woman working and writing notes on whiteboard From digital marketing to online delivery services, there are several needs that the pandemic has sparked among consumers. — Getty Images/PeopleImages

Starting a business during a pandemic might not seem like an ideal endeavor, but it actually could be a great entrepreneurial decision. While there are many COVID-inspired business ideas sprouting in the business world today, there are many ways "traditional" businesses can be adapted during COVID-19. As an entrepreneur, if you understand and adapt to your challenges, you could start a thriving business during this pandemic.

Here are 11 pandemic-friendly business ideas to consider.

[Read: Coronavirus Small Business Guide]

Online consulting business

No matter what your professional background is, you have knowledge and expertise to pass on to others. From professional skills such as supply chain management or finance to lifestyle skills such as music classes or dietician consultancy, you can advise others in just about any skill you have knowledge in.

Start an online consulting business where you can connect with clients and offer them insight as to how they can scale and improve their business. Become an expert in how COVID-19 is changing business trends in your industry and familiarize yourself with the new tax changes and legislations. With this information in mind, you can help guide other businesses through the pandemic to ensure their stability. Combined with your professional insight, they’ll be succeeding in no time.

Digital marketing agency

With constantly new and emerging apps and websites, knowing how to market a client digitally is an incredibly valuable asset. Businesses are constantly looking for agencies who can help them cut through the noise and stand out against their competitors online. Create a digital marketing agency that offers clients content marketing, social media, SEO services, paid and targeted advertising, analytics, web design and consulting. Having a robust agency that includes some or all of these services is very appealing to clients and the more success you have with them, the more clients you’ll get.

Graphic design firm

Graphic design is a hot commodity for any business. Most companies want to stand out with their graphics, but don’t have the in-house capabilities to do so. Whether it be their logo, event graphics or professional materials, companies need sleek and professional-looking designs. And with social media becoming such an important part of marketing, brands constantly need new and eye-catching graphics on their feeds to continue to stay relevant. Sometimes you’ll have long-standing clients and other times it will just be one freelance project. Regardless of the workload, graphic design is constantly in need.

[Read: Starting Over? 7 Resources for Rebuilding Your Business From the Ground Up]

App developer

The coronavirus caught many companies off guard with no way to conduct their business online. Now many are struggling to find an efficient way to connect with customers on a digital platform. As an app developer, you can help businesses adjust to the coronavirus and the shutdowns it causes by creating apps to help them reach their customers. Not only do businesses need an app or online presence to survive during the pandemic, they also need apps to continue to grow in a digital age.

Drop shipping

With people safer staying indoors, online delivery services are at an all-time high. These services mostly cover meals, groceries and pharmaceutical goods, but there is a market for services that deliver miscellaneous commodities. Focus on starting a business that centers on goods that are not readily available through these services. Work with your local businesses to deliver their goods right from the store or supplier directly to the customer.

You can also focus on starting a hyperlocal delivery system that is more efficient and cheaper than the mainstream services. By working with only a certain area, you can understand the cost of doing business there as well as learn about your clients and their buying habits to better inform your business.

Fitness and wellness programs

The coronavirus has caused people to work at home and stay inside most of the day. This combined with the anxiety that stems from a pandemic has led to a loss in routine, with people no longer working out, drinking more alcohol and generally taking care of themselves less. Now more than ever people need extra motivation. There aren’t gyms to get you to leave the house and work on your body and staying inside all day can make you feel isolated and stressed.

Fitness and wellness content have become increasingly popular during the pandemic, as people need the extra boost and inspiration to help them get going. If you have a background in health, exercise, and wellness, start creating content to help people better themselves and get out of a funk. Blogs and articles are a great way to share recipes and work out routines that people can easily do from home with little to no experience. Start filming the ways you decompress, be it cooking, exercising, meditating, stretching or just talk about health habits in general. Once you have the completed video, edit it, add music and upload it to YouTube and IGTV to share with your audience. If you’ve built a dedicated following, you can work with your audience to create personalized workouts and diets for them, at a cost.

Most companies want to stand out with their graphics, but don’t have the in-house capabilities to do so.

Commercial cleaning service

From the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, professional cleaning services have been in higher demand than in previous years. In fact, the industrial cleaning services market is expected to continue to grow considerably between 2020 and 2025 due to the ongoing ramifications of COVID-19. Office buildings, medical facilities and public-facing businesses all over the country rely on professional cleaning services to continuously disinfect their spaces.

Home improvement contractor

Home improvement is another example of an industry that increased significantly because of the pandemic. As soon as stay-at-home orders were enacted across the country, people started taking on home improvement projects, such as building an addition, renovating a spare room for an office space, or even building play sets for kids.

However, many homeowners don’t have the skill set or the know-how to bring these projects to life and need the help of a local contractor. Now is an excellent time to market towards the new, and large remote workforce who need to carve a private place in their home to work without interruptions, especially since the colder weather will drive kids out of the yard and into the home.

Accounting services

Many businesses and individuals have experienced hardship throughout 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. While some people have had their fortunes improve since the beginning of the year, others need creative solutions to keep their small business afloat or keep their personal finances in order.

If you are certified public accountant and have a knack for uncovering untapped resources in tight budgets, many people are in need of your expertise. Small businesses, in particular, are looking for ways to reduce costs while retaining as much staff as possible.

[Read: How 5 Small Businesses Are Channeling Creativity During COVID-19]

Virtual tutoring agency

As more and more schools go virtual for the foreseeable future, the market for virtual tutoring is likely to grow. While many parents need help getting their kids to complete their homework and finish their lessons, there is also a large market for older students who need additional support to stay focuses and understand their subject material.

Start a virtual tutoring agency by defining your expertise in various subjects and selecting an age group to market toward. Consider whether you want to work with parents with young children, high school students getting ready for the SAT or ACT, or college students who need that extra push to get them through finals week.

Box subscription companies

Due to their rising popularity in the era of COVID-19, there has never been a better time to start a box subscription company. These businesses can take on a variety of different forms, such as meal prep or beauty product kits, puzzle or storytelling experiences, and date night or family fun kits. The key is to identify a niche market and curating specific products and experiences for that audience. When deciding what type of subscription company to create, entrepreneurs should keep in mind people are likely looking for products that will help them adapt to stay-at-home orders.

[Read: 10 Free Resources Your Small Business Should Be Taking Advantage of Now]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published September 28, 2020