If your business isn't bringing in the revenue you'd like and you've tried different discounts and purchase options, it may be time to consider what the business world is now referring to as a “side hustle.” For purposes of this article, we're not going to cover starting a new business but rather creating a side hustle or an alternative revenue stream for your existing business. Here's how you can do that.
7 Ideas for a Successful Side Hustle
1. Add Goods to Services or Services to Goods
What do you sell? Do you sell goods or services? If you sell goods consider a service you might add. On the other hand, if you sell services, figure out if there is a good you can create? Think about Ikea or Amazon. They both sell goods that require assembly and now they also offer an assembly service for which they charge. If you currently sell a service, you can create a book or online product that can help your ideal customer.
2. Make Your Customer’s Life Easier
Is there something you can change in your business that would save your customer time or make it easier to buy from you? For instance, a local liquor store now offers delivery because they saw a need among their customers for an easier way to purchase from them.
3. Build Expertise
If there’s something that you are well-versed in, you may be able to charge for your expertise. There are many ways to do this like charging to speak in front of a group or charging an additional fee for special training. This last revenue stream is one that's common in tech companies. They sell different levels of training packages for their software products.
4. Create a One-Stop
Is there something your customers naturally use with your product or service? Or is there some component in their life that you could work with? For instance, you'll often see food trucks in front of large hardware stores like Home Depot. The reason for this is that people who are working on home projects don't have time to stop for food. However, if it's right there as they walk in the door, they are more likely to purchase.
That doesn't mean as a hardware store owner you need to diversify into food trucks. But you could create a partnership between you and the local food truck operator. You could charge them rent to be parked in front of your space or ask them for a share of the profits they make. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement for you, the food truck operator, and your customers.
5. Monetize Your Blog and Social Media
If you have a strong following on your blog or social media accounts, you may be able to leverage that for additional income. Marketers for companies that are looking to get in front of your customer base may pay you for ads on your site, guest blog posts, or access to your social media following.
In order to be seen as a viable partner for these marketers, you'll need a large following and one that interacts with you on a regular basis. Marketers these days are not just looking for numbers. They also want to see that you can drive action among your followers.
6. Create a Referral Network
Are there businesses that you work with on a regular basis? if so, you may be able to leverage that relationship into a referral network partnership. Some businesses may even be willing to create affiliate agreements with you for referring them business. For example, if you have a content creation business where you charge clients to create video and articles for other websites, you may be able to partner with a website designer or agency that will give you a portion of every design project you refer to them.
This can be an excellent way to increase your revenue and to test out an area you've been considering going into yourself.
7. Test a New Platform or Point of Entry
If you sell goods, there are a lot of options out there for you beyond a brick-and-mortar location or your own website. In addition to these outlets, many businesses are opting to sell on third-party sites such as Etsy, eBay, and Amazon. While these sites do take a portion of your sale as a sort of finder's fee, you have to remember that they have very large audiences and you may be able to get in front of a different demographic on these sites than what you're able to in your store or on your website.
If you are not making the revenue you want to these days, in addition to exploring different markets and introducing a new product, you may be able to boost revenue through a side hustle or additional revenue stream. Most of these can be launched with very little effort but can change the face of your business.
Christina R. Metcalf (formerly Green) is a marketer who enjoys using the power of story and refuses to believe meaningful copy can be written by bots. She helps chamber and small business professionals find the right words when they don’t have the time or interest to do so.