When I first launched my company, I landed an interview with a journalist and she asked me a loaded question, “Was I planning to do corporate gifts and wholesale, as well?” “Hmmm,” I contemplated briefly. “I hadn’t thought of that.”
Back when I first started my business, PigoftheMonth, I was fresh out of college. I didn’t realize that there were more ways to monetize your business than just selling to consumers. I researched it a little bit and realized there are a lot of possibilities to explore that will open up your business to multiple revenue streams.
Here are just a few of the revenue streams I have found most relevant and continually successful.
1. Wholesale your product
If you’ve only been selling your product to retail customers, it’s worth a look into wholesaling as well. Wholesaling is selling your product at larger quantities and a lower price to retailers and distributors for resale in other stores. Your industry and its competitiveness will dictate how hard it is to break into this market. To get started develop sell sheets, wholesale pricing, and vendor agreements before you approach buyers. I took the Wholesale Action Course as a quick study program before starting out.
2. Design an affiliate program for your company
I like to think of an affiliate program as a built in sales force without the hefty pay grades and motivation issues. All you need to do is sign up using a site like e-Junkie, Clickbank or Share-A-Sale, register your product and dictate your terms. People will sign up to sell your product and for every referral or for every product bought you agree to pay them a fee.
3. Share your knowledge through consulting
Chances are if you’ve started a business in something and are even moderately successful, then you’ve learned quite a bit. Offer to share this knowledge and experience with other businesses that are in need – for a price. For example, if you have a catering business you can offer to teach people how to plan menus, purchase goods, create catering plans, etc.
4. Offer e-courses and information materials
Take a deeper dive in the consulting arena and use the information you’ve learned to create info products that will create passive income on your site. For example, if you are a graphic designer you could offer a bundle of your favorite fonts for download, templates of client pitches, or whatever else someone in your would find helpful. Still unsure, of what types of products to market? I like to think back to what I wish I could have just downloaded when I first started.
5. Teach a class
Yet another way to profit off of your learning curve and experience, teaching a class or teleseminar can be a great way to build a following and create new revenue. Teaching them online through someone like GoToMeeting is the easiest, but also think about places like community colleges and local learning annexes.
6. Speak up
I’ve done this a few dozen times now, so I know that if someone as shy as I am can do it (and do it well) then anyone can. Conferences, trade shows, companies, and events are always in need of speakers to entertain their audiences and if you know what you’re talking about they’re also willing to pay. I always think it’s better to give great information and actionable items than it is to just be a motivational speaker.
Lea Richards is the founder and owner of Pig of the Month BBQ, a nationwide mail order barbecue company. Founded in 2010 as a bootstrapped venture, she quickly learned how to leverage her marketing and PR savvy to grow her business on the cheap. She now shares this knowledge with other entrepreneurs around the country. She has been mentioned in the New York Times, Food & Wine Magazine, Food Network Magazine, Thrillist, and Good Morning America among others.
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