Voted Best Answer
Mar 20, 2020 - 10:25 AM
The most efficient way for anyone to profit from the coronavirus is almost certainly to buy stocks, as prices reach dramatic lows. (Although there was a recent surge following a steep drop, prices are likely to fall far more than they’ll rise before the pandemic is over.)
However, you state that you want to help people affected by the virus, or help stop its spread. Timely investments won’t accomplish either of those things. And other popular coronavirus profit methods, such as selling hand sanitizer and toilet paper at above-average prices, can be downright harmful.
Really, unless you work in an industry such as healthcare or politics, it’s not likely that you’ll be able to do much to directly help halt the virus. But there are a few possibilities for you that will be both profitable and helpful to other people, in some sense. The feasibility of those things will depend on your skills and prior experience, but here are a few ideas.
Assist Digital Marketing Efforts
While many industries are going to struggle through this pandemic, the digital marketing industry is seeing a boost. Brands that relied on brick-and-mortar sales must pivot to digital sales now in order to stay afloat, and brands that are already fully digital may double down on marketing efforts to compete for the attention of homebound consumers.
If you have any experience in the digital marketing world, now is the time to use it. A wide range of skills, like SEO know-how and social media marketing chops, are in demand right now. Even if you have no experience, this might be a good time to invest in an online course to develop some digital marketing skills you can use.
Of course, smaller businesses will benefit the most from this kind of help, but bigger ones will have heftier budgets to pay for it.
It’s never easy to become a YouTube or TikTok star, or Instagram influencer. However, if you’ve been thinking about getting into the online entertainment world, the coronavirus is pushing up demand for fun content that can be consumed at home. And, of course, you can argue that providing entertainment is helping people in some way.
What your entertainment brand will look like will depend on your existing knowledge. You could release anything from a series of workout videos to a fun app, depending on what you know how to do. Making money from these endeavors is still a long shot, but you’ll have a better chance of it now, while everyone’s looking for digital content to consume.
Offer Remote Work Consulting
People and businesses in a wide range of industries find themselves suddenly pivoting toward remote work. This may herald a long-term shift toward working from home, as the coronavirus forces companies and workers to discover how feasible it is.
If you have any experience in the world of remote work, becoming a consultant to help brands and individuals through this transition could be both helpful and lucrative. Similarly, if you can sell something (such as an online course) that will help brands or workers go remote, now is a good time to do it.
Open an eCommerce Store
eCommerce was already the way of the future, but like remote work, the pivot toward shopping online has been sped up by the coronavirus. It’s relatively easy to open a new eCommerce store using online platforms like Shopify. You can make your store successful and helpful to people by selling useful or entertaining items at reasonable prices.
That said, opening a store during a pandemic may make it especially hard to set up a supply chain. You might find it difficult to source items from countries like China that have been heavily affected by the virus. So, make sure you have a reliable idea of how you’ll source your products if you plan to go the eCommerce route.
Release a Useful Product
A number of surprising products are doing well right now thanks to the coronavirus, from thermal imaging glasses to high-tech disinfectant tools. This might be the right time to release your brilliant product idea to the market - as long as it’s not exploitative.
Some of these successful products rely on harmful false claims, such as air purifiers that claim to destroy airborne coronavirus. But others are cutely innocuous, like Etsy artwork that reminds people to wash their hands. Generally speaking, now is a good time for products that have to do with cleaning, storage, emergency preparedness, nonperishable food, and home entertainment.
If you can successfully create and market a product linked to the coronavirus in some way, such as a nonperishable snack or an uplifting t-shirt, you could see healthy sales. However, eCommerce issues like the supply chain disruption mentioned above will still apply here. It’s also possible that the pandemic will disrupt shipping and delivery to customers, even if you can easily source your supplies. While demand for certain products is high right now, it’s not the easiest time to get started.
Profiting from the coronavirus is certainly possible, although not guaranteed, and will depend on your existing skillset. But no matter what you do, you’ll need to take care that your efforts are genuinely helpful, or at least harmless. Otherwise, you could find your work destroyed by bad press (or legal action), like the Amazon seller whose stockpile of 17,700 hand sanitizer bottles attracted national press - and national ridicule.