10 Strategies for Creating Side Income Streams

Every business begins with a main source of income that the owner works hard to develop in order to create sustainability. And depending on what you do for a living, the goal is to avoid trading hours for dollars by developing additional income streams to grow your business.

This is not something to be pursued casually, because the saying, “if you build it, they will come” usually does not make it so. Instead business owners do research, talk to their clients, and pursue side income streams that are guaranteed to sell.

Earlier this year on an episode of Spotlight on Success, I had the pleasure of speaking with relationship expert, Jasbina Ahluwahlia, who has worked hard to develop additional and creative income streams to expand her business. I love the way she approached the process and wanted to know more about what my other tribe members are doing to expand. So last week I asked –

What specific steps have you taken to develop additional and creative income streams for your business, and what is your best advice for a business owner who is considering doing the same?

What you will learn from the strategies presented by our panel of experts is that you need to leverage what you have — no need to reinvent the wheel. So take a look at the examples below, and then take a bird’s-eye view of your business to see how you could creatively create additional income streams that your customers already want. Enjoy!

1. Side Income That Creates Main Income

One of the reasons I love writing books is that books not only create a side income stream, but they also bring clients and speaking gigs (not to mention give credibility for the media and prospective clients). A well-written, authoritative book opens many doors. I’ve written eight books and have had readers contact me for consulting or speaking, and then of course I have something to sell after my talk. For the media, I don’t expect them to actually read the book (it’s great when they do)–but being a multiple-award-winning and category-bestselling author means they take me very seriously. Thus, I’ve been quoted several times each in the New York times, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Entrepreneur, etc.

Thanks to Shel Horowitz of Green And Profitable

2. Can You Spell L-E-V-E-R-A-G-E?

Throughout my 24 years as a business owner I’ve learned a lot; anyone would. Like a mental library, my mind reaches for the best insight and resources when working with clients; as each combination of situation, resource & priority created new combinations of need, I gained even more tools to help the next client. All this has turned into articles, then workshops, become 2 books, 6 e-products, group coaching – you get the picture. Packaging modules of value into passively delivered information programs has been the key to crafting new forms of revenue and expanding my audience at multiple price points. And it’s the direction I continue to enjoy traveling.

Thanks to Andrea Feinberg of Coaching Insight LLC

3. People Want To Know What You Know

I learned that I was giving away a lot of free information to small business owners in advertising and marketing my business services. In researching my industry to find out where my target market gets their information. I developed a second stream of income in marrying my need to be helpful with my need to keep in the know. I started teaching workshops in my field. This process of learning about my target market has helped me to generate another stream of income. It is important to make sure that you re-evaluate your business model to see where you can branch off to gain income from the meat and potato products, services that bring you revenue.

Thanks to Eula M. Young, COO of Griot’s Roll Film Production & Services Inc.

4. Growing Passively

Having had a daily car rental business with a store front, two of the ways to bring in additional business while at the same time bringing in a passive income stream, are;

1) Rent desk space out to an insurance agent. Everyone who walks in to see them, becomes a possible new renter for you. Build a side income stream to help offset your own rent and build a bigger customer base at the same time.

2) On a blank wall, put in a set of ‘P.O. Boxes’. The more space you have, the more boxes & the more people on a daily basis coming & going from your office. A passive income stream that can only bring you additional business.

3) Insofar as renting desk space, do not just rent just to anyone. Align yourself with the type of business that is in close to nature as yours. It can payoff big

Thanks to Harris Glasser of Serving The People Press LLC

5. Passive Income Isn’t Passive!

People often call additional revenue streams passive income if they are info products, for example. But I’ve found that “passive” income is anything but. My recommendation? Create some audios to sell to your existing clients. You can use freeconferencecall.com and Audio Acrobat to record yourself giving a 45- or 60-minute program solving a pain point your clients are experiencing. Audios are smart because most people do not read these days, plus it is easier to record yourself than to write a report or e-book. By chance, I started out with audios, and I still sell them individually and in packages to my clients and attendees at my presentations. BUT they aren’t “passive” income. You have to let people know why they should invest in them AND you need to ask them to buy ACTIVELY!

Thanks to Dr. Barnsley Brown of Spirited Solutions Speaking & Coaching

6. Sharing Is Caring.

To supplement the subscription revenue from our membership site, we added a revenue stream by joining various affiliate programs and by promoting those services to our members so we can get paid commissions on any conversions. You can easily join affiliate networks like Clickbank, Commission Junction, and Shareasale, then apply to merchants you want to promote. Once accepted, throw up links to those merchants on your site and make additional commission by referring converting visitors to the merchants’ sites.

Thanks to Michael Pesochinsky of GovernmentAuctions.org

7. Use Your Assets Creatively

Our main revenue stream is from annual B2C subscriptions. However, recently, to create another revenue stream, we began selling our data to businesses. We only sell B2b data for internal use, and do not allow any reselling of the government auctions data we provide. We enforce this via a series of Non-Disclosure, Non-Compete and other agreements with our data sales clients. The additional revenue generated is not something to retire on yet, but it is a meaningful amount of money and provides for some income diversity. Our advice to anyone wishing to create additional streams would be to see what assets you have to work with, and to think creatively about how you can monetize them.

Thanks to Max Aronson of Government-Auctions-Guide

8. Look At The Materials You Already Have

You have to create templates, guidelines and other materials to make sure that your business functions efficiently. Those same materials can often be turned into books and templates that you can sell. Such products can often be an ideal opportunity for service providers who are mostly selling expertise — for those prospective clients who can’t afford your time, you can offer a lower priced alternative that may not be as good, but can at least get them moving in the right direction.

Thanks to Thursday Bram of Hyper Modern Consulting

9. Create An Agent Network!

We created an additional revenue stream by putting together an agent network that allows individual real estate or mortgage agents to post foreclosure properties for free and earn a link on the property information for doing so. We make money from charging a price for any additional services like exclusive territory agent advertising and lead generation. Our advice to others, therefore is, that you can create an additional revenue stream by allowing people to use your service for free but hooking them in at the same time to take advantage of your pay services as well. The way we have it set up also creates competition on our site between who wants to get the most out of it to the exclusion of others in the geographic region.

Thanks to Eli Israel of Foreclosure Magic

10. Cater To Your Niche.

In addition to advertising, which is our primary source of revenue (since our service is free), we are now creating an auctioneer network. It would allow auctioneers to post their own government auctions for free but for an extra cost their auctions would be featured on our site and announced on our site and via email. The best advice we can give about adding revenue streams is to think about who all the players are in your niche, and see if you can somehow monetize someone other than the end user.

Thanks to Dahlia Roth of Free Government Auctions Info at GovernmentBargains.com

Thanks so much again to all our wonderful contributors for sharing your strategies for creating side income streams in your business! We hope to hear from you again. And to all our readers, if you have an innovative idea to share, we hope you will leave it in the comments below.


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  1. Heather Buen
    Posted May 28, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink | Reply

    Great article with lots of great tips I’d like to try.

    • Posted May 28, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Great, Heather! I hope you find the strategy that best works for your business. Shannon

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