Essential Goods Business: 10 Examples

When the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic hit the world in 2020 and the closure of various establishments and shops followed, the question arose of what types of goods could be considered essentials. That is, access to which goods people should not be deprived of under any circumstances. In Russia, a discussion about this also unfolded, and they did not immediately come to the final list. 

But, as time has shown, the coronavirus and the restrictions associated with it were only a light warm-up before a real crisis. The reality for March 2022 is such that none of the Russian entrepreneurs can be insured not only against serious losses, but even against complete bankruptcy. Nevertheless, entrepreneurial thinking is always aimed at finding in even the most negative set of circumstances not only the most painless way out of the situation, but also new opportunities. Large foreign brands leaving the Russian Federation leave behind decapitated markets and vacated niches that can be occupied, the distribution of forces is changing dramatically, new challenges and unmet needs among the population are emerging. 

Note that despite the fact that goods from these categories can be really essential for life and health, this does not mean guaranteed profit in this niche for newcomers from small businesses. The reverse side of goods that everyone needs is high competition, an abundance of federal retail chains and large manufacturers, and as a result, the inability to compete in prices, quality, service, and so on.

Therefore, a small and medium-sized entrepreneur has two options – either choose a narrow promising niche within this category of goods (or offer their analogue), or find a profitable place or sales channel where the influence of competitors will not be so critical.

1. Manufacture and sale of products

People at any time need food, and you can not do without it. But the most obvious business option, grocery store, today can hardly be called a profitable business line for small businesses. Especially in medium and large cities, where networkers have penetrated, grocery retail is becoming less and less profitable.

In such conditions, niches remain for small companies in which one can not be so afraid to compete with chains in the depth of assortment, freshness and quality of products. These are, for example, bakeries and confectioneries, which can exist in the format of city networks and supply their products to the same supermarkets.

2. Business on the water

The quality of tap water in many Russian cities and villages leaves much to be desired. Therefore, water is not only a popular and sought-after product on the shelves from water extraction companies , but also an option for the bottling and delivery business. People order bottled water at home. Coolers are installed in offices, schools, fitness centers, industrial premises, and water devices are installed in residential areas. You can open your own drinking water delivery service, and find a drinking water supplier online. The downside of the idea is that the competition in the water business is very high, and it will be difficult for a beginner to break through.

3. Production and sale of building materials

Building materials can hardly be called essential goods. However, if people have limited freedom of movement, as during the coronavirus quarantine, when many were transferred to remote work, and some funds saved on travel and vacations are released, people begin to repair and build housing. How to open a hardware store can be found in this article . Also on our website there are a lot of materials about the production of any building materials, from self-tapping screws to bricks and cinder blocks .

4. Medical, protective, disinfectant and hygiene products

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many companies got rich in the production and sale of personal protective equipment and antiseptics. But before selling such goods, you need to understand whether they are medical or not. For example, licenses and certifications are not required to sell reusable fabric masks with all sorts of prints, as they do not apply to medical devices. But disposable medical protective masks and gloves are already medical products, so they can only be sold at stationary facilities, moreover, those that have a pharmaceutical license, that is, in pharmacies. According to article 238.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation for the sale of medical devices without relevant documents, you can be brought to both administrative and criminal liability.

Essential goods also include laundry and toilet soap, toothpastes and brushes, toilet paper, napkins, pads, washing powders – all this is sold in large supermarkets or within the formats of hardware stores and drogerie . Unlike grocery stores and general goods stores, they are attractive because their assortment does not have special storage conditions.

5. Electrical equipment

If your home or workplace has ever had a planned power outage and you live and work outside the forest or in an open field, you will understand why electrical goods often fall into the lists of essential goods. Electrical goods have become so firmly established in our lives that we can no longer do without them.

6. Sale of fuel

Fuel can also be added to the number of essential goods. In various crisis situations and cataclysms, queues always line up for fuel. The monopoly of the largest companies reigns in this industry, so few people would think of opening a classic gas station or gas station . In the future, electric charging stations may become an actual type of business . But so far in Russia, with the exception of Moscow and St. Petersburg, they are practically not in demand.

7. Car business

Today, auto products are among the most necessary. Therefore, both the trade in auto goods of a wide profile and in specific niches are in demand. For example, everything related to wheels, tires, rims and their maintenance can be covered by a tire center . You can focus on small consumables, such as belts, racks and filters, you can specialize in the sale of batteries , car chemicals, car enamels , and so on.

The business of selling auto products and auto parts does not lose its relevance for a simple reason: the number of cars is still growing. While online shopping is booming, many shoppers are also looking for traditional brick-and-mortar outlets to purchase inexpensive consumables and parts. An example of a business plan that works in the “economy” and “standard” price categories can be viewed here . Also consider specialized trade options, such as the sale of batteries , the sale of car covers , car enamels , car trunks .

8. Garden tools

During periods of shutdowns and shake-ups by the virus, many people try to grow and sell something on their own land plots. So shops of garden goods and garden equipment are relevant.

9. Optics business

Although optics is a fairly significant category of goods, as it turned out, in crisis situations, people are ready to save on vision care. Perhaps the contact lens market is doing a little better, since most of it is in online sales and vending . Since in Russia the main share of sales of spectacle lenses falls on the budget segment, and it is not yet accepted or impossible to take care of your eyesight seriously, it is better not to rush to open a full-fledged optics salon . But taking into account the general growth of professions in a remote format and at a computer, this area should be taken into account.

10. Production and trade in packaging

This point is also not the most obvious, but what should the same essential goods be packed in, even if all other goods temporarily cease to be produced and sold? We need packaging – polyethylene, corrugated cardboard, paper bags and bags, and so on. Also in demand are other goods “accompanying the movement of goods”, that is, labels, price tags, cash tapes, and so on.

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