Side-gigs in a post COVID world

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Side-gigs in a post COVID world

Post by den18 »

The worst has passed and life has returned to some semblance of normalcy. The "shelter in place" orders are gone, non-esssential businesses are open, and the quarantines are no longer in place. The economy, however. has taken a huge hit with many people having lost their jobs. The United States is in a recession at the least or a depression at worst.

You are a member of the ERE community who has been frugal and saved a good amount of cash. You are looking to use your time in the best way possible to earn some money on the side. You have capital to invest, if needed, but either do not want to sell too much in a downturn, or would rather focus on turning your time into money. You are aware of the gig economy jobs, but recognize that the return on time investment for things like Uber is intially bad. After depreciation and other unseen expenses, it is abysmal.

You do not despair. You know that even during the great depression there were those who were able to succeed. What do you do?

(I am not sure why this post turned from a question into a CYOA story, but there you go. Long story short, what do you think will be the best ways to earn money on the side after the crisis is over?)

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Re: Side-gigs in a post COVID world

Post by jacob »

Actually, I think things will return more or less to normal except for a few "small things".

I predict less hugging and that coughing and sneezing etiquette will permanently change. Beyond that, I think the lessons learned will slowly be forgotten much in the same way that any financial lessons learned after the Great Recession were ultimately forgotten after a period of 4-5 years.

I'm willing to be proven wrong given examples of what changed after the Great Recession that wasn't slowly reverted again in the years after.

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Re: Side-gigs in a post COVID world

Post by Frita »

Where I am there is a huge marketing push to order takeout food and buy gift cards. People post to Facebook about their purchases, receiving attention and appreciation, peer-pressuring others to follow suit. I question whether some people will continue this habit of spending.

On a side note, Facebook has never been my thing but this has made me want to stop using it completely. A benefit of CV...

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Re: Side-gigs in a post COVID world

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Start a disaster preparedness consulting business.

Sell, using FUD.....

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Re: Side-gigs in a post COVID world

Post by Lucky C »

If the retail apocalypse causes some popular chains to disappear, to the extent that there are no longer stores in every town that serve a particular type of product or service, there may be opportunity there. For example, Gamestop just announced closing hundreds of stores permanently and may not survive at all as old games move away from physical copies. However my hometown video game trade-in store seems to be thriving with classic games available from all past generations. It wouldn't be a side-gig to open your own store but perhaps there would be demand for having a limited catalog of products that you trade our of your garage. Shops for trading used products may be more popular in general after the fear of spreading the virus ends but people still don't have a lot of spare money.

A more appropriate side-gig might be to provide a service that continues to disappear, such as repairing, tuning instruments, reupholstering... Seems in small towns there is always the one old guy that recanes chairs or repairs shoes, and though the demand seems to be low, the supply of these services are likely to fall as these old guys retire or croak and no young folks are taking up the trade. Demand may increase anyway if the younger generation eschews Made in [not USA] crap and instead wants to restore things handed down from their downsizing boomer parents.

This all may go on long enough to break people of their product loyalty habits. Perhaps millions of people will not go back to Planet Fitness but instead stick to other forms of exercise (neighborhood walks, home gyms, Pelotons for those who keep their high-paying jobs). So maybe an in-home or in-park personal trainer gig would be in demand. Maybe people won't feel like going back to the never-ending stream of superhero movies when they start to come out again, and it could be a good time to try to put out an indie film like during/after the Writer's Guild strike which coincided with the last recession. There are lots of businesses/services where people could (maybe) switch to a more personal or more local option after being away from the standard corporate fare for a while.

In the short term it seems like there will be too much demand for side-gigs in general, at least side gigs that anyone can do (especially from home), and more demand for people on the "frontlines" like grocery stores & health care.

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Re: Side-gigs in a post COVID world

Post by bostonimproper »

The best time to start a business is in the depths of a recession.

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