.
Another huge lesson in 2020 taught was the value of investing and saving. The impact of the pandemic on people’s wallets was huge and people will have a different outlook towards investing and saving. If you’d invested US$100 in CBZ in January 2020 it would be worth around US$1291 as of the end of October. There are brilliant gains in a terrible year. People will look towards investing and saving products and Zimbabwe has a glaring shortage of these.
VIRTUAL /ONLINE LEARNING
There’s not a lot to say here. A lot of people need new skills and the preferred way of getting them is online. So anything that helps with this will likely do well. They’re also high chances that movement of people to seek educational services such as tutorials, lessons due to the need for social distancing. This then means that Ordinary and Advanced level pupils preparing for final year exams will need online lessons. Therefore, those who are good at math or other subjects are at an advantage.
Although uptake of e-commerce services is still on the low in Zimbabwe, Covid 19 has made people realize the importance of e-commerce. Many people started adopting the use of online platforms to purchase basic goods as the movement became more difficult than before. In as much as we practice partial e-Commerce with orders being fulfilled offline though all other parts of the sale are online. Ecommerce will grow as it finds more applications.
This industry was forecast to grow from the onset of COVID-19 and it will not stop anytime soon. Food remains a basic need for people hence it will continue to thrive. More so, industries in food processing still need raw materials for their production processes. With the forecast of good rains in 2020 to 2021 agricultural season, the future is bright, whether you are a farmer or middlemen in farming. The evidence has been noticed with even a supply of rains so far.
HOME MANAGEMENT SERVICES
People got to spend more time in their homes in 2020 and many found that they had not created happy spaces. Spending on home improvement boomed in 2020 and the effects will still be with us in 2021. This has been made possible by the continuance of movement restrictions hence some are now operating from home.
ONLINE CREATIVE ARTS
The creative arts perhaps got the worst of 2020. Regular income sources were shut down but they continued to entertain us through digital means. As a result, we saw the coming of unknown artists like Van Choga to fame. These were difficult if not impossible to monetize especially in a rush. A return to something close to normal will be welcome.
HYGIENE AND FUMIGATION SERVICES
Hygiene has always been important to ensure that we say healthy but the need to be more careful became necessary towards the start of the second quarter of 2020. It seems a bit obvious but the world has been changed irrevocably. As PPE and hygiene supplies flood the market the successes will come in volumes because there is a need to continue sanitizing our homes and workspaces.
By Rodreck Matsveru (Sir Rody)
Tutor/Exam Coach /Writer /Columnist
Contact details: +263775 701 788, firstname.lastname@example.org