“The only thing that’s constant in this world is change” strong words sung by India.Arie in one of her great songs. These words apply to pretty much everything in life and certainly to your business. So, how do we correlate this to the title of this article? Well, if the only constant in this world is change then by definition so will your business and revenue models. The question is whether you are prepared for this?
Every business, no matter how well they are doing, will be subject to economic changes. This does not have to be a bad thing though. Peaks in the economy, in general, mean that people are spending more money, whilst dips can mean that people are spending less. In either case, all businesses need to be prepared for this not from a position of fear and instability, but rather from a position of expectancy and forward planning.
Several business models
The more revenue models your business has, the more you’ll be able to sail through rough times including those moments when cash flow issues are pending. Every business, large or small, suffers from cash flow problems. Debtors who pay too late being the biggest cause of this financial stress and the biggest cause of bankruptcy heeds the necessity to have more than one revenue mode. It is not only sensible but essential. Adding an extra revenue model shouldn’t be all that difficult but does require some thought and a practical approach.
Think of the freelance designer who creates graphic design in the form of logo’s, corporate identity and brochures. How can this freelancer create extra revenue streams without making huge investments? Well, let’s look at the investment the freelancer in this example has already made. Most likely they have a computer with graphics software and most creative freelancer will have a high resolution digital camera at hand in one for or another. In this example, the freelancer could look at taking general stock photography, enhancing them with Photoshop (which they most likely will already have) and then selling these general photos via stock photography sites such a Big Stock Photo. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to sell your stock photos. You just need to understand what the stock photo users are looking for, shoot the photos and submit them to stock agencies.
Although this may not be the freelancer’s core business, it could be an extra revenue stream that can be save money for the proverbial rainy day.
Let’s look at some other simple suggestions below:
Main revenue stream Extra revenue stream
Freelance writer Blog with commercials adverts on
Session musician Music producer via Creative Commons commercial licenses
Jewelry maker Stylist
Caterer Cake maker
Designer Stock image photographer
Illustrator Mural painter
Virtual Assistant CV creation
Consultant Business Plan writer
Back to business
The reason why businesses need to have extra revenue models is because the flow of life and business isn’t an upward climb but rather a combination of dips and peaks which if unprepared for can leave us feeling stressed and tired. When we look at our personal relationships we see a similar pattern. Some days are good and some days less good. So too applies to business. Some days you will earn lots of revenue and other days much less. This doesn’t mean that business is doing badly its just the normal ebb and flow which every business experiences.
By thinking ahead and thinking broad we can counter the insecure feelings which often come with changes, however natural they are. Having more than one revenue stream not only offers us a sense of stability (in an ever constantly changing world) but brings more possibilities and experiences into our life. The more money you have, the more you can do.
We can look at turning the quiet times around into positive moments which contribute ourselves and our businesses. Robert Kawasaki wrote in his book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” something in the lines of understanding slow periods in business as the time needed to think about making developmental changes. Things like devising new strategies or being able to critically look at what works and what doesn’t work and improving on them. The quiet times aren’t all about doom and gloom. The do however represent time for introspection (What can I do to improve X,Y, Z?), reflection (What are my competitors doing better than I am?) and new strategies (How can I deliver more service?).We can use them effectively to make important changes but also to take some rest. The busy periods will always come back. That is just a question of time.
Ask yourself if you have enough revenue streams to sail you through the quieter times and leave a comment below!