When I interviewed my colleague and friend, Tisha Morris, earlier this year, her big piece of advice for small business owners was to create multiple streams of income within your business (i.e. don’t put all your eggs in one basket). This was something I was not doing with my business at the time, but it’s something that you should definitely be considering (if not already implementing) in your small business. And—let me tell you—the sooner, the better.
Tisha is a Feng Shui consultant and has quite a few other holistic skills and titles as well—yoga instructor, life coaching, energy healing, etc—but when she was referring to “multiple streams of income”, she didn’t actually mean getting some of her income from yoga, some from Feng Shui, and so forth. She explained that she’s set up her business so that when the coaching/consulting part of it wanes during the year (because it’s normal to have ups and downs with one-on-one clients), then she had income coming from both virtual products AND physical products that she’s created over the years.
Specifically, these are the streams of income that Tisha set up in her Feng Shui business:
- One-on-one Feng Shui consulting
- An online 28-day Feng Shui course
- A 3-day Feng Shui live training course for certifying other consultants (which she’ll probably turn into an online course soon)
- Two books – Feng Shui Your Life & Mind Body Home
- A physical product—Smudge Spray
- Feng Shui Bagua Map App for Smartphones
At first glance, that might seem like a lot of work, but it’s all just content. She’s effectively taken all the content that she has created and repurposed it into various products and courses to create multiple streams of revenue for her business. Not only that, but now she’s able to provide more value to her audience just by offering her services and content in a variety of different formats.
When you set up multiple income streams in your own business then (1) you no longer have to rely on just one aspect of your business to pull in all the revenue you need, and (2) you can mix passive and active income streams so that you’re not working dollars-for-hours all the time. Also, as you’ve probably noticed with your clients/customers/audience—some of them like to read a physical book, others like to take a course online, and there are always those who want to interact with you directly. When you can reach all of these people by creating various services and products, your audience and your business has the potential to start growing like a dang weed.
Today, when any part of Tisha’s business wanes, she’s set it up so that her bottom line is not greatly affected. And we all can definitely learn from her example.
So how can you get started creating multiple streams of income for your business? Well, the first thing you want to do is brainstorm how you can repurpose the content you’ve already created. Consider how your audience or potential customers would like to receive information from you. Does your target audience spend a lot of their time online? If so, they’d probably love an online course. Is your audience older or more old-fashioned? Well, then they’d probably prefer a physical book or product. Is your audience younger and more computer savvy? If so, they might prefer a Smartphone app. Or, like Tisha, you might want to try all of the above.
Don’t know what your audience or potential customers are looking for? Well, don’t be afraid to ask them directly. Try creating a survey and sending it out to past customers/clients or potential ones to get instant feedback. It’s always much better to give your customers what they want instead of what you think they want (that gets tricky sometimes, but there can be a big distinction).
Once you get a feel for how your audience wants to absorb information from you, you can start to repurpose your already existing content into a new format. For instance, if you have been writing a blog, you might choose to repurpose the content from your blog into a book or an ebook. Or if you’ve already written a book, you might want to take that content and use it to create an online training course. If you don’t have any content, well, it’s time to start creating some.
Here’s a list of 10 ways that you can expand your business and repurpose your existing content to create multiple streams of income…
1. Write an ebook
Ebooks are an easy and inexpensive way to create and sell your content (and to be seen as an expert in your field). You can sell your ebook on your website, on affiliate websites, post on ClickBank or turn it into a Kindle Book to sell on Amazon. People like ebooks because they can access information instantly and don’t have to make a huge financial commitment, so they can easily “test the waters” with you before fully diving in.
2. Publish a book
The truth is that authors appear to be experts in the public’s eye. If you write a physical book, not only will you create another stream of revenue into your business, but you’ll also be viewed as an expert, which will open a lot of other doors (speaking engagements, workshops, etc). Publishing a book will expand your business on so many levels in addition to just income from selling the physical product, so consider this if you go this route.
3. Create a physical product
You always hear that pills, potions and lotions are the products that sell the best because they constantly need to be replenished. If one of these relates to your business, go for it. If not, consider other physical products that you could create and sell. Look at what other entrepreneurs in a similar business are selling to get ideas.
4. Design an online video or audio course
The world has moved online and it’s a good idea for you to be offering valuable content to people who like to learn in a virtual format. Selling a prerecorded audio or video course or workshop is an easy way for you to create another stream of income into your business just by repurposing the great content that you already have. Just like an ebook, once you get the product created, there is no additional overhead and you can sell and unlimited amount.
5. Create an interview series
Some people might say telesummits are a thing of the past because they’ve been overdone, but I’ve seen experts who are still using them as an additional revenue stream. An example is Cindy Kubica and her Energized Living Today series or PJ Van Hulle and her List-a-Palooza Challege. An interview series is a great way to build your mailing list and create a one-of-a-kind virtual product to sell to your audience for years to come.
6. Teach a class or workshop
Real-life, in-person connections are never going to go out of style. People like to learn from you in person and teaching a paid class or workshop (or series) will allow you to connect with these people. Also, you can record your workshop (with audio or video) and sell it online—creating 2 streams of income for the time it takes to do one.
7. Set up a live training course
I’m considering a “training course” to be different than a “workshop” for this example, because in a training course, you can train other people to do what you do. For Tisha, she teaches classes to individuals who want to Feng Shui their own homes, but she teaches a live training course to people who want to become Certified Feng Shui consultants. Consider training other people to do what you do as another stream of income into your business.
8. Design a Smartphone app
There was definitely an app crazy when apps first started being developed and now it’s died off a little. But there’s still room for a good Smartphone app if you have an idea for one that will add value to your audience. Typically, you can’t charge a lot for an app, but if you can sell a large quantity or sell on a consistent basis, it will add to your business’s bottom line.
9. Monetize your blog/online platform
As a small business owner, you should probably be writing a blog anyway, so it’s only going to help you to monetize your online platform to have more money coming in by doing the same amount of work.
10. Become an affiliate
You don’t always have to create your own products to have multiple streams of revenue coming into your business—you can become an affiliate for someone else’s services or products. This is a great way to test your audience and find out what they like before you put the time and effort into creating something from scratch. Check out Clickbank or Commission Junction for virtual products, brands and services that you could align with. Also, try Googling a product/company you’re interested in with the word “affiliate” in the search box (e.g. “Vitamix affiliate”).
If there are any other ways you recommend to create multiple streams of income into your business, let me know!