Last Updated: Sep 10, 2018
Are your small business profits declining? Or haven’t they reached your expectations? Spin off a new profitable business to boost your bottom line: Here’s how.
Are you a small business owner who’s disappointed that you’ve never reached the profit level you had hoped for when you started your business? Or, has your once-profitable business started to take a nosedive? Both situations are fairly common. In fact, according to an SBA Office of Advocacy report, about 10 to 12 percent of small businesses with employees shut their doors each year. The rate is 3 times higher for businesses without employees.
While some of those closing may be unavoidable, your business doesn’t have to languish or fade away. Give it new life – and profits – by developing new revenue streams, or spinning off a new business. The secret: Listen to your customers and keep an eye on trends. Combine that information with the contacts and knowledge you’ve picked up running your small business to develop lucrative new profit-making opportunities.
Professional speakers do this with finesse. They get paid for speaking at a conference or charge a fee to attend a seminar they set up. Then, they record their presentations, and bring in additional revenue by selling the MP3s or DVDs to people who couldn’t attend the live presentation. They also offer live audiences and online audiences additional training classes, ebooks, and sometimes high-priced mastermind programs. It’s all related research material for the presenter, but spun out in different ways and amounts of content to generate additional revenue.
The concept works for almost any business.
Where can you get ideas for ways to change and grow your own small business? Your customers are a key resource. Listen to their comments. Watch how they shop. Ask if they found everything they were looking for. Ask what they like and don’t like about your store, products or services. If you sell from a website, or you have email addresses for your customers, have them complete an online survey to give you the feedback you seek.
Follow groups related to your industry on social media sites, read industry publications, and attend tradeshows to stay on top of trends, too. Keeping your eyes and ears open will help you spot new opportunities for your business.
Finally, research your idea before you jump in. Find out who else is doing what you want to do, whether any special skills are required and how they really make their money. The answer might not be obvious.
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About the author:
Janet Attard is the founder of the award-winning Business Know-How small business web site and information resource. Janet is also the author of The Home Office And Small Business Answer Book and of Business Know-How: An Operational Guide For Home-Based and Micro-Sized Businesses with Limited Budgets. Follow Janet on Twitter and on LinkedIn