Over the last year many small business owners have had to think outside the box. Many found innovative ways to drive revenue while their regular business operations were impacted by Covid-19 restrictions. Although some of these innovations were born out of necessity, SMBs can continue to take advantage of these new revenue streams post-pandemic. Here are 4 creative ways to create additional revenue streams from your small business.

1. Write a book

As a small business owner, you have a plethora of unique knowledge and experience. Why not share it with your customers through a book! No matter the type of business you run, there is something to write about. Recount your entrepreneurial journey, share your restaurant’s top recipes in a cookbook, put together a coffee table book of beautiful photographs you’ve taken or simply share your expert tips and tricks through a curated guide – the possibilities are endless.

Putting together a book may be time consuming, but it does not have to be costly. There are technologies you can use to write, publish and distribute the book yourself. Not to mention, there are several ways your business can benefit from a book:

  • Boost your business’ credibility by positioning yourself as an expert in your industry.
  • Gain profits from the sale of your book.
  • Extend your reach. While your business may be local, you can tap into new markets by selling your book online through Amazon or as a downloadable e-book.
  • Create new marketing opportunities. Build buzz around your book launch and use your book to promote your business by sharing its content on your website and social media platforms.

2. Teach a class

Sharing your skills through online courses is a popular and effective way of making extra money for your small business. Not only does it help you establish yourself as an expert in your field, but teaching classes allows you to build strong relationships with your customers, increase brand awareness and promote your business. Online classes can cover anything. The topic should come naturally to you, as you know your skillset and your customers best. Your class can aim to:

  • Train your customers to use your product.
  • Pass on your entrepreneurial expertise.
  • Introduce your students to a new hobby.
  • Help your clients learn a new skill.

To host a successful online class, it’s important to “know your audience and stay on topic”. Make sure you understand what your students are looking to gain from the class and focus on teaching them how they can achieve that result.

3. Host online events

Online events can take many forms, from social media events and live-streams to invite-only webinars and paid online conferences. If you’re looking for a free and easy way to host an online event for your small business, a live stream is a great place to start. Livestreams allow you to create your own live “show” while engaging with your audience in real-time. Popular live streaming platforms include Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Clubhouse. There are a ton of ways brands can use live streams, including live interviews, influencer takeovers, Q&A sessions, product launches, etc. Check out Hootsuite’s guide to hosting a virtual event for examples of online events you can take inspiration from.

Live virtual shopping events have become especially popular over the last year. These events are a form of livestream where businesses demonstrate their products. Customers can ask questions, interact with the brand, and make purchases throughout the live shopping session. It’s a great way to offer customers your in-store experience from the comfort of their own home.

4. Offer complementary products or services

There are many ways you can expand your offerings beyond your core business. If your business is service based, you may want to start thinking about how to “productize your service”. Ask yourself: What products can I offer to complement or supplement my service? You can increase your profit per customer quite a bit by offering complementary products! For example, hairdressers often offer hairstyling products, gyms offer health supplements, dry-cleaners could offer stain-removal products – every business has the potential to expand their offering. Since you have already built a relationship with your customers through your service, you are well placed to make product recommendations. Your previously established relationship allows you to offer products suited to their needs, and their trust in you makes them more likely to buy.

Similarly, product-based businesses can think of ways to incorporate a service, or complementary products as well. Many inventive small businesses have started doing this through subscription services. For example, there are florists offering monthly bouquet packages, bookstores offering book club subscriptions and cafés offering regular coffee bean deliveries.

Creating additional revenue streams for your small business not only boosts your revenue, but it’s also a great way of generating new opportunities. You work hard on your small business, why not get the most out of it!