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My Turn: How to diversify with your small business during a pandemic – The Recorder

The Recorder – My Turn: How to diversify with your small business during a pandemic<br />


Published: 8/30/2021 6:26:47 AM

With an additional 200,000-plus small business closures across the United States from a recent report from the Wall Street Journal in April, it’s clear that COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the health and wellness of all of us but tremendously on small businesses.

How can we continue to be thriving entrepreneurs and small businesses? This is a fundamental question that most entrepreneurs and business owners face not just here in our local community of Franklin County but all across the United States.

As a small business owner in the health and wellness industry, you think there wouldn’t be a low moment; however, that is not the case. With rising business costs, recent business closures, and a good majority of Americans still on unemployment or unemployed, it’s hard to generate income.

What’s the solution? Well, as my grandfather always said, “if you have an idea and the passion for doing it, what are you procrastinating for?” This advice I always come back to even in the pandemic.

The best advice I can give to small business owners or entrepreneurs is to diversify in the least costly ways.

Some examples of diversifying are brand affiliate marketing, leaning into your creative side, and finding a way to turn that creative passion into an alternative stream of income.

Etsy is a fantastic resource for those with creative endeavors like crafting, painting and other artistic products.

Another option that I began doing in 2020 was publishing books on Amazon through its self-publishing division KDP. Self-publishing allows you to be in control of your publishing, all the way down to designing your cover, choosing your book size, and even who you want to target. The most important part is the cost-effectiveness and access to free tools. What attracted me the most to self-publishing was the cost.

You can control how much you want to spend on marketing, and the printing cost required to publish your book is generally low, ranging anywhere from $2 to $4 per book. So, for instance, if you post a book at $11, you will profit $7 to $8 per book, depending upon your book aesthetics.

If it’s your first time publishing, try sticking with simple book sizes that are the most popular. KDP, the publishing division of Amazon, offers many helpful tutorials and templates to help you create your book with simplicity and ease. Whether you choose to publish an e-book through its Kindle division or provide an actual physical book will be dependent upon your preference. The benefits of Kindle eBooks are the reach and other programs like Kindle Unlimited that allow you to lend your book and reach more readers and demographics.

The best way to begin your publishing journey is to pick a topic, choose a target audience and start the process of writing and designing. Canva is a tool that is available to creators and features thousands of templates, graphics and tools to help you create the perfect project, no matter what you’re looking to develop.

When writing your book, I recommend getting an application like Grammarly, especially if you struggle with grammar or writing. YouTube is also a vital resource to start generating ideas about how to create more streams of income.

My best advice for those out there struggling to make money and sustain their business is to pick something that will represent your current business and welcome in more return and take you from prospects to clients and sales.

Elise Skibik is an enterprenur living in Charlemont.