|For a first time business owner, the Internet is like a treasure island…it can be a great adventure exploring new ways to make money. Sure, setting up a website can be great fun but if you want your online business to make you money, you’d have to think beyond just selling a product or a service. Whether you have integrated your offline business with an online one or whether you are a pure ‘webpreneur’, the key to boosting profits is in diversification or generating multiple revenue streams. |
WHY DO IT
In the new entrepreneurial era where most businesses are aligned to the World Wide Web, a smart wealth building strategy is diversification. With multiple revenue streams you not only avoid putting all your eggs in one basket but also create several sources of income so that when there is a slump in one the other one is still around to keep the cash flow healthy. When you offer a host of related and complimentary products and services to customers you are offering them more value and opportunities for repeat business. Not only that diversifying also means you spread out your risks and minimize the cost of marketing and acquiring new customers. Offering multiple products and services gives your business a challenge and the friction required to keep moving ahead.
Last but not the least, creating a multifaceted business is also good for the creative spirit of the owner
Let’s start with an example. Say you are a small business owner-manufacturing pet grooming tools. You set up a great website to offer your products online to an existing and potential base of customers but want to expand your sales and maximise profits. Diversifying into related product and service fields is just the idea for you. Here are some thoughts to get you started:
1. Sell your own products: you can sell your own product (pet grooming tools), earning the largest profit margin. This should be your main source of income, so make sure you focus on this first.
2. Sell related services: You could also sell a service that complements your products or that your customers might need before or after using your product. Your pet grooming tools sales site, for example, could offer grooming service and consultation with professional pet care providers.
3. Drop ship products: Next, you could find products available to drop ship that complement your main product. Maybe your new pet grooming tool owners will need other items for their pets. Find a drop shipper that offers leashes, collars, food bowls and pet toys and arrange to offer those products for sale on your site.
4. Recommend affiliate products: Why not recommend affiliate products that your customers will be interested in? You could set up a "Pet care Resources" page on your site and use it to promote affiliate products related to pets and pet grooming, such as books or magazines about pet care, dog food, expert advice on pet care, an “ask the vet” button or just about anything else pet owners would be interested in. (Remember, though, keep your focus and avoid turning this page into a general flea market or you'll end up losing traffic.)
5. Sell ad space: Try selling ad space to advertisers who are interested in your target market. A site that sells specialized pet services like a kennel or a pet hostel might be interested in advertising to pet owners since it is usually a big question for a family going on a vacation to leave their pet in safe hands.
6. Create a joint venture with like-minded businesses: Another option would be to create a joint venture with other businesses. Align your services with, say, a dog-training agency. You could set up an arrangement where you earn a portion of the profits on any sales you send his way. Then, write a quick e-mail promotion about his service and send it to all of your customers who live in his area.
7. Start an affiliate program: Finally, start an affiliate program to promote your site. You could do all your selling yourself . . . but why would you? Think about it--you boost your visibility when your affiliates start publicizing your site, you gain credibility with your affiliates' customers, and you simply make more sales!
You can get some more ideas at:
This is not all. You can pull additional sales from existing customers by investing in customer relationship management and data mining. Data mining systems allow companies to target a broad range of customers with common buying characteristics as well as narrow the target down to individual customers. Targeted e-mail, for instance is more effective than broadcast email. Companies such as Amazon.com do a great job of suggesting choices based on past product purchases.
Another major source of new revenue for an online company is “Digital Content”. Digital content is basically kind of information that can be downloaded by the user for a certain fee. Digital content ranges from music, movies, photographs, news and information, interactive multiplayer games, books magazines and almost anything else that can be digitised. Revenues may come from pay per use of subscription or purchase for downloads.
For an imaginative business owner the possibilities for creating new revenue streams are limitless. Diversifying is great; diversifying is fun, but a word of caution here. You must make extra sure that your revenue channels are complimentary to each other and that you never, never forget your core customer base. These were the first people to buy from you and these are the ones who are still most likely to come back with repeat orders.
Generating multiple revenue streams is the most logical solution to turning your online investments into a profitable and sustainable business. Let your imagination run lose, plan in detail and be prepared to work real hard; having 3 sources of income compared to one never hurt anybody!
Also see: http://www.powerhomebiz.com/vol116/revenue.htm
Daegan Smith is the Ex-NCAA Wrestler Turned Webmaster of Perfect Home Based Business Opportunities - The Net’s Top Growing Source for Home Business Information.
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