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I believe 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, whether you live in the UK or in any other country in the world. Stores and businesses have been closed off, and one of these may have happened to be owned by your family. Even on a smaller scale, students that are wishing to find some way to fund their finances have lost their biggest job market, part-time positions in the local shops and restaurants.
Now, it seems even harder for us students to be independent from our family financially – however, as a young adult, I don’t want to ask my parents for money to pay for every single thing that I don’t want to give up.
Throughout this year, many jobs have been disrupted, and some have been moved online. While this can be distressing, it has also presented an opportunity for us to be creative regarding the ways in which we achieve financial independence. We are surrounded by technology, and just being intuitive and innovative on how to use it can help us solve problems, and create value for ourselves and those around us.
I am Haofei, a second-year student and head of events of the Financial Independent society, and I will tell you about my experience of tailoring my business in the context of the Covid19 pandemic, to give you some insight into how to create value with a really simple idea.
In early January, I started my tutoring career in London, getting to students’ places and delivering them the knowledge on how to succeed in a specific subject. At the time I was paying for my living expenses, as well as my trips to Italy and Edinburg, with this moderate income. However, everything changed since February – I suspended all my in-person work, and started 5 months of lockdown in my apartment. Within that time, I received my past students’ request to hold online tutoring, as they needed to progress in their education. In this way, I spent 3 months trying to improve my teaching method, and to assure high-quality class delivery, even though it was being held online.
In January, apart from tutoring, I set up, alongside my co-worker, a summer camp program for kids interested in learning English – a small project that was destroyed after the spread of the virus. However, what was left were the client connections, and their interest in learning the language. Getting to this point, I thought well to connect this resource to online class delivery, something that had become increasingly popular among universities and schools. In this way, my ERSprint Education summer English school was launched for two months during the summer, with more than 15 students attending.
With this small idea that came from past experience, we were able to create jobs for ourselves when we couldn’t find them anywhere else; most significantly, by caring about our students and the quality of our work, we gained recognition from the parents. By their word of mouth marketing, we started to receive private tutoring requests, along with new connections. Excitingly, we grew our team from just two of us, to recruiting more than 10 teachers to deliver subjects in Chinese, Italian, and English upon customer’s needs, in less than 5 months.
I really didn’t come up with an extraordinary idea – it was just the right one for the situation. It was about identifying the need, and providing a suitable solution for the problem. This fulfilled my self-achievement, all the while helping my financial position during this hard time.
I believe this can be one approach to be an entrepreneur, a businesswoman, and a financially-independent student: look at the problems around you, and be the one who creates your work opportunities. We are all surrounded by these insights, be they tutoring, e-commerce, online graphing, or marketing delivery – anything that can solve a problem you believe exists in the market.
Covid19 has brought many difficulties to us. If we can find the opportunities within this situation, then we will be one step closer to achieving our goals.
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