Money March 26, 2020

Reasons to start an online business in a recession

Pete Codes @petecodes

It's likely that there will be a recession this year due to the Corona virus. So why not be independent and start your own business?

You don't have to go into an office and risk getting Corona!

Aside from the general fear of getting Corona, my day to day life hasn't really changed at all recently. I have a few online businesses and it's really just carrying on like normal really. I would hate to have to choose between going back to work in a risky environment or not. My ability to earn money online with websites like No CS Degree means that I am not dependent on a boss deciding to put revenue ahead of employee safety. So this is a pretty huge bonus right now!

You can choose to follow upcoming trends

One of my biggest inspirations for business has been Pieter Levels - he has really cornered the whole digital nomad/remote work area. He got in at the start of this movement more or less around 2014.

In the same way, most of my focus in online business has been around getting people into coding. Even if there is a recession thena lot of people are still going to be getting into web development. Having lived through the 2008 Great Recession I can tell you first hand that a tonne of people will retrain. If you are in a sector that has been decimated by Corona like retail or travel then you are (hopefully) going to look for a more secure job to work in. I think the outlook for my websites is pretty good. I can't see fewer people learning to code or look for jobs in a recession- quite the opposite.

You can make affiliate income while you sleep

You shouldn't be too reliant on this as it can fluctuate a lot but one of the best things about my online businesses is that each month I earn money completely passively! I have a couple of affiliate arrangements with coding course providers. So in February, for instance, I earned over $400 from people visiting my website and buying courses. I didn't have to perform any labour for this money. For instance, I made $40 yesterday. But I didn't do anything for that. Yesterday I went for a walk outside and then worked at my house but I wasn't selling courses to anyone.

Online businesses are really cheap to run

My costs are about $100 a month and I could do it for a little less to be honest. It really doesn't cost much to start a business now. You can blog for a few dollars a month. You have free marketing channels like Twitter or Telegram groups (or Reddit if you dare, haha!)

Everyone else will be looking for a job

In a recession obviously there is a huge number of people looking for jobs. Employers get saturated with applications and can suddenly get really picky! I remember in the Great Recession there was a quote in a newspaper that a 2:2 degree mark in the UK was the equivalent to having gone to prison!

While everyone else is obsessed with job applications and interviews you can start your own online business. You don't need to seek permission - you can just go and start selling!

P.s. I live-streamed the writing of this

  1. 1

    Funny you wrote this Pete! I actually gave you a shoutout in a recent blog post we made on the subject too.

  2. 1

    I was laid off due to downturns in 2001, 2008, and then in 2014 due to the company I was working for getting bought out and dismantled. The last time, I decided it would absolutely be the last time, and went out on my own. It was really tough to get something going when I wasn't well prepared, but in a year I had a profitable consulting business, which was mostly online.

    One thing I realized in that year of building the business is that many of those smart and "very important" people that I used to work with couldn't figure out how to create $1 of value for someone if they had to save their own life. They needed their boss to tell them what to do, whereas once you're out on your own, you have to figure out most things for yourself.

    I'm not necessarily trashing my former colleagues, but rather pointing out that cubicle life with a corporation and multiple levels of management above you has you far away from figuring out how to provide value for the end user of the product, or what the product even should be.

    Doing what we are now requires a big mindset change as the safety net of a boss' instructions and the company budget is gone. Find a problem that people are willing to pay to have solved, and then figure out how to make something to sell that will delight those people and turn them into great customers. Then figure out how to turn that into a sustainable business that supports your family. Easy, right? ;-)

    Regardless of how difficult it can be at times, I've made myself recession-proof, and I'm not ever going back to that cubicle!

Recommended Posts