Whether you’re starting a new business or trying to keep ahead of the competition, one of the biggest challenges you’ll likely face is stabilizing your income. A predictable financial base gives you the ability to act on new opportunities, react to market changes, and reduce your stress. There are several ways you can achieve this goal so you can focus on success rather than worry about how to pay the bills.
1. Maximize Local SEO
If you are like many small businesses, you have a local or regional draw, so maximizing your local SEO is critical to engaging new customers. Google recognizes that some searches are geographically based (i.e. restaurants, gas stations, nearby stores, etc.) and will present businesses with a high local SEO ranking higher up on search results than those with lower SEO rankings. Achieving this status isn’t difficult and it begins with Google My Business.
This free service allows you to list your business, address, telephone number, hours of operation, and more, so that when someone searches for your type of company in a specific area, your name will appear on the list.
There are two things to do to get the most benefit from this opportunity. First, be absolutely certain that the information you present is accurate. Second, complete the Google verification process for your business. This doesn’t take long and verified businesses are always ranked higher than non-verified ones. This process brings new customers through your door, which should result in increased sales.
Cross-selling occurs when you suggest products or services that will complement those chosen by the customer. When successful, this process will increase your revenue, which will help stabilize your income. Some people are uncomfortable with cross-selling to customers and are worried they’re being too pushy. However, if you’re confident in the goods or services you sell, then you aren’t being aggressive but simply offering value-added suggestions. The keys to successful cross-selling include segmenting your customers so you understand their purchase decisions, making relevant recommendations, and timing your pitches appropriately.
Every business goes through highs and lows. Most can weather these changes, but sometimes, if you’re just starting out or have hit other snags, you may need to generate additional income elsewhere. Freelancing is a great way to do this.
Joe Daley is one of the founders of FreelanceMyWay and encourages entrepreneurs and small business owners to take advantage of freelancing opportunities.
“There are so many benefits of using a site such as ours,” he explains. “You can choose from a variety of projects, from writing product descriptions to designing websites, work whenever it fits into your schedule, and make good money.” Freelancing is a great way to earn some cash on the side to keep your primary business afloat.
4. Establish Multiple Revenue Streams
With today’s digital world, there are many ways to establish additional revenue streams to stabilize your income. Consider writing an eBook or whitepaper that can be downloaded for a few dollars each to generate a few hundred dollars a month of additional income. This is a great avenue for additional revenue because you do the work once to produce consistent income without any additional effort.
It’s important to note, however, that pricing is key. A low price point makes this add-on a no-brainer for your customer and can generate more income than selling it at a higher amount that fewer people will pay.
You should also take advantage of social media to showcase your blog, videos, photos and any other content you use to tell your story and engage your audience. Before long, people will start subscribing to your channel, or advertisers will be paying you for banner ads on your site, adding more income to your financial base. The keys to success here are quality, consistency, and following trends.
5. Generate passive Income
Similar to multiple revenue streams, passive income is a great choice to boost your monthly income. One great option is affiliate marketing, where you become an affiliate of another company through your website. The more web traffic you receive, the more income you generate. This takes time and dedication but can be well worth the effort. Investments in stocks, bonds, or real estate can also generate passive income, though these investments require that you already have money to make money.
6. Develop Retainer Agreements
Retainer agreements establish a guaranteed monthly payment for specific amount of promised work. This is a great option if you have long-term relationships with clients, or you want to establish them. Retainer agreements are especially effective in consulting, law, accounting, bookkeeping, marketing, social media management, and other ongoing engagements. A foundation of retainer-paying clients can smooth out those financial bumps in the small business road to success. This payment structure can lead to great things and with a little creative thinking, you could apply it to nearly any service-based company.
For entrepreneurs and small business owners, income stability a big challenge that must be managed for long-term success. As you establish and grow your company, you can generate revenue and increase sales by following these paths that lead to financial stability.
Brian Hughes is the founder and CEO of Integrity Marketing & Consulting, where he helps his clients build powerful brands through inbound marketing. He is a frequent contributor to several other sites.