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In 10 years of running businesses alongside my wife, we know how appealing it is to increase top-line growth. The question we’ve actively asked is: How do you make more without adding more work, more hours and more effort into what’s already taking your full attention?
Before we jump into how to do this, let’s take a moment to review what business ownership has looked like in the last few years. According to Fundera, small businesses (defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees) account for 99.7% of all business in the US, including 44% of the US economy, totaling $9.4T in economic activity!. Yet, according to the SBA, “about 20% of small businesses fail within the first year, by the end of the 5th year, about 50% no longer exist.” In summary, it is much easier to start a business than to remain in business.
So then, how do we secure our piece of this economic opportunity without burning ourselves out? One phrase: multiple streams of income.
Here are three strategies we’ve developed and relied upon to allow us to create a whopping 13 streams of income:
Identify passive income offers without having to start from scratch
The key to this approach is being able to see opportunity within the gaps of your current service offerings. For example, if you have an entry-level offer and a high-level offer, is there something you can build in between? Perhaps there’s a hybrid option that can be developed to meet the needs of those in between your two offers. Think of this like Goldilocks: Each of the situations is ideal for the people they were intended for, and we’re now trying to figure out which one would meet the needs of Goldilocks herself.
Market your offers without feeling sleazy or sales-y
It takes a ton of time and energy to consistently cold message, call and source sales for a newly developed offer. It is essential to look within your current audience, identify their pain points, develop a solution that directly addresses the pain points and deliver it right back to them. Not only will you have the components to effectively communicate it, but you’ll also have a built-in customer base.
Develop business offerings without committing copious amounts of time
We’re all extremely busy already, so we don’t want to add any more to our plate. The easiest way to identify where you can find opportunities to add revenue to your business is to conduct a brain dump, categorize your responses, compile a SWOT Analysis and create actionable steps in your business. You’ll be shocked at just how much reveals itself when you take inventory of your strengths and weaknesses while bringing focus and attention to maximizing opportunities and minimizing threats. This isn’t the same as just “adding more to your plate” — it’s actually finding a way to streamline current operations, automating pieces that don’t need physical effort and introducing options to meet your clients where they’re at.
Research done by author Tom Corley found that regardless of background or history, one of the most common traits among self-made millionaires was their ability to create multiple streams of income. We’ve seen this firsthand in our own experience, as multiple streams of income help us diversify revenue, withstand economic downturns and expand visibility and marketability.
The key to doing it effectively is listening to feedback and paying attention to the needs of your prospective and existing clients. Your ability to adapt and create alternative approaches to deliver your services will be the impetus behind increasing your income without increasing your workload.