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TECHNEWS · Sunday, May 10, 2020

4 Business Models set to Explode

Covid-19 pandemic forced most of business to switch the operating activities to digital platforms. Four business models that could mark 2020 are Software as a Service (SaaS), Dropshipping, Subscription content and Haulage.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the fabric of daily life through causing many thousands of deaths and prompting lockdown measures, the business world was in a state of flux. A combination of changing attitudes to work/life balance and the rise of the gig economy was the main driver, but it was supported by advancing technology.

There wouldn’t have been so many professionals able to pursue freelance careers if there had still been a compelling reason to stick with the standard office setup. Desktop-replacement laptops supported by robust internet infrastructure — even using mobile connections — made it possible for anyone so inclined to set up an effective home office (or even work on the go).

Despite this, there was still some reluctance to move away from offices, because industries are stubborn and slow-moving — but COVID-19 forced many hands, requiring them to adapt to the new paradigm. In this post, I’m going to identify four business models that are going to prove very influential as 2020 continues and the repercussions of lockdown continue to spread.

Software as a service

Imagine that this lockdown had happened ten years ago. The internet would have been there to keep people communicating, but what would have happened to the business world? Companies relying on intranets would have had to scramble to figure out decent alternatives. Employers would have needed to source expensive high-performance workstations for working-from-home employees, and configure any necessary software.
Today, though, most businesses have been able to adapt very well due to the prevalence of software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies. When you access software online, you don’t need to go through time-consuming configuration, and the availability of cloud processing means that you don’t even need a powerful computer to get things done.
With the current massive demand for SaaS solutions, unlikely to ebb in the near future (even if the world mostly goes back to normal, companies will want to know that they can endure remote working if needed), it’s a fantastic time for new SaaS businesses to launch and carve out their niches.


As a result of the lockdown measures, many people who owned or worked for businesses that relied on footfall (brick-and-mortar stores, for instance, or restaurants) have essentially been left unemployed. The same can be said of those whose companies couldn’t adapt to the remote working standard: they ended up either furloughed or fired.

There is now a massive number of people around the world who are stuck at home with no income and minimal savings — and they need to feed themselves and their families, yet most of them have no entrepreneurial experience. What should someone in that position do? Well, they need a low-risk option that doesn’t require much investment and can be handled remotely.

That’s exactly what dropshipping offers, allowing people to become ecommerce sellers without actually stocking any products or getting involved in the fulfillment process. It isn’t easy to make a lot of money through dropshipping (you need to get the approach right), but the only ongoing costs are paying for the hosting, funding any marketing, and handling any product returns.

Subscription content

It’s not surprising at all that streaming services have reached new heights during this lockdown. Whether it’s Netflix or Disney+, people throughout the world are happy to pay monthly fees to watch all their favorite TV shows and movies, and studios that aren’t currently making any money from cinemas are strongly motivated to take advantage of that interest.

Notably, though, there are other types of subscription business — and content subscriptions have a lot of potential during these times. People get bored of Netflix and want to experience different things, which is where live streaming and digital courses become highly significant. Consider the immense popularity of Twitch: instead of watching TV channels, viewers can watch their favorite streamers play games and join their online communities.

And digital courses are obviously appealing now that schools and most other conventional educational facilities have been forced to close in the real world. Anyone who has useful knowledge or skills can profit through offering content subscriptions: a chef could sell course materials, for instance, or simply stream their cooking sessions to paid subscribers.


Most low-priority shipments are being delayed because it’s far more important that essentials are transported in a timely fashion, but generally the demand for an effective supply chain has only increased as 2020 has gone on. Now, setting up a haulage company requires a lot of resources and just as much commitment, so it isn’t something for solopreneurs — but it has real potential.

Why? Because it can get a lot better. Companies like Amazon have embraced IoT tech to improve everything from security to tracking, but that’s just the surface of what’s possible. Anyone who has a grand idea for building a haulage business with a sustainable model and the tight-knit security required to operate effectively during challenging circumstances, could profit immensely by making that plan a reality (or at least attracting investors) while major lockdown measures remain in place.

Wrapping up, 2020 was shaping up to be an interesting year, but the COVID-19 outbreak has radically changed the perspective which business models are viable and overturned most (if not all) of the predictions made in 2019. If you plan to launch a business this year, keep these models in mind, but beware of further changes: there’s really no way to know what 2021 has in store.

Rodney Laws

Article courtesy of Rodney Laws. Rodney is an ecommerce expert with over a decade of experience in building online businesses and is worked with some of the biggest platforms in the world. Learn about him on and connect on Twitter @EcomPlatformsio

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