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COVID-19 And The World Today

How can you potentially deal with an economic downturn via home based work?

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What’s up with the world with economic slowdown via Covid-19? Currently, I am sitting quietly at home, due to partial-lockdown and to ensure that I do not contribute to the increase of the Covid-19 infected statistics. As remote working is one choice companies are considering, some have asked if there’s home-based work and how viable is such an option as an alternative way to make money? 

In doubt, the challenge would be what can be done (especially for business owners/freelancers), and the question is how do you make money via effective home-based work? I would share my view, as someone who has practiced remote service work for several years and has been working with service marketplaces that interfaces with freelancers and clients, while performing home-based work. 

In my general common-sense belief, the following questions can be considered in most situations. 

What skills do you have? How is your network and your readability? What is the value proposition of your business model to the client? The urgency of your work – if you need daily payment or payment monthly, yes, timing is also the keyword here. Most employers would work out compensation packages to lighten the burden, but with businesses restructuring ongoing and layoff, business survival would be a key priority with the likelihood of salary cuts across the board. 

For answers to the above questions, I would think the points below generally apply to most people (if not all).

  • Be-willing to give value to the current customer in terms of remote servicing – via Zoom/Google Hangout and remote delivery, thus, making it a remote task monitoring situation. 
  • Do extra jobs in relation to your skill and network situation – a better offer, long term discount period are things to be considered. 
  • Livestream – preferably selling something that is of value.  

I have included three case studies that I am putting into context as potential ways to make money online. 

Case Study 1: Enrol in an expert network 

For a professional who constantly has a job, and would like to contribute his/her skill, he/she can explore an expert platform that may utilise his/her skill set and showcase to the employer who may lack  knowledge in a certain market or ways on how they can make more money in the market (via partnership). Why are the US and Europe pioneers of such a business model? This is due to demand for outsourcing and skills availability. In the Asia Pacific, the demand for remote working and lack of suitable professionals needed for digital transformation project-related could spur such a demand. 

Platform: Catalant, Talmix (for white-collared professionals) or at micro-level work (Upwork, Freelancer).
Income potential: 1,000 USD and above (some platforms use Payoneer, Stripe or Paypal).
Skill sets required: Proposal writing, effective framework, and more importantly client endorsement.

Case Study 2: Livestream your product to a global audience 

Imagine that you want to showcase your cooking skills to your guests, you would want them to download your recipe kit for personalised teaching that may result in you earning money from the side too. 

Platform: Airbnb Experience (Note: all Airbnb Experiences are paused due to coronavirus (COVID-19) so the skills above can be applied in a virtual setting (showroom) at home based work setting.
Income potential: 500 USD and above (for around 15 bookings recorded).
Skill sets needed: Storytelling, ability to demonstrate the specific skills you’re projecting to your audience.

Case Study 3: Concierge Services (For Travelers/Shoppers/Carers)

As trade shows are postponed until further notice, some businesses may find trouble in acquiring resources as the need to find reliable sourcing would require traveling. 

I have come across services like Buy Hive, where freelancers represent buyers, thus enabling the buyers to attend the trade shows globally. For local platforms in Malaysia, Jet spree is a global shopping platform that connects travelers and shoppers, and Kiddocare that allows for children and carers to be taken care of. 

Platform: Buy Hive (for those eligible to work or have HK Visa).
Income potential:
500 and above USD depending on the industry.
Skill sets needed: Necessary certification or client endorsement in some cases, timeliness of response to the buyer needs as hours could be irregular or demand is seasonal.

While concierge services may not lead to a potential sustainable business venture, there is an increase in terms of creative fellowship which is implemented by Europe/US Airbnb Experience. There are also other home-based work options such as online teaching for trainers, and collaboration between SME- big corporations in software (SAAS) integration. In the context of the impact of Corona, the situation can be cushioned with the use of technology and local manpower coming together during these unforeseen situations.  

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Elton Kuah
Written By

Elton Kuah is a certified marketer and digital marketing expert specialising in B2B market research, B2B lead generation and data analytics (3D). He has more than 10 years of significant experience working with market research for consulting companies such as M-Brain, Asiabiz Strategy, MARTEC and Hero Chemical Hong Kong. He is also a business advisor for Alphazetta.ai, a leading global network for independent analytics experts. You may follow him on website and LinkedIn.

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