Economies boom and bust and we all know we are currently in a period of downturn. Times are very tough with inflation, increases on interest rates pushing up mortgages and rents, in work poverty is a huge problem, even in what used to be considered middle class jobs.
With this weeks interest rate increase, it's got be thinking...
How can we survive these difficult years?
You guessed it… start a CIC! But this blog post will do more than state the obvious.
Like always I want you to think bigger, smarter and be strategic! Leverage what you have and take advantage of what’s up for grabs.
Odd thing about economics in our country is that in a crisis there is still money. Sometimes there are even new opportunities.
During COVID all the main grants started dishing out extra bonus's to everyone who held a grant with them. I had a couple grand off ACE and Children in need for doing nothing. It was quite a strange situation. Similar money dishing is going on now we are in the cost of living crisis.
Let’s start with the imminent rise in funding grants. We have already seen the Arts Council and Children in need raise their small grant limits this year. Now the national lottery community fund has followed with announcements the small grants pot will double to £20k. So will the time span of a project, but it still helps a great deal to access £20k in one lump sum and to have one rather than two application processes. This avoids the 4-8 months gap re applying.
I typically did a community fund and ACE join project for £25k in a 1 year period. Now I can make £50k and still work for a 1 year period. That’s massive.
The artist union has increased the recommended pay of an artist from £280-£349 this year. So you can even increase the pay for the work you do in these projects.
For many of you running a CIC is a side hustle, and not your full time gig. 49% of people in the UK have a side hustle. But unlike most, a CIC pays in lump sums. In this situation it’s a good idea to use that lump sum income to leverage yourself. Pay off big debts. Pay off a chunk of mortgage, put a deposit down on a new property, start buying things upfront instead of getting credit reducing your monthly income.
Over the years of having my CIC I totally changed the way I spend money. I stopped using credit cards. If I wanted something I’d instead think of a project and get it funded, so I earned extra to buy what I wanted.
Sadly, a lot of people won’t be able to afford their rent or mortgage soon. The price increase is hard hitting. So imagine if they could get a lump sum of money to get them though this next couple years. It could save a person from losing their home.
Looking ahead in this fast changing world there are other problems on the horizon. Talk of power cuts due to cyber attacks or climate change. Food shortages like we have already seen due to issues with supply. Or just price rises making more of the essentials less affordable. There is a real need to become more self-sufficient. Using your CIC grant lump sum wisely and it can help in many ways.
For example, me and my partner are about to buy our new house. Which wouldn’t have been possible without both our CIC’s giving us income to pay off debts and increase our deposit. With a new house and a big garden I can start growing food. I am pricing up solar energy and wind turbines which I plan to run off the grid. This will help us become more independent.
Independent living is key. That is why a lot of us choose self employment, as it gives us the opportunity to design our own life for ourselves and our families. A CIC goes step further and helps us to create independence for our community as well.
I love all the CIC's I mentor going back to basics with community gardens and sustainable living.
To be extra sustainable financially add more income streams into your CIC and become recession proof. Aside from grant income a CIC can also give you other options. Some of which can be automated so you earn without working extra. I have found my online course and membership is the best for this. If you are providing a solution to people’s problems they will pay you for it even in an economic downturn.
What could you do in your CIC that could give you extra automated income? Selling something online or affiliate marketing?
I am determined to help as many people as I can in my membership get through this economic crisis and thrive.
I am active in this aim with my content offering tips. But I am going to step this up in the coming months as I can see a real need for people to act now before things get harder.
CIC’s take time to build so there is urgency. This summer is a great time to get applications in. All the grant funders receive less applications in the summer so you will have a bit less competition. Take advantage of that.
If you want to recession proof yourself then put the work in now to get your CIC funded and get a plan on how you could spend your income from working on the projects to make you recession proof. Who knows what the next crisis will be after the COVID crisis and now the cost of living crisis and climate crisis. It looks like the new normal is a perpetual state of crisis. So time to go back to basics. The new survival plan is independent living.