COVID-19 has truly turned the world upside down. The only positive is that we are all in this together, and the significant pause in our societies has given all of us the perfect opportunity to take a long hard look at our lives, our careers, and our businesses.
You can emerge stronger and better before, but you need to take the pandemic as the opportunity for self-improvement that it is. There are so many ways you can do this, so try any of the following:
Start an Online Business
One of the best ways to continue your life during the lockdown and even set yourself up for future success is to start your own online-based business.
There are so many ways you can start to make money online, both in a side-business capacity and as a full-time career.
1. Use Online Marketplaces
Have things to sell? Look to online marketplaces to make some extra cash. You can sell second-hand items that you don’t want any more as well as items you have made yourself. It is easy to keep this up as well. Many people are selling second-hand items today, and if you can curate a great collection, your online store’s value will shoot up and attract a significant number of customers.
2. Work Freelance
Many jobs today can be done on a freelance basis, and many businesses are looking to outsource roles instead of hiring in-house. If you find you are having trouble finding a full-time job in your specialty, try to find freelance roles instead. If you can find an agency to work for that passes work your way, you will be set. Otherwise, you will need to work to find a few clients until you are financially secure.
3. Offer Your Services as a Consultant
Alternatively, you can also offer your services as a consultant. In this case, you will take on clients in a project-by-project basis rather than take on outsourced work. Business consultants, supply chain consultants, and even sustainability consultants are in significant demand right now. More or less, if you can help businesses get back up on their feet and diversify their business model, you can find work as a consultant.
4. Host Webinars and Courses
If you are a specialist in anything, from business to the arts, then you can make some side income by creating a series of webinars or online courses. This is a great passive income option, as you only need to create one set of videos that people will pay to access. You will want to offer ongoing support and help to accompany these videos, but overall, it’s a great way to bring in a bit of extra money.
5. Build Up Your Digital Reputation
In all of these cases, you are going to want to build up your digital reputation. Write articles and work to get published in online publications. Build up your social media profiles. Collaborate with others. Do what you can to get your name out there and a community to notice you.
All of the options available to you when it comes to building up a business at home need visibility. Reputation building and community building are two of the most accessible and organic methods available to you.
Audit and Improve Your Brick-and-Mortar Business
If you are a business owner, then now is the time to assess your business model and work to improve it. There has never been a better time to do this, and when you work to improve your business model, you must put sustainability at the heart of it.
1. Supply Chains
This global pandemic has put into stark contrast how unsustainable our global supply chains are. One small disruption and your entire business can be put out of business. Even for those who offer a service-based business model are struggling because they did not diversify their offerings.
2. Multiple Income Streams
You need a business that can survive reopening and another pandemic. You need a business that has multiple income streams. You also need to change who you work with to future-proof your operations. If any of your business partners are not equally ready to survive through lockdown, then they haven’t created a sustainable practice that you can rely on.
To start, it’s essential to work out new income streams. For stores that sold primarily in-store, this can be as simple as taking your stock and offering a digital store to shop from. Other business models to consider are subscription-based models, workshops, and even working with others in your community to provide a more robust set of offerings to customers.
- A local bakery could offer a subscription service that works much like milk delivery, where fresh baked goods are delivered in the morning. You could also work to provide baking classes online, and partner with other bakers in the area to offer a unique set of courses for people who want something to do at home.
- For boutiques, sell your stock online, offer repair services, and even consider upcycling old pieces that didn’t sell instead of throwing them away.
- Mechanics can offer digital consultancy services and local pickup services. Book stores can offer secret book subscriptions or host digital book clubs to better market and sell their merchandise.
There are so many ways you can better connect with your community by diversifying your business model and finding new ways to bring people together.
Audit your business, improve your supply chains, improve your offerings. Only when you can survive a pandemic can you thrive when it’s over.
Online education has completely changed the game. You can now complete a degree online and part-time, meaning you can easily work and learn at the same time. You will be learning at your own pace as well, so you can complete your course in as little as two years in some cases.
As online education is still in its infancy, however, who you learn from matters. You need to choose an institution that has invested in its online infrastructure, not just offering it because of the pandemic. Edith Cowan University Online, for example, specializes in online education.
It wasn’t designed because of the pandemic; it was designed to help full-time workers learn and further their qualifications without taking time off.
You will want to set up very strict routines for yourself to juggle working and learning all at home, but once you do that, you can easily manage both and make huge strides of progress while you continue to work from home.
1. Online Short Courses
If you want to just dip your toe back into learning, there are more than enough short online courses that you can take for free. If you’re going to prove that you have completed said course, all you need is to pay to take the final quiz.
They can help you expand your knowledge and give you an introductory look into a variety of industries. Though they won’t help you specialize in anything, they can absolutely help you gain a greater understanding of the interconnecting systems of our world or the industries you work in.
A broader scope of understanding is an essential prerequisite for any managerial position, so these short courses can be instrumental in helping you progress your career.
2. Diplomas and Certifications
Diplomas and certifications are also available and are ideal if you need a formal qualification for your position. In particular, if you want to become applicable for a Masters in a subject, you don’t also have your bachelor’s in. These diplomas are wonderful foundations and can help you get ready to take on your higher education either while you work from home or once you start going back to the office.
Improve Your Health and Wellbeing
Not everything you do has to directly work to improve your financial status and work towards your career. Now can also be a great time to assess your health and mental wellbeing and work to build great foundations that help you thrive in all other areas of your lives.
Productivity overall has massively dropped, despite that initial surge at home workers experienced when working from home. The pandemic has taken its toll on society, mental health, and stability. If all you can manage is to take care of yourself and your family, then that is enough.
Work to get fit and healthy and try to find ways to care for your wellbeing. Do this, and you will start to feel better and more productive as a by-product and can then be ready to take on a personal project for the sake of your future.