Updated 23 June 21
2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for businesses across the UK. However, despite the challenges caused by the coronavirus, 2020 saw a record number of start-ups with almost half a million being formed.
Whether out of necessity or to make a life change, the UK is overflowing with passionate entrepreneurs who are taking matters into their own hands and starting businesses that are helping to drive the economy forward.
In this article, we will be looking at some of the most successful online businesses started during the pandemic and what made them successful.
Source: gallaghersdeli.com | Instagram: @gallaghersdeli
Husband and wife team, Chris and Jessica, both had careers in hospitality when the pandemic hit, which has forced more than 600,000 jobs in the industry to be lost. With jobs now gone, the couple knew they had to do something and so they used their experience to start Gallagher’s Home Kitchen.
The driving force behind this decision was to support people who were stuck at home with high-quality, nutritious food deliveries during uncertain times. Using social media marketing, the couple reached out to friends and family to gather customers.
On the first of March, Gallagher’s Kitchen received one order but by the end of the summer, they were delivering up to 50 meals a day. The business was so successful that the couple were more than able to pay their bills, so in September they downsized their enterprise and used the money to secure a grab-and-go deli shop in time for services opening in-person again.
It is clear that Gallagher’s Home Kitchen was started with a passion to help serve the local community. Chris and Jessica responded to the pandemic crisis by providing a popular food service that was desperately needed, proving that businesses can thrive even in difficult times.
“Staying connected to your local community and supporting in whichever ways you can is essential during this challenging time. Not only does contributing to a combined effort really go a long way in helping vulnerable people, it can also provide a great support network for you and your business.” – say payment specialists from SumUp UK
Source: Sehrish Ahmed
University graduate, Sehrish Ahmed had her mind set on a career in fashion retail while at University. But then the pandemic hit, and everything changed. All the graduate placements and internships she had lined up after her studies were cancelled and the world went into lockdown.
As someone who had always wanted to run her own business, Sehrish seized the opportunity to follow her dreams and started her online jewellery business, Rose Eclipse. Sehrish began marketing her jewellery products on TikTok and soon gathered an impressive following and it didn’t take long for Sehrish to receive her first online order.
Today, she receives dozens of sales each month – enough to enjoy working on Rose Eclipse as a profitable side business. By starting her own business during the pandemic, Sehrish now feels confident she can tackle her future career opportunities with more knowledge and confidence than she had before.
Rose Eclipse has definitely appealed to online shoppers. Sehrish has shown, yet again, the power of Social Shopping. By promoting her jewellery on platforms like TikTok, she was able to capture the attention of her target audience, engage with potential customers, and encourage users to make an online purchase.
Future predictions suggest that online shopping is here to stay, so by building a strong digital presence early, Sehrish has set her small business up for long-term success.
Source: The Box 42
Box42 was a business launched by a young couple, Caroline and Jay, during the pandemic. At the start of lockdown, the couple realised how much they missed going out on regular dates. And being stuck indoors all the time, they were struggling to come up with original date night ideas. It was their own experience that really got them thinking, what if they could create a date night experience in a box?
From that thought, Box42 was launched. A fun date night experience, Box42 is a subscription box that gives couples everything they need to enjoy a date night experience at home.
The couple spent two months setting up the company, designing the products, gaining followers on social media, and connecting with online influencers. It took 4 months for the business to journey from an initial concept to a money-making business.
The couple credit their success to creating a personal brand. They spend a lot of time and energy building strong relationships with their customers which helps build trust with customers who will stick around for the long-term as well as promote what they do to other people.
Blaqbase is the shopping website (and app) created and founded by Benedicta Banga. The idea was started in 2019 when Benedicta couldn’t find products she wanted to buy in her local department or high street stores. As a black woman, finding high-quality products that worked for her needs was far more difficult than it should have been.
Taking her search online, Benedicta found that premium brands by black women were hard to fund and poorly funded. So, when lockdown hit and she was furloughed, Benedicta used the time to refine her idea.
During The Black Lives Matter protests, Benedicta found the determination she needed to push her website and app to the forefront and do what she could to support black-owned businesses. The app is currently undergoing a rebrand but customers can still shop from the Blaqbase website.
Officially launched in June 2020, Blaqbase quickly became a success. Benedicta puts this down to being authentic. Her passions and values underpin everything she does. And if there’s something she doesn’t know how to do; she asks someone that does.
The pandemic has certainly been a drastically challenging time for many businesses. However, it has also driven people to pursue their passions, think outside the box, and meet the needs of their local communities.
We hope these stories have inspired you! If you would like to find out more about how to start a business, click here.