This is part two of a mini-series on my business and personal finance strategies to survive and thrive the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak and related financial crisis.
- Part One: Reduce Risk – in my businesses, investments and personal life.
- Part Two (this one): Increase Earning – to gather cash for protection and to invest.
- Part Three: Invest In New Opportunities – as the extraordinary times lead to extraordinary deals.
No Matter Who You Are, Now Is A Good Time To Earn More Money
I have already done a post called 10 business ideas to do while quarantined. But here we go a step further. This is not about building a business. This is about earning money. Fast.
We are not all in the same position so there isn’t a one size fits all answer to ‘how to earn some extra money?’. Instead I will ask three questions.
For each question, I will tell you my answer and what I am doing to earn some extra money. Then I will throw around some ideas to help get our brains ticking.
What Low Hanging Fruit Is There?
We all have stuff that we can make money from right now that we just haven’t bothered with or thought about. What low hanging fruit is there you can snatch up now?
Ideas for me:
Recontact my old consulting clients
- I offer consultancy for $200 an hour and it is not currently advertised and hard to find.
- I can make a dedicated page for it with a link from the homepage on this site.
- And I can message past clients to see if they want to rebook.
- If I can generate an extra 10 hours extra work that would be another $2k profit.
Get sponsors for my podcast
- Previously I have charged £500 to sponsor an episode of my podcast. But due to laziness I have only tried to get sponsors for a couple of episodes.
- If I had done that overall 60 episodes I would have made £30k.
- I can email my existing contact list and should get at least some takes.
- I can also sign up to an advertising network who would find and add advertisers automatically.
- Even if I just get 3 or 4 sponsors that is £1,500-£2,000 profit. If I can get a regular sponsor then much more.
- I used to be a professional gambler but haven’t done much in years.
- I can look through which easy sign-up bonuses there are that I could earn from using matched betting on my wife and my accounts.
- It wouldn’t make much long term money but could be a very quick £500-£1,000.
Add adverts to this site
- Most posts on this website have no monetisation. And the easiest way to get them to start earning is to add some unobtrusive ads.
- I reckon I can make an extra $1k-$2k USD a month from a couple of hours work finding good ad networks and adding them to the site.
Tweak old high-converting articles on this site to make them relevant to this crisis
- I have some pages that I haven’t edited in years that make good money and can be tweaked to be more relevant now.
- If I can increase traffic and conversion on those pages I think an extra £1,000 in affiliate income over this crisis is realistic.
Go through my emails and social media and see who has made offers I have ignored or missed
- I purposely rarely look at my emails and so miss a lot of offers and business opportunities.
- That could include: collaborations with other sites, advertising opportunities, domain name purchases, job offers, invitations to podcasts and tv shows, etc.
- I have no idea how much value I could scrounge from my inbox. At least £1,000 I reckon?
All together we’re looking at an extra £6-£8k income for not much work. Which I will hopefully be able to multiply up through investments we will cover in part 3.
Ideas for all
Get moonlighting- Reach out to old bosses and colleagues:
It is easy to feel a bit ashamed when reaching out to an old boss. Like you should only be seen moving forward.
What nonsense. But I get it and the virus gives us a very good excuse. If your current employer allows, perhaps think about sending out an email saying something like this:
I’ve got a bit of free times in the evenings now due to this quarantine and am looking for something productive to do. Do you have any moonlighting work I can help out with in the evenings?
Obviously make it more personal than that, but you get the idea! Plus it is never a bad idea to reconnect with old business contacts.
Reach out to old contacts and customers and offer a virus discount
If you’re a freelancer or business owner, now is a great time to reconnect with any old customers you have. Even if they haven’t bought from you in years it does no harm to reach out.
Offering a discount to help them through this financial crisis is a good excuse for the email. And at the very least reminds them that you exist.
What New Business or Revenue Streams Can You Find?
Now we’ve swept up all the low hanging fruit. It is now to time to work hard and experiment with new opportunities.
Ideas for me
Pivot this blog:
Traditionally this blog has mainly been focused on whatever interests me at the time. Which most recently has been video games – something of no interest to the most readers and of very little use even to those who are.
How can I change the focus of the blog to make it both useful during the current crisis and profitable?
- Create content about working from home- something I have a lot of experience with.
- Create content about ‘side hustles’- a term I hate but that would generate a lot of search traffic.
- Write those profitable posts I have been putting off- I have a long list of detailed how-to guides I want to write. But haven’t because they are boring to create. Now is the time to do the boring work.
Pivot my table tennis business
My two highest-earning businesses both create table tennis equipment. They sell mainly through Amazon’s fulfilment network. Well, the network is overloaded and delivery times for our sales are up to over a month.
If people can’t get our products then how can we keep the business relevant? Pivot!
- Create content on learning table tennis from home.
- Create affiliate partnerships with online courses. Home sized table tennis tables. Robot training partners.
- Market our table tennis book.
- Spend the time building goodwill and strategising for when the crisis is over.
We’re not going to be able to replace all our income but as long as we are able to keep front of mind of our customer base we should be able to bounce back quickly. Plus any extra revenue we can find from affiliations is a plus.
Reach out to old business partners and see if they want to work together
I have worked with lots of people over the years. Well now is a very good to reach out and see how they’re getting on. And see if there is anything we can work on together.
It might not go anywhere. It might immediately lead to something profitable or it might lay the foundation for a profitable partnership in the future.
Worse case I get to reminisce about old times.
Set up consulting more seriously
In the low hanging fruit section, I had some ideas for how to get some more quick money from my on-the-side consulting business. Well how about I turn it into a proper business?
The first thing to do would be to build a proper site for it. That would increase conversion as I currently get a lot of interest but the only way to book me is a through Clarity.fm. A site no one has heard of and has no reason to trust. Creating a proper site with a booking system would convert a lot of people I am currently losing.
I can raise the average spend by offering deals for bulk purchases. Under the current system, with no discount for booking longer, customers are incentivised to book as short a time period as possible.
To get more leads I can target a few other search terms rather than just ‘consulting’. Such as ‘business coaching’, ‘life coaching’, ‘mentorship’, etc. Adding that to my copy should increase and broaden my Google traffic.
Ideas for all
Offer a one-off package of services and cold email out
We briefly spoke about moonlighting in the low hanging fruit section. Well if you are willing to put in a bit more work, why not create a value proposition and email it out beyond your current network?
If your current company allows you to take on other work (and if they don’t then this is a great time to negotiate). Then consider creating a package that is an easy buy for your target audience.
I suggest crafting the following this basic email structure:
Current Credentials -> Current Value -> Why You Are A Bargain -> What Value You Are Adding
Here are some examples:
I am an chartered accountant working for a so-and-so. Normally I am contracted out by my company for ££££ an hour. The virus means I have extra time and I’ve been given permission to help out some smaller businesses. I will do an unnoficial audit of your business for ££. The reason all big companies hire people like me is because we normally find savings that far outpace our cost and I truly believe I can do the same for you.
I am a lawyer working at so-and-so. I normally charge ££££ an hour. I am stuck at home during the qurantine and looking to help some struggling businesses For just ££ a document I will review all your contracts. That is much cheaper than a proper law firm and could help catch any problems that could cost you a fortune later.
I am a consultant at ££££. Normally I am on-site with a client but because of the quarantine I am stuck at home twiddling my thumbs. I was thinking how I can help smaller businesses remotely. For just ££ a call I will phone all your outstanding creditors, debtors and suppliers to renegotiate and save you a bunch of money.
I am an senior editor at a travel magazine. I am worried about my job because it is in travel so was looking for some extra gig work. I can edit your top blog posts for just ££ a post. That will increase all metrics, time on page, conversion, on-page SEO, etc. Attached is my portfolio.
You get the idea! You will have skills and credentials that are relevant to a local business. So explain that and make some money!
Who Is Hiring?
Maybe none of the previous two sections resonate. Well that’s fine. So how about getting a temporary job?
Ideas for me
What do they say about a square peg in a round hole? I haven’t had a job in 10 years and would really struggle now. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s a good option.
I have plenty to get on with the other two sections, but if I didn’t then I’d seriously consider some of the below:
Ideas for all
There are thousands of temporary jobs being created that are really needed and will help fight the virus:
- Supermarkets are hiring
- NHS is hiring
- Medical supply companies are hiring
- Logistics companies are hiring
- Amazon is hiring
- Farms are hiring
- Food delivery services ar hiring
I don’t normally advocate for getting a job – but an extra £75 a day while making a difference to the war on the virus, and getting out the house is actually a great result.
Times Are Bad, But We Aren’t Helpless
We have two responses to the virus and the looming recession. Scream and bang our heads against the wall. Or try and make best of it we can.
And personally, for me, the latter is much better. The feeling of having some control over the future is crucial for my mental health and is going to be infinitely better for my finances than doing nothing.
So get out there, hustle away and earn some extra money.
And now true to my own advice. Here is an upsell. Need some help brainstorming ideas for how you can earn some extra money? Consider hiring me as a consultant.
There is a companion episode to The Lazy Entrepreneur Podcast to this post. 59: Survive & Thrive During The Virus | Part 2 – Earn More Money