Local Business News
Diversify by Adding New Income Streams
here are 7 to look at
The best local business news in some time is that you can go online with a web site to help diversify your family / local business.
Being dependent on one income source ["having all your eggs in one basket"] is a high-risk strategy, but there are very limited ways to diversify in the offline world.
We found in Demise of the 20 pound paper directory that clients are looking for you online. Now the great local business news is that it's good business for you to go online and meet your existing and many new clients there. You don't have to look at the "going online or not" question from a defensive perspective... "Should I do it because everyone else is and I have to stay competitive?"...
Diversifying by adding new income streams is an extremely positive and beneficial reason to consider taking your local business online.
Not only will you attract new local customers, take away your competitor's customers while building loyalty among yours, you could also open up entire new revenue streams by offering...
- consulting sessions to global customers (ex., how to improve the efficiency of your driveway sealing business)
- products for sale to global customers, either B2B or B2C (ex., a local driveway sealing and paving contractor packaged sealing and paving equipment and tools, and sells "a business in a box" package deal B2B globally)
- other monetization models that convert your traffic into income (more on this below).
Just about any local small business can use the Net to add global income. A landscaper in Juno, Alaska might appear to have limited "global" opportunities. But that very local business could, on the basis of creating a high-value "Gardening and Landscaping in Northern Climes" Web site, offer a variety of related hard goods (books, tools, etc.), e-goods (e-book on "The World's Hardiest Annuals and Perennials")... even consulting services.
If an asphalt sealer can package and sell to the U.S. Army in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, you are clearly limited only by your imagination.
Once you have targeted site traffic, the next question is...
"OK, I Own My Traffic and It's Building Steadily, Week by Week.
How Many Ways Can I/Should I Monetize that Traffic?"
Another piece of local business news... Let's take the mystery out of that term "e-commerce." Now you can focus on using the Net to build your local offline business, and on diversifying it into a broader, more profitable business. And that's all e-commerce really is... using the Net effectively to grow your business.
Up to now, your offline business has earned income locally. And if that is all you want it to continue to do, the ROI on your web site still repays you 100 fold. However, new opportunities now present themselves...
Much of your traffic will be global. They will find your content because they seek that information. Why not convert that interested, targeted traffic into additional income streams?
To maximize revenues, diversify...
Review this list of additional monetization models. Add at least one, preferably two, new ways to supplement your current offline business income. They are the principal ways to convert warm, willing-to-buy, niche-info-seeking visitors into revenue, the way a dam converts a stream into electrical current.
Consider each one carefully. Depending on your particular niche and business intentions, some will apply to you. Some won't. Just add the one(s) that fit your business best.
- Hard Goods Creators/Sellers Are you a small business or an artisan that creates/manufactures/retails your own hard goods (i.e., products that you can actually touch and that you ship -- non-digital products)? Put up (copy-and-paste HTML) your own store and sell to the entire world now... instead of your neighborhood.
- eBay/Online Auctions Put eBay to work for you. Use them as a supplemental source of income to auction products that your local business already sells. Especially useful if your business involves items easily auctioned. Also interesting possibilities for service-sellers.
- E-goods Creators/Sellers How could your offline business be the source for an e-book (ex., "How to Start and Market A Successful Korean Restaurant")? Or maybe you're a photographer -- even if most of your clients are local, sell collections of e-photos online (the e-photo sales market will boom!). Anything can be digitized nowadays -- sell it.
- Information-Publishers/AdSense Now you can monetize the information that you produce on your site. Google's AdSense can generate hundreds-to-thousands of dollars per month for your online, niche-oriented, information.
- Affiliates Add hundreds of dollars per month to your diversified monetization plan, without having a product of your own -- no warehousing, packaging, shipping, etc. Simply choose merchants that complement your company's product line.
- Referrer/Finder Another great "add-on" monetizer. This model is as classic as business itself... get paid a referrer or finder's fee by an offline business for finding a customer (or a "lead") for it. The Net, though, makes it far more cost-effective.
- Service businesses Offer a service related to your niche. Build a client base, whether clients are local (ex., organizing children's birthday parties) or global (ex., organizing roadster car races). (Or start a completely new service business.)
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