2020 has seen the world grapple with a pandemic that has left a trail of despair across global markets and businesses. No one has been spared. Fortune 500 behemoths fail to meet their revenue and growth projections, while startups struggle to foot their utility bills.
Every business venture needs to rethink its business paradigms to stay afloat during and after the current pandemic. The old methods of thinking and working just don’t cut it anymore, and even if they do, they will take a heavy toll on business expenses. For example, any business owner would need to think hard before setting up a conventional brick-&-mortar store. The extra cost in rent and utilities might not be worth it over the short and long term.
With a reduction in travel times, office and studying hours, business owners have a real shot at rethinking how they do business. If you are a student entrepreneur, here are six ways to make sure that you not only stay afloat but that you also stay ahead amid a pandemic.
- Leverage Technology to Reduce Costs and Improve Efficiency
Technology in business can be something as simple as a new website or selling a blog to a CRM platform that allows you to better track leads and sales. Even with a lean team, salaries and other operational expenses can create a substantial dent in your operational profit. Outsourcing some of your core business functions will allow you to focus better on your products or services to reduce major business expenses.
Some of the functions you can outsource include IT, marketing, customer management, administrative tasks through Virtual Assistants, research, and accounting. Bitrix24 is one such online tech social enterprise collaboration platform built for small businesses.
- Go for Gigs with More Flexibility
The gig economy has always existed and had gained significant traction even before the current pandemic. However, due to the financial hit on businesses, massive layoffs and pay-cuts are forcing both employees and business owners alike to rethink their work commitments. This means taking up other side jobs and gigs related to their long-term passions and talents.
One way a student could make some extra income is to take up essay writing or become a ghostwriter. Most side gigs need only a good internet connection and a computer or mobile phone. Ideally, most side gigs might not make you rich. However, you can supplement your regular income and still have enough time left over for rest, wellness and studying.
- Perfect Your Copywriting and B2B Sales Techniques
Online marketing and sales copy are fast becoming the norm; therefore, there is little choice for anyone looking to capitalize on a huge online market. Having a professional copywriter or marketer work on your creative and sales copy is the best way to go. However, since you probably don’t have the budget for independent marketing or B2B specialists, you can always improve your skills, especially in SEO.
Great copy goes a long way in creating leads, improving traffic to your website or blog, and creating unique and fresh content every so often. It is a powerful marketing tool on social media, web pages, blogs, email circulars, and business presentations for PowerPoint or Keynote.
- Monetize Your Blogs and Webpages
There are different ways to monetize your blog or webpage. These include Google AdSense and PPC ads in general, affiliate marketing, selling e-books and digital services, etc. The single biggest reason why most people are afraid of taking the monetized blog/website route is because of the required numbers in terms of traffic.
A thousand visitors per day would still be a long way off from getting you even an average income. Therefore patience, resilience, and great content are all key to achieving this milestone of consistently high numbers.
- Re-Channel Your Expenses Towards Improving Your Products or Services.
A good amount of time and effort goes into creating effective marketing channels and sales results. Product development usually takes a back burner, especially for smaller companies and startups. As you improve the efficiency of your operation and scale a few expenses down, you have the opportunity to improve your products or services. Customers always love creativity and new things. Providing an upgrade or offering custom solutions during this period could see your business expand its numbers.
- Take Advantage of Free Online Courses
Whether you are a student or not, the opportunities for free online learning have increased massively during this pandemic. Platforms such as EDX, Coursera, and Lynda.com now provide free courses that are highly marketable and have practical benefits. During your free time, sign up for one or more of these courses and see an improvement in your skills.
The Pandemic Is Here, but It Doesn’t Have to Sink Your Boat
Many businesses and individuals are grappling with the fear of the unknown about the pandemic. Will everything go back to normal or not? Only time will tell. In the meantime, use the above strategies to leverage what you do know and what you can control to see great gains as a student.