How to find new revenue streams

8 February 2021. Posted by Martin O'Neill

Many businesses have been hit hard by the last 12 months and as we all get used to the new normal, some have had to adjust how they generate revenue or even find new ways to make money.

There are opportunities for a lot of businesses to generate additional income even within their own industries. Often we’re so focused on our routine and current sales funnel it’s difficult to see these opportunities. 

Here’s how to look beyond your current market and pivot slightly to include additional revenue streams, your next new customer could be right in front of you.

If you’re short for time here’s a 1 minute summary at the bottom of the page.

Wait! Before everything, fix the leaky bucket

Before you go finding the next big thing for your business, have a quick review of where you are right now.

Your sales funnel acts as your flow of customers, this goes from being vaguely interested to purchasers. 

Often people get lost along the way, it’s not always that they aren’t interested in your products or services, sometimes life just gets in the way. You can re-engage with those customers and remind them that you’re there if they need you.

Job Management Meeting

These might be people that have agreed to receive content from you, signed up for a trial, or just made a general enquiry. You’ll most likely have their email address, so put together a “hey, we’re here if you need us” campaign and send some marketing emails to them.

Not too many to scare them off, something like one email every couple of weeks will be fine and don’t expect everyone to open them, an open rate of around 20% in any industry is seen as a great performance.

There’s plenty of free email delivery services for small to medium-sized businesses, use a service such as Mailchimp www.mailchimp.com or Benchmark Email www.benchmark.com. 

If you need some email inspiration, here’s some ideas for reasons for them to get back in touch with you:

  • We’ve got a new product or service
  • We’ve not heard from you in a while – just checking in
  • We’ve got a new promo or discount period
  • You can try us out for free
  • Here’s some advice or insight into your market

Those email services offer you templates to use so you don’t need to be a flash marketing agency to build nice looking and effective emails.

Cost-saving is as good as finding a new customer

Similar to fixing the leaky bucket, tightening up your processes and finding efficiencies is as good as finding a new customer. Look at what is costing you time. Every hour you spend working on admin tasks and data entry is another hour you could have spent with a current customer or working with your team to create new marketing activities.

At Klipboard, we hope this is one place we can help. Our platform simplifies the admin, automates and organises your team, giving you back those hours.

80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your efforts. It’s one of those commonly used stats in every marketing study, but there’s truth to it. 

How it relates to you and your desire for increased revenue is pretty simple. Take a look at your most popular service or product and double down on marketing activity for that product. 

Try to trim the fat by cutting out rarely adopted services, chances are those services are only on offer because “we’ve always offered that”.

Make long term contracts

At the moment there’s a lot more supply of services than demand, people are buying what they view as necessities, but as the market is recovering people will look to save money through long term deals, make it easy to secure long term deals by offering fixed contracts at discounted prices or additional services included. 

Review your pricing and ask your closest, most loyal customers what their opinions are on long-term deals. 

Move sideways

Does your business model and set up suit a similar industry?

A good way of finding new revenue streams without completely changing what you do is to reach out to your current customers and find out what services they are struggling to find. Their answers might surprise you as some of those services you may already offer.

It’s always worth noting, you know your product and service range, inside out. Your customers on the other hand, have a million and one other things to concern them and maybe they didn’t realise you also do Jet Washing on top of your cleaning service or not only do you do Reactive Maintenance but also offer a Preventative service where you regularly review their equipment.

Here’s a good way of finding something out – create a survey.

Similar to email campaigns, while your numbers are small there are plenty of free options. Try Survey Monkey out www.surveymonkey.co.uk, but with all of these communications always make sure you have the permission to send emails to your customers, manage opt-outs promptly.

Do people really fill out surveys? Some do, but others might need a little encouragement, perhaps a voucher or a donation to their favourite charity might make a good incentive.

A new market means a new approach

When you’ve identified a new market you’d like to offer your services to, don’t presume your current marketing strategy will work for these potential customers. They most likely shop in different places, read different content and subscribe to completely different social channels.

Do some research around where your new competitors advertise and produce content. Join new social media groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, find out if they allow the occasional sales message and introduce yourself.

Job Management Meeting

You’ll need to challenge the perception that you’re only about the services that have made you successful so far. You can do this by making sections of your website around the services you offer to your new market. 

Be mindful of the language you use on your website’s Homepage, for a lot of new market customer this will be the first impression of your business, make it easy for them to find your new service without ostracising your current customers.

Discover who works closely with your new market and try to develop partnerships with them. 

A simple example of this is if you’re pivoting from a business to business market to a business to consumer market, look at who meets your consumer audience in your communities. Estate and Letting agents for example are a great introduction to the community, they often interact with the local community and introduce services to people coming into a new neighborhood.

Ask your current customers for referrals

Similar to discovering new services to offer through a survey, a referral scheme is a great way of using your current customers as the gateway to your next bit of business. 

Plenty of businesses offer referral schemes but few do more than including it as a footnote at the bottom of their invoice. You can bring to light how much they could save by showing them what their invoice would have looked like if they referred someone that month, this makes it clear the value of offering business your way.

Think referral think product based perks. A great example of how to introduce this is what Dropbox www.dropbox.com did for their customers. They offer a file transfer service, users of the service that refer people get an extra 500 MB of free storage to the current user and the new customer for Dropbox. That saw membership rise by over 60% in 2020. 

Summary

A lot of additional revenue can be found in your current customers, ask them questions about what services they are seeking and if they can refer people using smart schemes that reward the current customer and the new one.

Ok, if you don’t have a lot of time here’s a quick version

Fix the leaky bucket
Your current sales funnel might need reviewing, you’re probably missing out by not keeping some of the enquiries you’ve had warm. Use a free email service provider to send campaigns out to pull them back in.

A cost-saving is like a new customer
Look at what activities are costing you time and money. Admin and data entry is rarely going to win you new business, so try to find ways to improve processes in your business and spend more time with your customers.

Make long term contracts
Encourage your loyal customers to adopt longer-term commitments to your service, offer them a discount for longer deals and give them reassurance that this means they are covered for the long term.

Move sideways
Survey your current customers to find out what gaps they have in their service, the chances are you can fill that void.

A new market means a new approach
Don’t presume your current marketing will work with your new market, take a good look at what your competitors are doing and where your new customer can be found.

Ask for referrals
Offer an incentive for introducing new customers but make it more than a voucher, create a scheme that benefits the new user too.