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4 Tips for Tapping Into the Niches Created by Covid-19



Even during a global pandemic, there is still room for growth for businesses willing to adapt to customer needs and desires.

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October 8, 2020 4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented downturns and uncertainty in markets worldwide, but the negative effects of the disease have not been distributed evenly. Even as shuttered their doors for good, became the first company in history to reach a $2 trillion valuation. 

Your company might not have Apple’s level of resources at your disposal, but that doesn’t mean that growth is impossible. As the pandemic has torn a path of destruction across the globe, it’s also created opportunities for companies to step in and address new needs along the way. Here are some of the niches created by Covid-19 that should be paying attention to.

Related: The Whiteboard Method: 5 Easy Steps to Discover Your Niche and Turn Your Passion Into A Career

1. Lean into remote everything

and storefronts may be reopening, but that doesn’t mean all customers are willing to follow suit. There are still so many unknowns about the long-term effects of Covid-19 and the possibility of another outbreak; not everyone is ready for things to return to normal. 

In order to fill this gap, companies need to start coming up with ways to facilitate this newly remote world. In just three months, saw its usership expand twentyfold; it’s time for other companies to jump onto that bandwagon. There are a number of niches within this niche. ClassPass, for example, has staked out its claim as one of the most successful platforms for connecting remote fitness instructors with people looking to exercise. What space will your company occupy?

2. Focus on health and safety

The single biggest factor preventing things from returning to some kind of normal is that people simply don’t feel safe right now — and who can blame them? Covid-19 can be a deadly disease, and far too many businesses and governments aren’t taking the steps necessary to secure the wellbeing of the general population.

More and more applications are appearing that are helping the world open up and operate more safely. TeamSense is one of the newest players in this field, giving employers a platform for tracking the symptoms, testing status and general health of their hourly workers. With no app download required, it’s easy on the employees and employers alike. As people are looking for tools to keep themselves and their employees safe, look for new ways to help provide that sense of security.

Related: 17 Major Companies Have Announced Employees Can Work Remotely Long Term

3. Consider sustainability

Even during a pandemic, people still want to do everything they can to ensure the wellbeing of their environment. More than half of Americans want both brands and the government to focus on sustainability during the pandemic according to a survey done by Genomatica. Sustainability is no longer just a bonus for businesses — it’s a must.

The green craze is starting to reach places many never would’ve imagined it going. The Fat Tire Amber Ale became the first carbon neutral beer ever domestically produced and distributed in the United States just last month. People want to buy sustainably, so selling sustainably will connect you with new, excited customer bases. 

4. Embrace the direct-to-consumer boom

In March, people started ordering directly to their homes in order to avoid the risk associated with going shopping, but what many customers soon realized was that ordering what they need online didn’t only keep them safe — it was also incredibly convenient. Direct-to-consumer is here to stay, and businesses are scrambling to find their place in the newly booming market.

No company has had a greater impact on this market than Dollar Shave Club, whose simple business conceit has ballooned the value of their business to over $1 billion. The idea is a slick one: Provide a good or service that millions of people rely on cheaply and conveniently. For years it reigned over all competitors, but now Covid-19 has created opportunities for similar companies to thrive. If your business can reach its customer base directly, now is the time to start doing so.

Related: Navigating Through Cold Waters: How Businesses Can Prepare For A Post COVID-19 Future

It’s impossible to predict what the impacts of Covid-19 on the world will look like one, three, six or 12 months from now. One thing, however, will be certain: The companies that took the leap and leaned into getting people what they wanted during the pandemic will be the ones that came out on top. These tips can help ensure that your business is part of that group.


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Two Morgan Stanley executives will leave the bank after using WhatsApp against company policy.



Morgan Stanley’s two most senior commodities executives are leaving the firm after the bank caught them using the encryption app WhatsApp against company policy and failing to monitor other employees’ use of unauthorized communication channels, according to a person familiar with the bank’s operations who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The news was reported earlier by Bloomberg News.

An internal review by the bank found that Nancy King, the global head of commodities, and Jay Rubenstein, head of Morgan Stanley’s commodities trading operations, had communicated over WhatsApp and had not stopped their employees in the division from using other platforms that Morgan Stanley has outlawed, the person said.

Neither Ms. King nor Mr. Rubenstein could be reached to comment.

Morgan Stanley found no evidence that anyone in its commodities division had engaged in wrongdoing while using the forbidden communication platforms, the person said.

Nevertheless, the division is being restructured. Its new leaders will be Jay Hallik and Jakob Horder, two executives who oversee fixed income trading at the bank. Ms. King is retiring from the firm, while Mr. Rubenstein is leaving.

The bank prohibits the use of certain apps and devices for communications related to sales and trading because it cannot see what is being said on them. Regulators require banks to monitor their employees’ messages to ensure that they are not doing anything illegal.

In the past, Wall Street traders have used chat platforms to skirt financial regulations. Over the past decade, for instance, authorities in the United States and the United Kingdom have filed criminal charges against major Wall Street banks after their traders were caught using instant messaging apps to make secret deals to manipulate markets in interest rates, foreign currencies and metals.


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Why Customer Champions Need to Be a Part of Your Marketing Strategy



October 21, 2020 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Customer champions are a tremendous asset for any organization. In most cases, people are far more interested in reading about your customers’ experiences than straight materials. Customers are more relatable, and they’re more credible, too. People want to hear from their peers before they buy your product or service. This “social proof” is the power that guides decision-making at sites like and

Related: Are You Sitting on a Customer Retention Goldmine?

Why customer champions are exceptionally powerful 

Trust is a critical plank in any marketing platform, since people do with those they know, like and trust. A solid customer champion program will help you build trust and credibility.  After all, it’s easy for you to talk about how great your product or service is, but you aren’t exactly an objective third party. That’s why customer references, testimonials and are so powerful. They provide prospective customers with a view into how your product or service has produced results in a real-world context. 

Related: 3 Keys to a Highly-Effective Content Marketing Strategy

Six ways to promote customer success 

An effective customer reference program gives your company more than just trust and credibility. It also can drive , provide great marketing content and help close faster. To accomplish this, there are many different formats and opportunities available for your customer champions to describe the experience and results they’ve seen with your product or service. The best choices for your company will depend on your target prospect personas and the interests of customer advocates. 

1. Online Reviews – These types of free opportunities, on sites like G2 Crowd and Gartner Peer Reviews, let customers share their experience with your company. Asking for and receiving feedback from customers helps in two ways. First, it reminds those customers why they like working with you, leading to retention. Second, positive feedback from customers encourages prospects to pull the trigger and choose you. 

2.  – Case studies that bring the customer story to life are an essential tool for marketing and sales teams because they generate demand and engage with leads. They can be particularly effective in the consideration phase of the buyer’s journey. A visually compelling document or video showcasing how you’re helping customers address their real-world pain points and achieve ROI can help prospects with their purchasing decision. Case studies include not just social proof but statistics and other measures that demonstrate the value of your offerings. 

3. Media Briefings – Just like prospects, the media needs third-party validation. Tech and business journalists will often ask if you have a customer they can speak too. Setting up interviews between your customer and industry journalists to provide real-world anecdotes for articles can earn tremendous credibility and visibility for your .  It also offers your customer champions a chance to showcase themselves as forward-thinking industry leaders and look good in front of their peers.  

4. Press Releases – A well composed announcement publicizing your customer’s success story, the new abilities they’ve gained with your offering and the results they’re seeing is a great asset for marketing and sales teams. Not only do press releases provide positive air cover for you and your customers’ innovation; they also can be promoted across channels –including social media and email outreach – to drive targeted leads back to your website. 

5. Awards – Many award opportunities are available for the purpose of showcasing how customers are achieving success with your offering. By acknowledging your excellent work, awards can help drive business for both your company and the customer who participated in the story or that the award was based on. Award recognitions provide third-party validation that can help create competitive differentiators, strengthen reputation and generate publicity. 

6. Joint Speaking Opportunities – Whether online or (eventually) in-person, joint presentations provide a platform to both verbally and visually bring customer stories to life in interactive formats. Allowing target audiences to hear your customers’ stories from their point of view through webinars, fireside chats, speaking panels and virtual speaking sessions is a strong way to build affinity and trust. 

Related: How to Weave More Empathy Into Your Marketing for Better Connections With Potential Buyers

How to identify and bring customer references on board 

Your customers’ workdays are just as busy as yours. So, even though they may love your brand, it’s likely not top of mind for them to promote you. That’s why you can’t be haphazard about gathering customer references. Be intentional; identify and go after your brand advocates. Focus on those whose success stories will inspire others to work with you. 

Securing customer willingness to participate can be tricky. It can often be much more difficult to get a firm “yes” to an open-ended request for participation. A better approach is to present specific opportunities to the customer that benefit their reputation as well as yours. For example, perhaps a customer wants to gain market share in a specific industry. In this case, bringing forth editorial opportunities from relevant vertical publications would be a strategic way to align with their goals and enlist their participation.  

Everyone’s success 

In an era where the average American sees 4,000 to 10,000 company messages a day, trust is what makes the difference between a mere ad and lead generation. Customer stories resonate with prospects because they offer hard evidence that your  is a tangible one. So, find your champions, find win-win opportunities and create that brand distinction that draws prospects in. 


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Purdue Pharma to Plead Guilty to Multiple Federal Charges



The OxyContin manufacturer will pay the government $225 million and own up to misleading the DEA and incentivizing doctors to write prescriptions.

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!

October 21, 2020 1 min read

According to AP, OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma intends to plead guilty to three federal charges levied by the Department of Justice. The charges include conspiracy to defraud the United States — for misleading the Drug Enforcement Administration — and violation of federal anti-kickback laws vis a vis illegal incentivization programs with doctors. 

Purdue, which is owned by the controversial billionaire Sackler family, will immediately remit a $225 million fine to the government, AP reports. But that’s a small piece of billions in total criminal- and civil-liability damages Purdue may still be on the hook for, pending the outcome of a hotly contested bankruptcy hearing

Related: An Investment Opportunity for a Better Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharmaceutical powerhouse, which has innovated numerous prescription painkillers, has become emblematic of the opiod crisis that’s enveloped American lives over the past decade-plus. Opiod-induced overdose deaths more than doubled between 2010-2017, per the National Institute on Drug Abuse. As of 2013, the Sackler family’s worth was estimated at more than $13 billion.


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