CM Trading is “Your local international broker” and is a leading provider of derivative trading solutions to the local and international market.   The company, regulated by the South African Financial Services Board, operates successfully around the globe and assists in increasing their client’s trading knowledge, providing personal service and support as well as a range of online solutions to match every trader’s needs.  Daniel Kibel, Co-Founder of CM Trading shares a few thoughts on self-employment during the pandemic.

“As the COVID situation continues to unfold, financial resources remain quite stretched for many companies. A cross-section of organisations are looking to streamline operations and staffing to cut costs. But they still need to tap into human resources. This is one of the places where people are becoming more creative about self-employment because, in many cases, it is more affordable for an organisation to employ a freelancer or a contracted worker as they don’t need to factor in long-term employee benefits. 

The post-COVID landscape

“COVID has brought about major changes. The offices of the future will not be the same as what we are used to. We are seeing remote working and hybrid working become more commonplace. And if this time has proved anything to organisations across the board, it’s that (for the most part), people can work from home. 

“Beyond the new ways of working, though, there is still widespread uncertainty and millions of jobs all over the world have been lost. This has seen an unprecedented number of people globally turn to self-employment and freelancing. And there are a number of options available to those who are proactive.

Online trading as a stream of income 

“One of the options that is worth exploring is online trading. The beauty of trading is, you can start trading on any of the world’s largest markets or in forex and you don’t need massive investment capital. You can begin by putting down as little as $250, if you like. I would recommend starting with around $1000 but that isn’t possible for everyone. And there’s nothing wrong with starting small.

“Never overextend yourself. Any considered investment could potentially pay dividends over a long period of time, generating ongoing income if you make informed trading decisions. Always keep risk top of mind. And remember that there is no such thing as ‘risk-free’ trading. But it is a viable income option – certainly for if you are looking to supplement an existing income stream. 

“When starting your trading journey, there are opportunities to cash in on trading specials, too. Due to the challenging employment situation worldwide, CM Trading has launched an early black Friday special, a month before Black Friday arrives on 27 November. Deposit $500 or more in October and CM Trading will double the profit on your trades, and throw in 50% protection in case losses occur.

“Signing up with an established trading company is vital. Trading is a skill that should be taught and nurtured in a safe environment by skilled professionals. And with the wealth of research at our fingertips, it’s easy to do your homework before you spend.  

“I wouldn’t advise throwing everything you have into the markets – and particularly not in the current climate – because of the risk involved. But if you are looking for an additional source of income, or are aiming to build a base income; a focused and frugal approach can make trading work for you.

“We are seeing an increasing number of people turning to trading with varying results. The ultimate take out is, let a clear head prevail and stay informed about what exactly you are investing in. There is always potential to make a lot of money over the longer-term.

The freelance boom

“In terms of freelancing in general, the first step is to look inward. Ask yourself what you have to offer the world. What are your unique skills and how could you monetise them? These are challenging times for many businesses. Think about your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). For example, if you have a recipe that is entirely original and tastes appealing, its uniqueness and flavour are your USP. 

“If your product is not entirely unique, however; try to identify other differentiators that make the offering more appealing. Personalised service, delivery, relationship-building and other value-adds can enhance your sales proposition. Pose the question, ‘What problem do I solve for my target market?’

“As a result of the COVID crisis, freelancing and remote working are on the rise globally. But for anyone looking to become self-employed, a good starting point is to jot down a list of contacts. Any business is about networking and pooling resources with people you know. Low-hanging fruit is the easiest to reach. Start with the people you know and see how they can help you grow your business. Everybody knows people. Cold calling is a lot harder. That’s not to say that it is a dead end; persistence can win in the end – but it takes a long time.  

Business referrals 

Very much intertwined with online trading is business referral income. This doesn’t actually involve trading at all. It simply requires that you tap into that network we spoke about earlier. Business referral income requires no investment, other than time. And referring people who are interested in trading online can generate an income via trading companies who sign up new clients as a result of any referrals. Interest in trading has grown during lockdown. And there are potentially more opportunities now to refer people to reputable trading companies and earn a passive income that will grow exponentially. 

Use what you have

“If you’re starting up a business, try not to think about what you don’t have. Think about what you can offer the world. What makes you unique? And also, who do you know that can help you get to where you want to be? Use the people you know as leverage – even if that just means asking them to help you spread the word about what you do through their networks. “Try to provide a win-win situation, rather than merely trying to take advantage of the people you know, though. It’s also important that you ask yourself, in reaching out to your friends, family and colleagues, what you can offer them in return. One-sided relationships can become parasitic. Mutually beneficial relationships are always far more constructive and enduring”.