If you are like millions of other people across the United States and even worldwide, you have recently found yourself thrust into financial hardships beyond your control. Small businesses have been forced to shut down, shops have been forced to close, and even large companies have been forced to choose between furloughing thousands of employees or filing for bankruptcy. It is indeed a frightening and uncertain time. You may find yourself asking how you intend to keep money coming in, or whether you will have a job even once the economy reopens.
If you are asking these questions, you are not alone. Fortunately, you are also not out of options. The truth is that your life may look vastly different once this crisis ends, but that does not mean that things must change for the worst. Things can, in fact, change for the better. You may have to pursue a different career or find or create another job, but you have the potential to make things work for you. In this article, we will be discussing some of the options available to those currently impacted or fearing financial ruin due to the current state of the economy. Even once the economy reopens, it is unlikely to be as thriving as it was even a few months ago, but that does not mean you need to throw in the towel.
Let the Government Save You
Your first option requires the least amount of input on your part. If you are a business that has minimal operational options even once the economy opens, this might be for you. If you were already in a tight financial spot before the closures began, this option may again be the most suitable for you. Even if you are not in dire straits but have still seen financial setbacks due to the state of things, this option is viable for you.
However, the funds made available by the government bailouts come with their own strict limitations. For the college student or the young adult who has been laid off but is still claimed by Mom and Dad, the government is not including you in its $1200 bailout. When the second round is voted on in the Senate soon, odds are you will be excluded again. Unfortunately, the exclusions do not end there. Many small businesses were hurt in the first round of funding due to the lack of funds made available and the lack of a sufficient system in place to attend to everyone looking for COVID relief funding or unemployment. Unfortunately, this has not proven to be the most reliable option, even if it was meant to be the most accessible.
Whether you have been drastically affected or not, this crisis may have got you thinking more about how financially secure you really are. Perhaps your savings account has been halved, even if you have not needed to drain it entirely. Perhaps your income has been cut partially and you are looking for a more independent means of getting paid in the future. Whatever your reason, you may have thought about investing. Most financial experts will tell you that this is a solid plan if you know what you are doing. For the rookie investor who has not had much experience in the markets at this point, this might not be the best time to put it all on the line with the stock market.
However, investing can take many forms. Yes, the stock market is an easily accessible option with many different investments to choose from, but you can also invest locally. Though this is currently a very difficult climate for small businesses, there will be many opportunities for new small businesses or revamped small businesses coming out of this crisis. This is your opportunity to not only invest in your financial security but to invest in your community and to help foster local economic growth.
Start a Business
Tying into the last point on investment, now might also be the perfect time for you to start a small business of your own. Unfortunately, many small businesses around you will be shutting their doors due to the increasing strain of the closed economy. Do not let that scare you off, many small businesses will find that self-employment has placed them in a more favorable financial position than their furloughed and laid off employee friends. As the economy reopens, people are going to be hungry for business. They are also going to have an increased desire to support local businesses, because of how they have seen local business, and people they know, impacted by this crisis.
So, whether you choose to start a brick and mortar business, you opt into someone’s existing business as a franchisee or licensed retailer, or you start your own business online, do not let the current economic crisis scare you off from financial independence. The fact of the matter remains that this is probably just the beginning of an economic recession, and the secure job that you had pre-crisis may not be so secure after reopening. Now is the time to start thinking about taking your future into your own hands and becoming financially independent of “the man”.
Passive Income Streams
It is one thing to have an income coming in, but it is another to have a passive income coming in. The difference is that regular income is only received directly from the time you put into a job. Whether you work hourly or on salary, you are being paid for your time. Most employees don’t see direct kickbacks from the fruits of their labor, and even those paid on commission are only being given a small sliver of the pie. With passive income streams, you are not being paid directly for your time, you are being paid for the results of your work, and for the performance of things you own.
Passive income streams can take many forms. Taking it back to investing, you can earn money based on the successes of other companies and individuals. However, passive income streams do not always have to stem from traditional investing. In fact, there are many online businesses predicated on the idea of passive income. You do not have to become a real estate mogul to start earning money even while you sleep. Sometimes it is as simple as finding the right business to plug into and creating an online store that can sell even when you are not available.
It has Never Been Easier
While the current crisis has hammered physical commerce, it has been extremely generous to eCommerce due to the simple fact that many people no longer have the option to buy from physical retailers, so they have instead turned to the net to make their purchases with minimal human contact. Even items that are traditionally more difficult to sell on the internet such as food, produce and basic household items are now being purchased in droves from Amazon and dozens of other retailers and small businesses. When you buy a product from an online retailer, you are helping to fund their own passive income stream. Why not start one of your own?
The good news is that you do not have to rush to create a new product or develop your own formula for an existing one. There are hundreds of business models that are designed to incorporate people like you as official retailers and sellers. All you have to do is make the decision and be ready to put forth the effort to build your customer base and start making money selling someone else’s product.
Finding the Right Fit
If this is your first foray into the world of digital commerce, the sheer number of options may seem daunting. There are hundreds of businesses with many different products, processes, and levels of involvement. Not all of them are going to be winners, in fact, there will even be some predatory ventures out there. But do not worry, there are many more reliable businesses out there that have been proven to work, even long before the internet was in play. All it takes is a little research. Make sure that you are vetting companies before you blindly sign up to work with them. Remember that when creating passive income streams, your name is on the line as much as the company you are repping for.
Otherwise, the decision is up to you. What products do you think you can sell the best based on your personality and experience? What demographics are you best suited to reach? And lastly, what company do you think makes the best fit? Ask yourself these questions, do your research, and get ready to start earning income passively.
One of the most common barriers people have to enter with creating passive income is the fact that they only have experience as an employee. Many people coming into eCommerce are entering without having as much experience as they would expect they would need. That is okay, not everyone is going to be a marketing, sales, recruitment, human resources, and management expert. Thankfully, you do not have to be. In addition to the teams you have accessible to you with most eCommerce ventures, there are ample opportunities for training and growth provided by both individual companies and other independent sources.
YouTube, for example, is a terrific place to start your training. If you are entering into creating your own passive income streams with absolutely no experience, there are plenty of tutorials and educational videos available for three. These are a great way to get your feet wet and to start learning the fundamentals of your business. As you advance in your skill and experience, there are also many of paid or exclusive options available that not only come with a personal touch but help take your training to the next level.
Using Social Media
Another common barrier to entry is the feeling that you may not have large enough of a network to sell to. After all, you cannot rely just on friends and family to support your business in the long run. Many people are worried that they do not have the personality needed or the skills necessary to attract enough business. However, it has never been easier to do so. You do not need to pitch to everyone you meet at the store, you do not need to spend thousands on advertising. All you need to do is create a free social media account on a platform like Facebook and/or Twitter. From there you gain instant access to millions of users. You can even market your business without investing a dime, though this is not the most efficient method, by building an audience with content you create.
These platforms also offer a plethora of inexpensive advertising options that allow you to customize your target audience and only pay for the ad space that you think is best suited to your business. Take advantage of these inexpensive and easy to learn tools to grow your network and create your passive income stream as smoothly as possible.
We are in scary and uncertain times, but that does not mean that we need to accept defeat. There are concrete things that you can do today to ensure that your future is financially stable. Whether you can keep your current job or not, you can take a few extra steps to ensure that you still have money coming into the bank each week. Passive income streams, whether created through investing in the stock market, in a small business or investing in your own business are the key to financial freedom. Covid-19 has taught many people that they were not as secure in their jobs as they were led to believe. Now is the time to take your future into your own hands and to create a peace of mind that you have never known before.