There are many opportunities out there to earn money, you just have to look for them. I will be walking you through 7 different ways you can earn money by thinking entrepreneurially which will hopefully inspire you. Yes we are currently in tough economic times during this COVID-19 pandemic, but this will not last forever. If we look to the future what could you be planning and implementing now for when ‘normality’ resumes?
As an encouraging note, here are some of the businesses that were created during the last recession (2008-2010); Whats App inc, Slack, Uber, Square, Venmo, Airbnb and Pinterest, just to name a few.
1. Intellectual property
Intellectual property are ideas, information and knowledge which can be a tradeable commodity. So, if you are an individual that likes to write, design and share your ideas with the world, you can make money from it.
Let’s look at an example: say you have a business idea. You have a business model and ideas, you have the business logo and the content to go with it. But you might not want to go ahead and actively pursue the business, but you don’t want your business idea to go to waste. You will want to firstly copyright, trademark or patent your work (for legal purposes). Here are a few options of what you can do with intellectual property:
Sell your intellectual property: You can sell your whole concept or design to another person or business. This will be appealing to you if you are a designer and want to create business content for others, allowing you to generate an income off of something you enjoy.
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Franchise: This is an option which allows someone to set up a business under your brand name, you can provide support and brand guidelines throughout the development of the business. You earn money as your client then pays a fee for the franchise and potentially for any merchandise thereafter.
License your intellectual property. This will allow someone to use your material, which you will then receive a percentage of the value of the product or service it is used for.
Intellectual property is an alternative way of earning money as an entrepreneur, as you can also benefit from your work in many years to come and thus potentially a residual income.
2. Dividend from shares
Another way you can earn money is through dividends, but what are they? When companies make profit, they negotiate what the profit should go towards. One of the ways they do this is through distributing some of the profits to the owners and shareholders. So, the key to earning the most money is through finding companies that are looking to increase their dividend payments and investing. This will be based on the more sales and profits they generate, the higher the dividend payments.
What is useful to know is that you are able to invest in whatever you can afford at the moment, but make sure you do your research to find companies that are gradually growing and have had previous history or increasing their dividends.
The stock market has been hit considerably by the current crisis, so do you research and consider the brand that have longevity in a situation such as this.
3. Business/ job incomes
Another way of earning money is through having your own business, many would argue that businesses are struggling now during this crisis. I would agree, but I would also argue that if you can create a sustainable business now to start now or post crisis you would be on to a good thing. The state of the economy (redundancies, lack of job opportunities) may actually force your hand but it is better to be prepared. If you have some downtime at home, why not use it to focus your attentions on problems you wish to solve moving forward.
In order to start a business, you need to think about what you want your business to offer. Do you have a service you have always wanted to provide? Is there a product you feel is missing from the market? If you do, then you are already at a great starting point to creating your own business.
Some feel that, a more stable way of earning money is through having a full-time job but this crisis has proved that jobs can be just as unstable as having a business, why? Because every job has a business above it, if the business fails or struggles, the most expensive resource is often people and that is why they are the first to be cut.
4. Rental yield from property investment
Property investment has always been a popular way to earn an additional stream of income. In particular, through rental yield. So, if you are a landlord or are interested in becoming one with a buy-to-let property, you will be able to earn an income from rental yield. Rental yield is a measure of the return on a property you have invested in. There are many factors which can impact the rental yield including the value of the property, interest rates, regional factors and demand growth.
How is this calculated? Simply you divide a year’s worth of rent that you charge by the value of the property you bought it for and multiply that figure by 100. If you get a percentage of 7% and above, this indicates that your property is providing a good return. It is important to have a good rental yield as this will provide additional income and help you if you face any unforeseen expensive problems with your property. This is a great way to earn money and is useful if you are interested in hopping onto the property investment ladder.
During a recession, property tends to be cheaper, if you are looking for investments and have the capital this may be an important time to look for opportunities. Note, you will want to look at landlord insurance and alike for situations like this, to secure against scenarios when renters are unable to pay.
5. Social media accounts
We spend so much time on social media every day, so why not earn money while you’re at it?
If you are good at posting, understand the platforms, you can earn money on social media by becoming a social media manager. Essentially, you will be looking after a business’s social media accounts from scheduling posts on Instagram to replying to customers and engaging with the target audience. The best way to begin is to reach out and explore online to see if there are influencers or small businesses that may need someone to manage their social media accounts for them. Talk to other social media managers, ask questions about their experiences and skills that they offer. It is a fantastic way of earning money as many businesses are not interested in managing their own accounts and would prefer for someone else to do it for them. So, if you are organised, social media savvy and have good time management then seek out to become a social media manager!
6. Ecomms store
Ecommerce is any type of business that happens online. The most popular ecommerce is buying and selling of goods online. Do you have something you have always wanted to sell? In today’s digital age, you can have your own ecommerce store and manage it all from your mobile phone or laptop making it a great way to earn some money.
First step into building your own ecommerce store is knowing what you want to sell. You want it to be something that might not already be available in the market, offering something unique for your potential customers. You can gain inspiration from looking online and browsing what already exists and what products are gaining popularity.
The next step is sourcing your products, exploring different suppliers which provide the product you will want to sell. This will take some time as you want to explore what different suppliers have to offer, ensuring you get the best deal as it is all about making the most profit.
Once you have sourced your product, you will now need to set up your online store. So, you need to create a website! There are different ecommerce website builders like Shopify which also give you a 14 day free trial to test it out. Have a play around, download a website theme you like the look of and get designing. Make sure you present your products well and include as much description and information to entice your customers in, leading to them making a purchase.
It is essential to drive traffic to your website in order to earn money. This can be done through advertising your ecommerce store online. It is also helpful if you have a following on different social media platforms, attracting your target audience onto your ecommerce store. You will rely on your social media presence and advertising to drive traffic onto your website, generating more profit over time.
So, if you have ever wanted to sell a product that you think will be successful, now is the time to do it! Lots of consumers are wanting to spend their hard earned money with independent brands, why not you? Take advantage of how easy it is to earn money online and grow your own ecommerce store.
7. Consultancy/ niche expertise
Being a consultant is a great way of earning money as you can make money offering the skills, experiences and knowledge that you already have. That sounds ideal doesn’t it?
The first step to becoming a consultant is thinking about what you can offer as an individual: what skills do you have? Are they in demand? Do you want to take those skills and provide a service to others?
As a consultant you can provide business problem solving services which can include: helping a client improve their business performance, providing your on demand specialised skills to their business, providing support and also providing solutions and recommendations for those wanting to enter a new business market.
But it does not always have to be about solving business problems, as a consultant you can offer any form of service that allows you to share your skills, experience and knowledge. You may want to provide coaching, training programmes and courses. Or you may want to provide clients with a self-help books which you can share your experiences.
So, if you have a particular skillset that you think can impact other people around, why not provide it as a service? Consultancy is a great way of helping those around doing what you already enjoy.
As you can see there are many different opportunities to earn money, so go out there and start exploring! And as I tell my mentees and clients, this current time is not a holiday – it is an opportunity to explore, develop and launch businesses and passion projects to change the future trajectory of your life. If you do not know how, find someone that does!