Rodney Laws, Editor at Ecommerce Platforms, highlights the alternative revenue streams business can explore following the Cornoavirus
The Coronavirus pandemic has left many professionals and companies in the UK struggling with a significant lack of income.
Individual businesses have never suffered so much from a modern health and economic crisis, and with no clear end in sight many of their economic futures remain up in the air.
Professionals facing a significant loss of income now and throughout the remainder of the year are considering alternative ways to offset their lost income for the remainder of their pandemic. Let’s explore this situation in a bit more depth and see what alternative revenue streams you can explore.
Which industries are experiencing lost income?
The economic impact of Coronavirus has been widespread. However, a few industries have been particularly affected.
Construction across the country almost ground to a halt in the early weeks of lockdown, with only a limited number of sites remaining open. Despite some now returning to on-site work, this is not universal and many people are cautious of the idea of letting tradespeople into the properties, with good reason.
The self-employed sector has also experienced considerable hardship, with no platform to fall back on for security. Many freelancers were the first to be let go as the extent of the economic situation became clear. As budgets are cut the self-employed face a challenging future.
The service industry has possibly been the most heavily impacted by the virus. With all bars, restaurants and amenities closed until further notice, the industry has been completely cut off from income, save for the few restaurants that can convert delivery for the time being. How the industry can come back with social distancing measures remains to be seen.
So how do you offset lost income?
Run at a smaller scale
Before the pandemic, the idea of scaling your business down seemed disastrous. Now that the country is facing unprecedented conditions however, limiting production and output might just save your business.
You can try running your business at a lesser capacity, furloughing a section of your staff and keeping operations going in a manner that accounts for social distancing and accepts the limitations of a diminished staff. This can allow you to make progress with important projects, without putting people at unnecessary risk.
You can limit the work you take on and focus on just long-term projects, for now, to further mitigate the spread of the virus and protect your staff while making sure significant money is coming in. Longer-term projects allow you to retain money throughout the remainder of the crisis.
There is no guarantee of business picking up instantly after the crisis, so you should plan for future economic considerations. Likewise, if you can find work that involves less travel and physical labour right now it will keep your staff away from potentially dangerous situations for longer.
Try and find work in empty properties where workers won’t have to interact with the public. Keeping this type of interaction to an absolute minimum is essential for the long term stability of your operation and the ability to stay open throughout the pandemic.
Open a side-business
Offsetting your losses might mean stepping out of your comfort zone and exploring new career opportunities, at least for the time being.
One of the best types of businesses to find early success in is ecommerce. The idea of online shopping has been further normalised by the pandemic, with more people than ever buying everything from groceries to decorations to gardening equipment online.
Ecommerce is such an interesting and inviting opportunity for entrepreneurs right now because of the vast number of ways you can get into it. You can sell your products through affiliate stores on household names such as Amazon or Etsy. Succesful, original web stores are easier than ever to establish thanks to template store builders such as Shopify which make the process incredibly straightforward.
The advent of dropshipping has made the prospect of selling products online even easier, streamlining the process for retailers and eliminating the need for any kind of investment in stock and storage as orders are shipped directly from the distributor.
If getting involved in the world of ecommerce doesn’t seem right for you, then selling your insight and advice might. Tutoring and seminars of all sizes have retained their popularity throughout this pandemic, they just take place on Zoom rather than in a conference hall now.
If you have particular insight into the industry you can start to develop yourself as a thought leader or just offer your unique experience to budding professionals in the trade industry.
If you’re more of a creative in your spare time you can commit yourself fully to blogging. Professional advice blogs and lifestyle blogs are hugely successful right now, incurring significant advertising revenue through retaining their readership even in a pandemic. If you can develop an engaging writing style and have evocative points to make you may just be able to earn yourself some significant money through a well-developed blog. Affiliate marketing is an avenue worth pursuing if you’re new to the concept of blogging and want to start making money fast.
Of course, if none of these options are available you should be signed up to receive financial assistance from the British government.
The furlough scheme has been extended until October, which can be used to pay staff not able to work.
Alternatively, self-employed professionals can apply for the Self-employed Income Support Scheme to collect up to 80% of their declared income within the last year to a maximum of £2,500.
There is no easy way to offset the income lost by this pandemic, and the likelihood is you’ll never get that money back. These options may require hard work, but they can be a helpful alternative and, in some cases, open you up to permanent new career options you can fall back on.