Australian families are combating boredom, reduced household income and social lockdown by starting family businesses and hobbies online, according to new research released today by GoDaddy, Inc. (NYSE: GDDY), the company empowering everyday entrepreneurs and small business owners.
One in three people (30%) who said they’d been more active online during the lockdown are either starting a new side-hustle or growing an existing one.
To celebrate National Families Week, GoDaddy surveyed Australians across the country and found that lockdown is bringing families together through shared passion and entrepreneurial spirit.
What did this GoDaddy research find out?
Indeed, four in 10 (41%) of those starting or growing a business or hobby online are doing so with a member of their immediate family. Significantly, the research goes on to show that these online activities have had an overwhelmingly positive impact, with 87% saying it had strengthened their family relationships.
Despite lockdown restrictions now beginning to ease across Australia, a staggering 93 percent of respondents said their new online venture would continue well beyond the lockdown.
For almost half (48%) of those undertaking a venture, meanwhile, the key motivator is combating the boredom of lockdown. For almost as many (45%), lockdown has afforded the time to pursue passion projects, whilst an entrepreneurial 38 percent identified an opportunity to make money. For a quarter (25%) however, their venture has been undertaken purely with the aim of bonding more closely with their family.
What do these findings mean?
GoDaddy Australia Marketing Director Suzanne Mitchell said, “Australians are turning to a variety of online activities to help come closer together during a time when the health response to COVID-19 has kept us physically apart. This unprecedented situation has brought out the ingenuity, entrepreneurialism and innovation of families all over Australia.”
“Whether it’s to start a business, catch up with family and friends or just enjoy an online yoga class, the fact that the overwhelming majority of Australians surveyed intend to continue their online activity is testament to the potential the internet has in helping us rebuild – both socially and economically.
“At GoDaddy our mission is to empower everyday entrepreneurs, and we frequently see the power of family values in the businesses we support. We’re continually proud to support those online business journeys and are delighted to provide a platform that is bringing families closer together.”
What else did the research find out?
Online tools are being adopted in unprecedented numbers, with the research showing more than half (51%) of those surveyed are using online video tools to stay in touch with their family and friends, and one in four (23%) are signing up for online classes, courses or subscriptions.
Meanwhile, almost another one in four responded that they have productively spent the COVID-19 lockdown starting a new website (9%), creating a blog (7%) or registering a domain (7%).
The research also showed that it is mainly younger generations providing the entrepreneurial drive, with three-quarters of all businesses started online belonging primarily to Millennials and Gen Z.
Budding business owners are also more likely to be working from kitchens and bedrooms outside of the major cities, with 18% of respondents starting or growing a business or side hustle living in rural areas, despite them making up only 10% of the population.
That’s certainly the case for Aidan Fitzgerald, who runs his business, Giant Tennis, with his brother-in-law in regional Victoria.
“When COVID-19 and the associated social restrictions intensified, my brother-in-law and I had some big decisions to make to safeguard the long-term viability of our business,” he said.
“We knew people were still active online, so we decided we needed to pivot and make an online presence the primary focus for us. We now send virtual tutorials to our members, so they can continue to practice, even when it’s not safe for us to coach them in person. When times are tough, as indeed they are now, you need the support of those closest to you, and the fact that we’re in it as brothers has really brought us together as we battle to keep the business moving.”
A foundation for future success
While many businesses have made online their priority during the last two months, the benefits can be long-term too, according to Mitchell, who believes Australian’s eagerness to start or grow online ventures during lockdown is indicative of the way the internet has become an omnipresent part of everyday life for many people.
“What Australian families have discovered during this period is the versatility of online interactions,” Mitchell continued. “Where previously we may have banked online, or used their social media platforms, we are now dramatically broadening the scope of our online activity.
“We are starting family businesses without leaving the house, enrolling in courses to stave off the boredom of lockdown, starting websites to promote business or express our interests, and just calling one another by video to stay connected. With such an overwhelming number of respondents intending to continue their online activity even when lockdown restrictions end, it’s evident that whether socially or professionally, online is a big part of our future,” adds Mitchell.