While not always taken seriously, small businesses are a robust and influential component of the global economy. For context, 99.9% of all organizations in the United States qualify as small businesses. This statistic reveals that collectively, small businesses employ almost half (47.3%) of the nation’s private workforce.
As influential as they may be, small businesses and solopreneur-run organizations took the most significant hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, 34% of small businesses are still closed due to COVID-19.
In unprecedented times like these, it is essential to find and generate new streams of revenue. Doing so can allow organizations to make up for the lost income and keep their doors open.
Here are five tips for small businesses to generate new streams of revenue:
- Develop New Products And Services
- Focus On Content Development
- Sublet Your Office Space
- Establish Strategic Partnership
- Consider Accounts Receivables Financing
Develop New Products And Services
Small business owners or solopreneurs should take inventory of their existing product and service lines. Is there any opportunity to diversify or extend these offerings to increase income?
Let’s take gyms and fitness centers, for example. Here are a few out-of-the-box ways they can extend their services beyond membership fees.
- Sell healthy food and beverage options. Think protein drinks, meal replacement bars, plastic water bottles, energy smoothies, and more.
- Sell supplements. Oftentimes gym-goers take pre or post-workout supplements to maximize their efforts. Your gym can become a one-stop-shop for members.
- Sell discounted workout packages. Offering discounted membership packages for groups such as seniors, teachers, or veterans can help encourage new membership sign-ups.
For more customized recommendations, consider surveying your customers. This audience can offer great ideas about what types of products or services they’d most be interested in from your business.
Focus On Content Development
The importance of content creation continues to grow with each passing year. However, most businesses fail to utilize blog posts, videos, and eBooks as a form of lead generation. Instead, many choose to focus on cold calls or grassroots LinkedIn direct messages to promote their products and services.
The issue with this approach? Outbound lead generation is quickly dying. Only 18% of marketers still believe that outbound practices provide the highest-quality sales leads.
What is a better alternative? Inbound marketing. Content marketing generates 3x as many leads as outbound marketing at less than half the cost.
Not only can placing a focus on content development amplify the number of quality prospects, but it can also serve as a new revenue stream with affiliate marketing.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the process of hyperlinking other brands’ products or services within your own content deliverables in return for a small commission for each sale. If and when website users buy the product, the seller and the affiliate share the profits.
To generate money from your website, I recommend first finding an affiliate program or network of most interest to you. For instance, different programs offer various verticals, payment methods, commission structures, and more.
Once approved, you’ll have a network of different products or services available to hyperlink on your website, email campaigns, and social media platforms. Once you’ve reached the minimum payment level, the affiliate program sends you a payment.
Sublet Your Office Space
The transition to virtual workplaces is one of the major impacts of COVID-19. Studies have shown more than 4.7 million people work remotely at least half the time in the U.S. alone.
If your small business is offering flexible work environments, it is an excellent opportunity to sublet your office space. Doing so is a creative way to repurpose your resources to generate more income.
Aside from office spaces, businesses with conference rooms can also benefit from subletting. Here are a few scenarios where people would be interested in renting a conference room:
- Focus groups or research interviews
- Corporate/leadership meetings
- Thought leadership presentations
In short, if you have any form of available workspace that you are not currently using, subletting could be worth considering.
Establish a Strategic Partnership
Perhaps you are not interested in developing new product or service offerings to generate new revenue streams.
In this scenario, I’d recommend finding a new approach to connecting your business to customers. A great technique to accomplishing this goal is establishing a partnership with like-minded brands and complementary service providers to increase referrals.
For example, say you are a start-up marketing agency specializing in search engine optimization (SEO). Partnering with brands such as MailChimp and GoDaddy can help connect you with small business owners who lack a marketing team.
As long as you can create a mutual delivery of value for the partner, it will be a win-win scenario.
Consider Accounts Receivables Financing
Many pain points for small businesses center around cash flow. That’s because implications of decreased cash flow can halt many components of a start-up organization. A lack of funding slows down marketing, sales, hiring, business development — the list goes on and on.
If you have found yourself in this scenario, consider invoice auctioning. Account receivables financing platforms like Crowdz help speed up cash flow with automated tools that quickly puts your hard-earned money back in your pocket. It gives small business owners the opportunity to sell or auction their unpaid receivables to a third party for a cash advance on the invoice amount.
Invoice financing eliminates the need to wait 30, 60, or even 90 days before customers finally pay you. Instead, entrepreneurs are given a more flexible budget to efficiently reinvest their earnings as a new stream of revenue.
Are you interested in learning more? Read our blog post, 7 Ways Account Receivables Financing Is The Ultimate SMB Problem Solver.
How Crowdz Can Help
While we are starting to see waves of recovery, the realities of trying to stay afloat as a small business are still apparent. At Crowdz, we understand the need for organizations, big or small, to have access to alternative financing during difficult times. That’s why we’ve created an online platform where businesses can turn invoicing into a marketplace commodity. Learn more about the Crowdz marketplace — an invoice auction that means business.