Adding multiple streams of income is a smart move when it comes to seeing growth in your business. It may seem like the latest trend in the biz world, but it’s actually been around for a while – it just looks like different things for different businesses.
Larger corporations may be more familiar with the term ‘residual income.’ And SMBs may be more aware of ‘passive income.’ But essentially, they mean the same thing. They’re all about creating avenues into your business for additional income.
When they’ve been set up correctly and optimised accordingly, your new streams of income should automatically run in the background, freeing up your time to focus on your premium service or offering.
If you find that your income is inconsistent (killer months followed by woeful months) or if your business growth is inconsistent (you lurch from client flood to client famine), then set up one or two streams of income to help you find more balance in your bottom line.
Here are 5 ideas for income streams that, in our experience, work very well for small businesses:
#1: Create Online Courses
Regardless of whether you offer a physical product or service through your business, creating a course around your speciality or expertise is an ideal way to create an additional stream of income.
There is talk that some industries may be experiencing course fatigue. But with more and more of us moving to online ways of working and learning, throwing your course out there can’t do you any harm.
Our best tip for small businesses who haven’t delivered online courses before is to keep your investment as low as you can by using free systems and platforms. In this way, you can test your niche and see if your offering has a place in the market.
Many small business owners create membership sites with online courses or upsell their main offerings through lessons. We’ve supported online coaches and mentors, spirituals and healers, heart-centred businesses, financial professionals, and online marketers to create and launch their successful online courses.
Once you’ve created your online course, don’t forget to write a launch marketing plan and then add it to a new or existing sales funnel. No one is going to be able to find your online course if you don’t market it!
And if you’re feeling stuck when it comes to creating copy for your sales pages, here’s a template bundle to help you convert more.
#2: Consider Becoming an Affiliate Marketer
If you like the sound of boosting your income by up to 30% then affiliate marketing as an income stream may work well for you. It’s essentially a way to earn a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s product.
Setting up as an affiliate is usually simple, but running and maintaining your programs may be time-consuming.
Successful affiliate marketers automate processes to save themselves time and money.
There are two main ways to break into affiliate marketing:
1. Find merchants or businesses to partner with and create your own systems to promote
2. Join already established high commission affiliate programs
Some new start-ups may not have affiliate marketing programs created yet, so you might need to do more work around creating your own website, content, and paid advertising pointing visitors to their products.
The win for you here is that you’ll be creating new content and promoting actively so the return could end up being more favourable. Choose similar products within the same industry to save yourself time.
Alternatively, join already established programs that offer a pyramid style of earning plus all the tools you need to see some income filter through to your bank accounts. These may be more stable if they’re established. And, if you sign up to multiple programs, the work only lies in consistent promotions to your lists (the bigger the email list, the more luck you’ll have here).
The first place to start is to research your niche of choice for platforms, tools, and products that you either use and love! or that are new and emerging into the field. See what’s available and go from there.
#3: Write, Edit, and Self-Publish an eBook
Have dreams of becoming an author but never really gave it serious consideration?
With the emergence of online publishing and selling tools, it is becoming increasingly easy to bypass once expensive editors and publishers and release your own eBook yourself.
It is usually free to self-publish a book through the main players. However, you might find hidden costs in editing and proofreading, designing your front cover, and formatting your book ready for publication.
However, if you’re a savvy person with an eye for detail, there is really no reason you can’t take on these activities yourself.
There are various ways to make money from your eBooks – you can go exclusively with one publisher or spread yourself across multiple platforms. There are pros and cons for each and sometimes it depends on how many eBooks you plan to publish.
Once you have published your eBook, again don’t forget to create a launch program and actively market your eBook. You’re looking for both sales and reviews so that you can rocket your book to the top lists in Amazon. Yes, it is doable to create a bestseller!
A bonus if you do publish an e-Book: it creates lots of social proof around your authority in your niche.
#4: Sell Stock Photos
If you’re a creative or a photographer, there’s a chance you could sell stock photos for an added income stream.
Many pros in the industry admit that it’s not always the easiest avenue to go down. But if you already have the technology, skills, business sense, and time, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try.
Just like every other stream of income we’ve covered so far in this article, you need to research your niche for trends and keywords and know your target market. Once you’re completely focused on what images you’re going to shoot and who you’re going to target, then begin.
Do this by:
- Signing up for stock agencies, think Shutterstock, iStock, or Alamy.
- Creating your own subscriptions and market to your list or via paid ads
The instinct here may be to sign up for stock agencies and let them do all the work. However, there could be more opportunities in creating subscriptions that offer your clients monthly stock images for their social feeds.
This is a growing trend and if you are a creative and have a way with words, there may be an opportunity for you to create packages that cover both.
If you can commit to taking great photos that meet trends and release or upload photos regularly, then there’s no reason why you can’t add stock photos to your list of multiple income streams.
Grow Your Business with Multiple Streams of Income
Every business should have ten avenues for marketing themselves.
These are outward-facing with the focus on bringing new clients into your business to take up your premium offer or product.
Couple this with multiple streams of income that are:
- backed by research
- targeting your audience
- set up for automation
And there’s no reason why you won’t see growth in your business.
With the growing need and trend of moving businesses online and traditional employers sending workers to their home offices, there is more urgency for you to get in now, before markets become saturated or buyers become fatigued.
Unsure of how or where to start? Book in for a free 30-minute discovery call to see how I can help your business optimise and grow online.