Over time, your business grows in value — not just in sales, but in other “assets” that you have built over time. Things like your reputation, your company name, your loyal customers, your processes have real value. Taking a step back, these assets can be a source of additional passive revenue for your business. Here are some examples:
- Space: Some businesses have space (whether owned or rented) that is only used on certain days or certain hours. Why not consider subletting or sharing your space with related but non-competitive businesses. For example, a morning bakery may sublet to a pop-up restaurant at night. A music school for toddlers may sublet to an after school dance class for older kids. Not only do you get additional revenue, you have the opportunity to get your name out to a larger audience and referral base.
- A large fan base: Do you have an active social media following? Many larger consumer products companies will pay for promotion of their products through giveaways, raffles and contests.
- A popular blog or website: A loyal, consistent readership means you are a trusted referral source. You can capitalize on that status by becoming an affiliate (and earning 5-50% commission depending on the product) for products that you believe in and regularly recommend to your customers.
- A large newsletter list: If you have carefully built a substantial email list for your newsletter, consider selling dedicated mailings or ads to vendors that want exposure to your type of customer base. A typical e-newsletter can charge $25-$50 CPM (cost per thousand names) for a mention, and a $100 to $250 CPM for dedicated ads or articles.
- A steady sales process: Do you attract leads that are not quite a fit but that you could refer to other providers? For example, if you are an IT firm that only handles clients with greater than 50 seats, you can refer smaller prospects to independent contractors and gain a commission by the referral.
Concluding Note: With any of the ideas above, it is important that you believe in the companies who share your “assets” and that you do not dilute your time or focus from your core business.