It goes without saying that the MCO has affected hundreds of thousands of rice bowls. As a result, many people have started their own small businesses to stay afloat.
If you go on almost any social media platform, you can find people promoting a huge variety of these businesses; from food, to beauty products, to handmade items.
You might be thinking of starting a side hustle during this time and if you are, here are some businesses that give a shot. Granted, some of these may require you to learn and practise first if you aren’t already skilled in them. But once you’ve picked it up, you can start monetizing it.
1. Food and catering
The one thing that everyone has turned to during the MCO (besides online shopping) is food. Sure, we’ve all been ordering food online even before the pandemic. But lately, with dine-ins being prohibited, we’ve had to resort to ordering on GrabFood or FoodPanda more frequently.
If you’re someone who can whip up a good meal, you can consider starting a food catering service. And the best part is that it can be on a small-scale—you don’t have to cook for hundreds of people.
Besides cooking meals, you can also start a baking or dessert business. You can take orders in advance so that you only need to make something when it’s requested.
2. Gifting services
Being under a lockdown means not being able to have gatherings, missing birthdays, other festivities and so on.
At a time like this, many people have turned to sending their family and friends gifts, especially if they can’t be there in person. If you’re a creative person who enjoys making someone’s day, you can consider starting a gifting business.
You can curate gift boxes and hampers according to your customers’ tastes, which can make the job fun. You can also work together with other vendors such as florists or bakers to add more items to your service.
The other good thing about a gifting business is that there will always be important days that people want to celebrate all year round. So, once you’ve gotten a steady clientele, people might reach out to you for gifts very frequently.
3. Handmade jewellery/home decor
The MCO has seen many people unleash their creative side, especially through arts and crafts. If you didn’t already know, resin and polymer clay jewellery businesses have been mushrooming since last year. Besides that, there has also been an increase in homemade candles, soaps, wood and cement art, and so on.
A lot of the materials needed to make these items are relatively easy to source. You’ll need sufficient space to store them, though, so this would be ideal if you do have extra space.
Again, you might need to get some practice in making these products before selling them. Start off by giving some pieces to friends and family for their feedback. Once you think you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can launch your business!
4. Dropship agent
Not brave enough to start your own business? No worries. There are plenty of businesses that need you to sell their products for them. To start off, you can join dropshipping groups on Facebook, or search up #dropshipwanted on Instagram.
You’ll find hundreds, if not thousands of businesses that need dropship agents. The scope of work can vary from business to business. Some might need you to store and sell their products, while some might not require you to store anything, but to just market and promote their business. You’ll get paid a commission for every sale you make.
Before signing up to be anyone’s dropship agent, make sure that the business is legitimate and not a scam. Ask for the registration number or other relevant information, and ensure that there are other dropship agents who have been receiving their payments.
5. Content creation
All of us consume a great amount of content on social media. Even without us realizing, we can spend hours scrolling through apps like Instagram and TikTok.
If you’re not someone who’s camera shy, you can make creative and engaging videos for people to watch. Or if you enjoy writing, you can start a fun lifestyle blog!
Now, content creation isn’t easy and it won’t give you money immediately. But if you manage to capture the right crowd, you can become an influencer. Companies will then reach out to you for collaborations or features on your page, and you might just see income flowing in.
6. Sell indoor plants
Another thing the MCO has birthed is an increase in plant parents (this writer is one of them). Many online nurseries that have cropped up during this time have been booming. So, if you have green fingers yourself, you might want to consider this as an option.
Understandably, storing plants will require a lot of space. But you can start off on a small-scale first and sell smaller plants such as succulents and tiny flowering plants.
Besides the plants themselves, you can also provide other plant essentials such as pots, soil, gardening tools, and so on.
Prepare before launching your business
Starting your own business can be daunting and you’ll need to ensure you’re ready. You’ll need to pick up basic skills, prepare the space and equipment, and most importantly, have the capital for it. If you’re looking for ways to save for a business, here are some tips:
But if you’d also like to take out some extra cash to kick start your new venture, you might want to consider taking a personal loan. If you do, check out this list of personal loans and see what fits you best: