More often than not, a new small business will be dependent upon one or two key clients. While this is generally the way businesses develop, and as such grow, it puts an organization in a risky and uncertain position. It is crucial that you search for new revenue streams as an entrepreneur, otherwise you could find your small venture disappears quicker than you ever anticipated.
As a small business owner, you must set aside time every week to look for new business opportunities. More business means more revenue, thus more security in the long-run.
In this detailed guide, we’ll be looking at a number of ways you can generate additional revenue for your organization.
Work on increasing your customer base
There is one thing that you need to survive – customers. Whether you’re a B2B or consumer trader, without further trade you’re not going to grow. Now, if you’re in the bitter-sweet position of running out of customers in your network, you need to extend your customer base. The best solution to this is by landing new customers, instead of being content with those you already have, because they could then introduce you to others – those you might’ve not had access to before.
This is done by pushing more money into your marketing efforts – this way you can reach a wider range of potential customers for your products, thus generating more revenue.
Generate additional revenue from ad space or affiliate marketing
If you’re in the position to spend money and diversify into affiliate marketing or ad-space sales, then it can be a lucrative business. This can be done in many ways. Firstly, if your business already has a website with a steady level of traffic, you could attempt to sell ad-space. This needs to be unobtrusive and related to something you sell, but not a directly competing product – i.e. you specialize in selling bicycle helmets, so you sell ad-space to a bicycle insurance broker.
In regards to affiliate marketing, you could use your existing company blog to drive traffic to websites that offer affiliate programs. You could create product reviews or guides and direct customers to buy – from here, if they land on your partner’s site and purchase goods, you’ll get a cut of the revenue. Again, don’t drive traffic to competitors, as you want to retain the sale of your own products.
Another example could be to set-up a tech review site. Bring in a couple of expert tech writers, build up an authoritative voice and user-base and introduce affiliate links; banner advertising can also be used as an additional revenue source.
Offer training courses to external parties
Say your business is a specialist in its field with over a decade of experience in the industry. You’ve been through radical changes, growing from a small team to say, an organization of fifty. You now offer a number of key competencies to the market – essentially one of the best in your field. There are many people out there – from freelancers, contractors and even business execs – who would love to have a firmer understanding of how to navigate the market you dominate. Then why not offer training courses?
Running training sessions can be a cost-effective way of generating further revenue. Say you currently employ one of the leading SEO experts. They’ve already trained a number of your in-house staff, so you know they have the capability to teach. Why not offer the opportunity for them to teach external candidates as well? This could result in a pay-rise for your employee – thus keeping them happy – and a revenue boost to your business.
Of course, managing training courses will also require additional resource. Booking, timetabling, bringing in candidates. You can either do this yourself or take advantage of one of the many enrollment management consultants, who would take care of the whole process. However you decide to go about it, the potential revenue to be generated from training sessions is huge.
If you’re already not – start selling online
If your small business hasn’t hit the world stage yet – then what are you waiting for? The main benefit of the internet has to be the ability to connect with people – or customers – around the world. If you’re concerned that your business might not perform internationally, or even around your own country, just look at your local success. You’ve developed a product or service that people obviously want – so who’s to say it won’t succeed further afield?
Selling nationally, that is, extending your services from your local area to other regions, will always generate you more revenue. The same goes for selling internationally. If you can squeeze into a market in a completely different continent then you’ve got solid potential for growth. This doesn’t mean setting up an office in Malta for example – it just means that you need a ‘.com’ website with a solid e-commerce platform. If you’re using a ‘.co.uk’ domain, then we sincerely recommend you change it up – unless your niche is local produce, or you only intend to sell in the UK.
Run customer surveys and find out what they want
The customer is always right. It’s one of the most popular phrases in the business handbook. If they want something – they’ll generally find it.
That’s why your customers are the largest resource of information you’ll ever find. By running a quick survey you could work out what it is they exactly want. Use this to compare any findings to your current product lines. If you find they’re desperate to get their hands on one product that you don’t sell, or they’d like to customize an existing line? Then offer it.
Not only does asking your customers for feedback help increase sales – and as such revenue – but it also maintains a sense of community that is so important for small businesses nowadays. It shows that your organization cares about the service or products that it sells – and if you can nail that down, you’ll see an influx of new customers, current customers remaining and a huge increase in revenue.