Young Upstarts

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How Multiple Streams of Revenue Can Protect Your Business

For a business to survive, it needs to be profitable. It needs to maintain a positive cash flow, taking in revenue in excess of expenses, and reliably enough that it can continue to sustain your business model. So what happens if your main revenue stream begins to dry up, or if your expenses begin to grow more than you can handle? In many cases, by the time you realize this is happening, it’s already too late.

Instead, it’s better to act proactively. It’s on you to protect your business with fundamental changes that improve its resistance to cash flow problems—and strengthen its chances for long-term growth. One of the best steps you can take is establishing multiple streams of revenue.

The Benefits of Multiple Revenue Streams.

Multiple streams of revenue allow your business to generate income from a variety of different sources. Ultimately, there are three powerful benefits to enjoy from this:

 Higher volume.

Assuming your previous income streams remain consistent, each new revenue stream you add to your portfolio is going to increase your total revenue volume. Even if your new streams are smaller by comparison, the accumulative effect can eventually leave you with much more money—and therefore more financial flexibility.

New niche exposure.

Working with a new stream of revenue typically means exposing yourself to one or more new niches. In the course of this, you might find new, even better opportunities, or you might learn insights that can help you develop and protect the core business.

Redundancy.

The most common investment advice in the world is to diversify your portfolio. Why? Because it establishes backups and protects you against losses. If one stream of revenue begins to wane, or disappears entirely, you’ll have other income streams to keep the business going long enough to restore or improve it.

Ideas for Multiple Revenue Streams.

What exactly qualifies as a secondary stream of revenue? How can you create one? These are just some commonly explored ideas for generating additional income in a business:

Leasing/subletting.

If your business owns property, you can lease it to individuals or businesses to generate a stream of rental income. If your business is currently leasing a property, you may be able to sublet it to another business, offsetting the cost of rent.

Merchandise.

If your business is popular, you may be able to sell merchandise of your brand—resulting in some advertising benefits in the process. For example, if you run a popular restaurant, you can sell T-shirts, mugs, and other items with your logo on it, representing a secondary income stream that complements your food- and beverage-driven income.

Premium service packages.

You may also be able to offer additional services, or premium-tier service packages. For example, if you run an automatic car wash, you may offer an interior cleaning service as an optional extra package for your incoming customers.

Premium content.

If you have a strong onsite content marketing strategy, you can consider offering “premium” content for a small fee. For example, you might write a full eBook and sell it for a few dollars per digital copy, or you might offer a separate content feed as a subscription for a few dollars per month.

Online courses.

If you’re an expert in your field, you could spend time developing a full online course series; once finished, it can generate income for your business passively as new people sign up to receive the materials.  

Consulting/coaching.

This option requires more ongoing time commitments than some of the passive income entries on this list, but it’s worth considering. Provide consulting or coaching services to your interested customers at an hourly or monthly rate.

Affiliate marketing.

A powerful onsite blog is the perfect conduit for an affiliate marketing plan; the idea is to include links to relevant product pages, and earn income for every purchase your link eventually generates. It’s easy to get started, and once established, could generate passive income for you indefinitely.

Advertising.

In a more straightforward route, you could host ads on your blog, or allow sponsored posts. Just be aware that doing this may turn some portions of your audience away—especially if you’ve historically been ad-free.

 Speaking events.

As an expert and authority in your field, you can charge to speak at public events. It will take some time to make your personal brand known, but once it is, you can find opportunities almost anywhere.

There are no hard limits to what you can establish as an income stream for your business, and remember, you can also set up multiple income streams for yourself, in your personal life. Work on incorporating these income streams as you have time and energy to do so, and keep improving your approach in all areas.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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