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How to Quickly Find New Revenue Streams

by Holly Mortimer of Stratford-Perth Centre for Business

Entrepreneurs need cash flow. It’s how we keep moving forward. How we pay our employees. How we pay our suppliers. It’s how we can afford to take risks and how we can pay ourselves.

Over the past few years, predicting that cash flow has often felt like an impossible task. It’s kind of like parenting a toddler. One day, carrots are all they’ll eat, so you go to the store and buy some carrots. You peel them, prepare them, and excitedly set them in front of your toddler, but that day, they’re convinced that carrots will poison them.

Figuring out what a client will want based on what they’ve wanted in the past feels like this more often than it ever has before.

For some of us, finding some quick wins with new cash flow streams is essential to making it through the upcoming slow season and for testing new ideas to see if your clients or customers will want this carrot.

I’m someone who loves the challenge of creating new revenue when my back is up against the wall, but not all of us can work at our best in this way, so let’s dive into a few of my favourite ways to find new revenue for your business that will help you explore new pathways to profit.

1: LISTEN

Your customers/clients are often telling you exactly what they want, but we’re often in such a hurry that we don’t stop and listen. Activate your staff to come back to you once a week with a list of things they heard the customers/clients ask for that you didn’t have OR things they talked about that you might be able to implement, like a workshop, extra hours, a service like hotel delivery or similar.

2: NEWSLETTER-SPECIFIC PROMOTION

This could act like a VIP sale. If you’re building a newsletter list (and find me if you’re not because you’re leaving money on the table) send them an exclusive promo code for online or a special VIP word they use at checkout in person. They’ll feel valued and that their purchases matter. Make sure they know it’s only for them and attach a time limit on it.

3: GIFT CERTIFICATE PROMOTION

Buy your gift certificates now and get an extra gift certificate bonus that can only be spent in January.

4: HOST AN OPEN HOUSE

…For those following you or who are on your newsletter list. Have hourly prizes and discounts and offer to wrap gifts for free or offer local delivery for free.

5: PARTNER WITH YOUR NEIGHBOURS

Talk to local small businesses to see if you can build a special offer that exists between the two of you. For example, you have a clothing business, and your neighbour is a restaurant. Talk to management and see if you would be able to offer an exclusive discount for their customers over the lunch hour. Then in your store, anyone who purchases can get a $10 coupon for the restaurant or if they have a product for sale like a sauce, you could put it on display in your store. Or host a fashion show in their restaurant in January with a charitable benefit.

Other partnership ideas could include guest appearances by local experts, pop-up shops inside your shop, and window displays with another business’s products.

Come up with a unique partnership and work together to create a community of small businesses that think outside the box, are vulnerable and extend revenue for each other.

6: BUILD AN ONLINE COURSE

Consider taking what you know and moving it online inside a course. Let’s say you run a restaurant. There are a few things you could do. Have your chef teach a course over a weekend. Have your bar manager teach a mixology class. Have yourself build a course teaching other restaurant owners how to open and run a restaurant successfully. Have a virtual course for customers to learn how to make your signature dish as taught by your chef, pre-recorded.

This works across all industries!

7: GenZ yes!

Have a GenZ on your team? Empower them to grab their phone at least once every shift and go live, walking around and highlighting your space. Save it and send it over to another app so you can hit two apps with one session. Make sure to connect your store with your social platform before you begin if possible.

8: START A NEWSLETTER

Remember that newsletter I mentioned? If you don’t have one, start one. Then in every welcome email you send out welcoming new subscribers, offer them an exclusive discount to purchase with a timed call to action. Want help on this one? Ask me! Emails are my very favourite digital marketing tool.

Okay, so that should get you started thinking about new, quick ways to build revenue for the upcoming winter season. This list is just the beginning. My advice would be if you’re thinking about it…test it out. Whatever that ‘it’ is! Some incredible growth has come from innovative, never-been-done-before ideas that business owners have had when cash flow was tight.

And of course, if you need my help implementing your new revenue strategy, reach out and book some time! Simply click here to get started.


Hey! I’m Holly. I’m the Business Advisory at the Stratford Perth Centre for Business and I’m your Downtown Stratford guest blogger. I provide free consultation services to existing or new small businesses for the City of Stratford. If you’d like to learn more about how I can help, or book your own consultation, click here to get started.

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