When it comes to building a profitable business, creating multiple streams of income is key.
With the popularity of products and services often fluctuating throughout the year, it is in your best interest to diversify your income in order to maintain consistent cashflow in your business.
So how do you go about creating multiple streams of income from the one business? Here are 10 ideas to get you started for next year’s business planning.
1. Write an eBook
Do you have experience or expertise in an area that would be valuable to others? Any handy hints or tips, shortcuts or formulas, or a story or experience that will help make someone else’s life easier, be of interest or help them reach their goals faster? Then write an eBook about it and sell it.
2. Develop an eCourse
An eCourse gives you the chance to share your experience and expertise on a larger scale by creating an online course about your chosen topic. You can use password protected videos and workbooks and make them available for download after participants have paid.
The greatest benefit of doing an eCourse or eBook is the potential for it to be a passive income source. Bar some brief updates (if necessary), once they are done they are done, and you continue to make profit on it – without any extra effort.
3. Offer a membership
Could you provide a subscription to a bank of online resources? Produce a valuable information packed eZine? Or host an online directory or forum that people would want to pay a monthly or yearly subscription to? An online membership gives you great leverage and it has the potential to provide passive income with the right business model.
4. Create an affiliate program
By creating an affiliate program you can reach more customers and add an additional income stream by getting others (affiliates) to sell your product or service for you, with them receiving a percentage of all sales made.
An affiliate program can work whether you have a physical or digital product or service (provided the sale can be made online) and it can be easy to set up with the help of websites like e-Junkie and ClickBank.
5. Become an affiliate
Also consider joining other affiliate programs that offer products or services complementary to your own. All you need to do is display the affiliate banner (which is linked to your specific affiliate code) on your website or blog and you receive the agreed percentage of each sale that comes through from your link – a completely passive income source.
They key to making money from affiliate programs is to make sure the products or services will be of interest to your target audience. If they aren’t relevant, your visitors won’t click through and you won’t make any money.
6. Sell advertising or sponsorships
Do you get a lot of traffic to your website or blog? Do you have a large database that you send your newsletter out to? Do you put on events that attract a good-sized audience? If the answer is yes to any of these then selling advertising or sponsorships could be a good additional income source for you.
For your website and newsletter you could have banner ads or offer sponsored articles and posts to give a company more detailed promotion. As for events, sponsors could have their name and a link on the event invitations, display a banner on stage or at the registration table, put promotional material on each table and even be given a small speaking spot (three to five minutes) to give a brief overview of their business. These opportunities can be quite lucrative if you have a good quality readership or audience.
7. Offer additional product or service support and tutoring
If your product is more complicated to use or understand, could you offer additional training or support? For example, a web designer or software developer could offer their customers additional training classes in how to use their new website or software package.
If you offer a set amount of support for your products or services, consider having additional or ongoing phone and email support packages that customers can purchase if they need it.
8. Offer ongoing consulting
If you don’t already (and if it’s applicable to your business) you may want to consider consulting with people one-on-one. This is a good idea if you find you do a lot of once-off projects but still have a lot of knowledge to offer your customers.
For example, in my own copywriting and public relations business I can write a once-off media release or brochure for a client, or provide marketing and public relations consulting and management for clients who want ongoing help or to outsource this completely. Doing this opens up another area of income and one that is far more regular.
9. Put on events
Could you put on a workshop or seminar on a particular topic? Maybe a networking event or trade show for your clients and business associates? Or even a webinar?
Events can be a great source of income provided the topic, timing and type of event is suitable to your key audience. You may even like to do joint events with other businesses to leverage each other’s databases, share expenses and create more leads.
Are you a good and engaging speaker? Do you have valuable information to share that could educate, inspire and entertain?
Paid speaking engagements for conferences, seminars, trade shows and meetings can be a great source of additional income (in fact, if you are a really good speaker it can be very lucrative) and a great lead generator for your core business.
Keep in mind that you may need to start off speaking for free to build a name for yourself. If this is the case, remember to get testimonials from every event organiser, as this will help build your credibility and lead to bigger and better speaking opportunities.
How do you create different income streams in your business? Are there any ideas you are going to try in the new year?