One of my favorite sessions in my workshops is helping entrepreneurs and business owners identify revenue streams, online and off. There’s a lot of work that goes into this before you can actually execute, there are some things you should think about before nailing down your top three profit center’s. This is a very high level approach, but you’ll get the idea.
– Pick the highest margin, low-investment streams (low hanging fruit)
This one speaks for itself, you should almost always spend your time here, your highest margin product’s and services, you’ll be happy because the cash-flow will be there.
– Advertise your chosen stream to your captive audience.
Knowing where your customers are, which social network do they most frequent, and why do they use that chosen social network more than others.
– Collect money, deliver goods, and keep customers happy.
Taken right off this blog tag line, Create. Differentiate. Deliver. Get paid for what you’ve made or done, make sure you deliver on time or earlier, and do everything you can to look after those who buy from you. And if they’re true fans, do something extra special.
Some ideas on revenue streams:
1.) Donation Drives
2.) Advertising products & services for other people
3.) Selling products & services based on your unique content.
4.) Selling products & services almost completely unrelated to your unique content.
Write down your ideas under each heading, pick your top three ideas and flush them out further.
It’s also important to know your break even point on each product & service you decide to sell.
Isn’t it interesting how much we hear marketing and advertising have changed, yet businesses continue to use old traditional methods to market their business. Why? because it still works! Direct Mail, Newspaper, Radio, and Television still get the lions share of marketing budgets around the world, amongst all this so called change.
Business owners do what they believe works, not what you think works. They want proven success stories and tangible results, not theory or the idea of better results, it needs to be hard copy. The problem isn’t that marketing and advertising isn’t changing, the change is really being driven by the consumers themselves. It is changing, the challenge is…consumers still respond to old methods, mostly because they have been conditioned to respond to the industrial age ways.
Until the shift from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age is fully complete, we will have to compete in those two worlds, our messages will have to be in both environments, because they make money. After all, making money is what it’s all about in business right? If money is your motivator, you will practice old methods and new, and you will invest more in the one that brings you the highest yield.
There is a thought process that no one opens direct mail anymore, no one reads newspapers, and no one watches TV ads, and yet, they still rake in huge revenues. In time, probably not in my time, this will become true, and the digital formats will be where the majority of budgets are spent.
If business owners had any foresight, they would be building infrastructure and systems to leverage the digital age, they will be ahead of their time. They will be the early adopter, and they will be prepared to receive the benefits at a time where everyone is trying to innovate and implement. It’s really not about checking off you to do list, it’s changing the way you see and think about business. Only then will your marketing will change.
Until then, The Status Quo Continues, is that you, or are you seeing something different?
- The warning signs of defending the status quo (sethgodin.typepad.com)
- The Future Of Business – We’ve All Got The Industrial Age Disease (owengreaves.com)
In an early post I shared that everyone will be an affiliate of something, but that won’t be enough. The day of a single revenue source are behind us, we will need more than one revenue stream in order to survive in the new business landscape. Just selling real estate won’t be enough, or providing one consulting service, you will need to provide value added services, provide other products that are useful to your clients.
Most entrepreneurs are always looking for that next thing to sell, that next problem to solve, because they know that if they don’t keep solving problems, consumers will use the first person or business they find. The bigger issue would be, how do I stay top of mind, how do I ensure that I am found, and how do I know I’m being heard. You’ve read it here many times, make more than you consume. make more of whatever you are selling or whatever solution you are providing.
Now, it’s not enough to just slap some ads on your site, or sell more stuff than you used to, and call it multiple revenue streams. You need to think long and hard how these value added services or products will be incorporated into your business, into your marketing, and how you will handle orders….there is much to consider. You can’t willy nilly it for the sake of making a buck. Although there will be many who do just that, unfortunately I don’t have the power to make those individuals stop.
There many ways to go about finding multiple revenue streams, some simple, and some, not so simple. I like simple to be honest, here on owengreaves.com you don’t see too much complication here. I promote Headway Themes, why? I think it’s the best, if not the best theme for WordPress. So I can’t recommend the product enough. I even have a page dedicated to it, with a list of over 400 sites using the theme, I list them so you can see what others are doing with it.
What you may not know about owengreaves.com is, I also have my own webhosting company, I use it for clients and friends mostly, why? That’s another blog post, but, there are another 3 Billion people coming, many will need webhosting, I just want to be able to provide that service, and….solve that problem.
I spend the majority of my time studying trends, tons of data, and look for interesting things in human behaviour, why? So I can share with you my findings on the future of business, much is changing and most people in this space aren’t really paying attention to it. You would think, if that’s true, why do I spend so much time there? Simple, most aren’t, and I can help business owners and entrepreneurs create new ideas to adopt that future I’m talking about.
I do consulting work in many areas of my studies, think-tanks sessions, workshops, and I do alot of public speaking to ensure my message is heard. All are different kinds of revenue streams, all have a slightly different way of generating income. One or two will be your primary money shakers but, you will need a handful of ways to fill the bucket with coin.
If you haven’t given this much thought, if you haven’t sat down and looked at your business from this perspective, if you haven’t considered different products and services around your single revenue stream, you will have a difficult time surviving in coming years. The next 3 -5 years, not 10 or 20, the business landscape is changing faster than you think, and people aren’t going to tolerate you dictating, they won’t come to you, you will have to go to them. How, through a mobile device’s and virtual reality.
What ideas do you have to enhance your one revenue stream, have you considered having multiple revenue streams, 5 or 10 different revenue streams. And will these products and services be yours, most likely not, you will be an affiliate of most of them, but you will have your own. That’s where the profit margins will be greater, in your own products and services.
How do you see the landscape of business in the next 3 – 5 years from this perspective? Thoughts?
Like a Business Plan or an I.T. Strategic Plan you should know why you are using Social Media Networks. Most businesses are oblivious to this marketing phenomenon and really don’t understand it’s value. The challenge is that when someone asks what it is, they talk like it’s a bunch of friends getting together for coffee and chatting it up. It’s more than a water cooler. In my opinion, FaceBook has cornered the market on catching up with old school buddies but it really hasn’t figured out how to be more than a playground for old friends on recess. Just my point of view, you may feel different about it.
If you think you have to have a large business to enter into the Social Media arena, your dead wrong, all you need to do is build a plan, then you will experience it’s true value. Despite what you may think, it’s not about advertising, positioning and jockeying for the #1 spot on Twitter Grader, that isn’t the goal. Google does this already but doesn’t tell you their secrets on how they control who gets ranked the highest. If you don’t plan the use of this new marketing environment you will waste time and wonder what happened, you’ll wonder if it wasn’t a distraction from you current goals and objectives. You will eventually use those tools as one way to measure your standing but you will be planting a banyan tree so don’t expect an immediate return on your investment.
So what’s am I talking about?
Let’s assume you have a business plan and you actually sat down and built an I.T. Strategic Plan, which one does the Social Media Strategy fit into? Truthfully? It doesn’t fit into either, it should be in your Marketing Strategy, unless you’ve decided to build your own Social Network, build a team to run it and build the infrastructure to support it, only then should it go into your business plan as a way to promote and develop brand. I’ll also assume you have a good understanding of the fore mentioned plans, if not, go study them before you start down this trail.
Building a large following is not as hard as it may seem, it does requires time & effort, it also requires a carefully crafted message to ensure you obtain reach that will generate activity and eventually revenue. So, your vision should be more about how you will use it rather than making it an entity all it’s own, where will it fit in the marketing strategy and what resources will it require, how big will it be and who on your team knows anything about it? Do you need to hire a consultant to help you incorporate Social Media into your marketing efforts? The questions are many and there many of us that can guide you to a sound plan in using the likes of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the great many others.
1.) Review your Business Plan
2.) Review your I.T. Plan if you have one
3.) Build a team to work with a consultant
4.) Hire an outside consultant to walk you through the need for Social Media Marketing
Wading into the Social Media Environment doesn’t have to be difficult, get help and build your plan. Until next time, be good, if you can’t be good, be yourself 🙂