The current set of circumstances create an ecosystem that happens to be the perfect condition for some enterprises to thrive and thrive really well. But that’s like discussing all the benefits of fire while your house is burning to ashes. It wouldn’t be the best time, would it?
Nonetheless, The New Normal will catalyse many pending changes that was told to be forthcoming while sparking the innovation of many brand new ways of conducting business.
Take automation for instance. The trumpet on automation replacing the jobs of millions was sounded a long time ago. After seeing how this pandemic affected human resource, there’s no stopping it because the sense it makes has now gotten more evident. Machines can’t catch a virus. And this is only one instance of why people need a Plan B for their source of income or a more strategic Plan A.
The New Normal will prevail even after this coronavirus. Companies will not stop using Zoom and Microsoft Teams for correspondence. If some things worked well during the pandemic, they will be retained as norm. Everyone is now fully aware of the indisputable fact that the world will never be the same again. It is the people who get a workaround to the issues of this novel coronavirus that will come out on top.
One way of coming on top is to start pursuing avenues that are hot right now because of the current set of circumstances creating an ecosystem that happens to be the perfect condition for some enterprises to thrive and thrive really well, as mentioned earlier. It’s simple, really: in a time of need, people have… well… needs, needs they otherwise wouldn’t have, be it an increase in the number of already existing needs or the emergence of new needs. If you fulfil any of the suddenly abundantly available number of needs as a service, you get to help others and also get paid in return. A double win!
I’m not selling sure-bankers. These are all facts, and this is an opinion piece.
CONTENT CONSUMPTION: Ghana might have lifted the partial lockdown but around the world, most countries are still very much inside. During these lockdowns, billions around the world have started consuming more content; Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, TV Shows, Books, you name it. The increase in demand also meant that people create more content now and there has been the emergence of new content creators that are creating for the first time. They are going to need help.
If you possess the requisite skill or can direct your services at them, then helping these new content creators can be a new line of income. They’d need help to better focus their content. Editing is another big way of improving on the work of first-timers. One could offer services that repurpose content for more varied consumption. We are definitely going to see an increase in the number of services that help content creators. You should get in on it now.
STRUGGLING ARTISTS: Shatta Wale has been very vocal about how the industry isn’t helping artists like musicians. Well, he’s worth millions of dollars and currently doesn’t qualify for the tag of “struggling artist” but artists are struggling. Artists have been struggling and during this pandemic they’re struggling even the more. Artists do have one sellable commodity in abundance: talent.
If you can create a medium (app or others) where various artists teach others their craft, there’ll be a huge audience you can pander to. During this pandemic, many have upped their consumption of electronic content. Many are using this time to learn new things and the opportunity to learn from a talented artist would be enticing.
Don’t forget that famous artists will offer an already existing set of customers that’ll eagerly engage with your medium for access to their favourite artists. By putting on other artists that need this source of income, it can be a win-win for everybody when your paid-service offers them just that.
UNEMPLOYED GRADUATES: This category of the population have their main problem already concisely explained on their label: they’re educated but unemployed. The pandemic barely affects their employment status. But when you have to start looking at The New Normal and how it has changed corporate protocols, you’d realise many companies are suddenly very ok with remote work. With those companies on one hand, look at the other hand of a very big pool of academic talent that would otherwise have had trouble breaking the shackles of unemployment. Lightbulb, cha-ching.
This is the time that companies will be open to remote work solutions. With the number of graduates out there with bankable skills and no money, you should be able to shop their skills to companies open to remote work. They get quality yet affordable human resource, the graduates get work and you should be able to get some work done in the middle of all of that.
If you can reach skilful graduates willing to work, and companies open to remotely employing for their kind of business, through a medium you create, it could work out great.
PUBLIC SPEAKING: The pandemic has hit professional speakers badly. I should even add speakers at religious gatherings like the Pastors to this category, and Comedians. After the partial lockdown was lifted, that on gatherings remains in place. International Speakers cannot travel because of flight restrictions as well. Speakers need help.
The biggest meeting location has always been the internet, the web. Now, it’s like that’s all we have. But not many old-timers understand how to harness it’s power. With a lot of their followers flocking to the web, you can earn decent amounts of money helping speakers book virtual gigs if that’s something you’d be interested in mastering. There’s a lot of virtual conferences happening right now and you getting them such gigs will be something speakers will be ready to pay for.
Or, think bigger and help speakers create their own conferences and other events. Or think even bigger and turn some of their past speaking engagements into books. Most of these speakers say the same thing over and over, so it should be worth turning one set of similar events into eBooks that can sell on Amazon or other avenues.
SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT: Most businesses are having a hard time moving their businesses online, especially when they’ve never attempted this avenue before. To the tech-savvy you’d think it’s a no brainer for a business to have an active social media and online presence but it’s not like that in so many cases.
You’d have to imagine a business, a rapid-sales business, whose only mode of sales is in-person and through their brick & mortar premises. During this pandemic, for many businesses, demand did not necessarily diminish. It’s their mode of supply that needed upgrading. These situations mostly require software solutions.
It will help to come at this with a solution-based approach, where you concentrate not only on where to go with your service, but what to do when you get there. Because with businesses like the one I just described in the last paragraph, the only way you’re going through the door with your service is with a conversation about their problem and reverting back to them with an excellent solution custom-made for them. If you’re a wiz at software development, you should look into that.
MEMBERSHIP PLATFORMS: Do you know of the “Tell It All” group page on Facebook? It has gone absolutely buzzing and literally alive during this pandemic. Why? Because right now, people are craving community, they are craving connection, they are craving any resemblance of active society not akin to what we have all been going through since COVID-19. That is why these platforms are thriving.
Frankly, if an online group like Ghana’s “Tell It All”, with over 270,000 members, evolved into a paid membership platform, a substantial amount of people would pay for special privileges. Because on platforms like that is the cure to a lot of loneliness that’s been going around from being stuck indoors for weeks.
People who have or create groups or platforms like this can earn extra income from memberships and special paid privileges. There are area champions that can easily rally together multitudes of people within their local and online communities. This is something they should consider. Because in this instance it’s not even about content anymore. It’s all about a sense of belonging, about community, and about the craving of connection that people miss so much right now.
EDUCATION: There is absolutely going to be a new normal in education and new modes of education will receive a lot more attention. COVID-19 sent students home, but think a little bit broader. Think education for Students on their courses. Education for Parents helping their children with online courses and on better connecting with their children through social learning. Education for Colleges on the best modes for them to roll out their courses online. Education for Teachers on how to better connect with students in the online classroom.
If ever there was a valid idea you had in the line of education and you can teach, this is the time to create that education medium. People are in The New Normal; this will have them looking for answers. There’s no way education is going to stop. Everything will change and so will how we receive education. This is your chance to create that lesson you know you know so well.
When people are in dire need of answers in a time like this, they tend to accept the one that works best regardless of origin. In what other time would world powers be issuing purchase orders for PPE’s on social media. It’s because right now, we’re all soldiers in this fight looking for working ammunition.
This is the time to have that red tape cut for you. This is the time to surge ahead if you have a valid idea. And yes all these ideas I’m throwing about are subject to regulations and many other factors that you’d need to consider before you can make your move a success. Point is, if it was harder before, it’s relatively easier now and your potential customers need you.
Maxwell Ampong is the CEO of Maxwell Investments Group, a Trading and Business Solutions provider. He is also the Business Advisor for the General Agricultural Workers’ Union of TUC (Gh). He writes about trending and relevant economic topics, and general perspective pieces.
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