We are living in a digital age where more and more things are becoming automated. Some of us who operate mainly online can attest to this growing trend. The trend is growing so fast and rapidly that even businesses and startups are not spared. Their future is now significantly premised on digital tools and processes. This trend also opens a whole universe of possibilities business-wise. You can now start businesses that are automated or passive. By that, I am referring to businesses that bring in money even in your sleep. In this article, I share with you some of those business ideas.

Software As A Service Products Or Services

Software as a service (SaaS) is a software product or service run on a subscription model. Users or clients have to pay for the service of using the software product or service. Most of such products or services use a freemium business model. This means the most basic features are accessible for free. Then when a user wants to access more advanced features they have to pay something – usually a subscription. I once spoke of the Business Management app by a Zimbabwean startup called Emarss Technologies. That is an example of software as a service because for starters it is you have a free trial period. Then afterwards you will have to choose between subscribing monthly or every 3 months. This essentially means in due course they will start realizing passive income.

Blogging, Vlogging And Podcasting

Content creation is a buzz phrase nowadays because literally, everything is revolving around it. The 3 major forms of content creation are blogging, vlogging, and podcasting. In Zimbabwe podcasting is still in its infancy but I am confident it will pick up momentum eventually. Blogging is now widely appreciated though of course, it is still building up momentum. Vlogging is now considerably popular especially through YouTube videos and generally videos posted on social media platforms. All these platforms have monetization features, especially for video content. This means video views are revenue which is why there is increasing interest in making YouTube videos. Not forgetting also things like Google AdSense which is a monetization approach on websites e.g. blogs. All these options enable you to realize money just as long as people are interacting with your content.

Online Or Ecommerce Stores

Opening an online or eCommerce store is another great to realize passive income. To make it automatic it would be best to set up an automatic payment regime. It depends on the type of business you would be running but for some, it can be wholly automated. Consider for instance someone who sells digital products such as airtime, ZESA tokens and the like. Some integrations can be done that can see people visiting the online store, making purchases, and all without any human intervention. All the same, virtually any online or eCommerce store that is well constituted can ensure automatic or passive income.

E-books

I have encouraged people before to seriously consider this, I still do. Already people are spending lots of time online more than ever before. Already people are ever looking for engaging and relevant content. People are looking to learn lots of skills and to acquire lots of knowledge on numerous subjects or topics. You can serve that huge market by writing and selling e-books. E-books are now a popular thing given how people spend lots of time on their mobile devices. The possible topics to write on are infinite. The trick about e-books is to price them low and push volumes. You can take advantage of online platforms such as Amazon Kindle where you can upload e-books for sale. You can also explore other methods where payment options such as EcoCash, ZIPIT, and the like can be integrated on an online platform.

Music Production

This is yet another rich avenue if you play your cards right. It is not that difficult to get songs produced; there are several recording studios nationwide. Then you will have to upload your songs on as many online platforms as possible. Online streaming of music is big money and I do not know why even most Zimbabwean musicians do not leverage that. Then there is of course YouTube where you can upload audio versions (e.g. lyric videos) or actual videos. Then there are also possibilities of getting royalties and the like which are all passive income strategies.

NFTs

This is relatively new territory, especially for Zimbabweans. Many people are still to even understand what NFTs are all about. I am not going to detail what NFTs are you can read the full article on that. In short, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique digital assets or representations of real-life assets. For example, let us suppose someone makes a piece of art. It means that piece of art can of course be reproduced or duplicated but there will always be the original.

So when someone mints an NFT i.e. places that original piece of art on a blockchain it becomes unchangeable and tamper-proof. Once that is done it can now be sold and traded – usually people get to bid for it. So once someone buys it they can then relist for sale again, usually at a higher price. Typically the originator of the NFT will be entitled to royalties as per a smart contract they agree on before the initial purchase agreement. Thus the more it is traded or resold on the blockchain the originator will always get something.

A 19-year old digital artist Nyasha ‘Huliodraws’ Warambwa has been making waves on the global NFTs scene. Recently he did an art piece on Drake which he later on sold as an NFT for around US$8000. The buyer then relisted it on a secondary market for over US$1 million. This means if it is sold he will be entitled to some significant royalties. NFTs can be applied to any industry and this is only just the beginning. Check out OpenSea to get a feel of the NFTs people are selling.

So these are automated or passive income business ideas you can explore. The initial stages can be demanding of course as you will be putting together a timeless product or service. Once it is completed and ready for roll out you can then effortlessly enjoy the returns. The overall idea is that you must use a multichannel approach to maximize income generation. Then you must guard against bootlegging or piracy. You must take advantage of any available automation tools to make revenue inflows easier. This is the time and operating environment to start taking these business ideas seriously.