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5 Unexpected Ways Your Business Can Make Money

It’s easy for businesses to get stuck in a rut. When the spirit of entrepreneurship is fresh and you’re in start-up phase, ideas run riot and you’ll try new things to get the business off the ground. Innovation and invention is almost second nature because in the early stages, with little established, you take nothing for granted.

Fast forward a few years and you have a solid client base, an accepted way of doing business, and a firm idea of where the profit comes from and what you have to do to generate it.

But what happens when things go wrong: when markets change or previously good customers either go bust or look elsewhere? Is your business nimble and fresh for a complete about turn?

Keeping up, finding new markets and realising hidden potential in what you already have is key to staying profitably ahead of the competition. Here are some ideas you may not have thought about that can keep your business one step in front:

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1. Share Your Knowledge and Expertise

Businesses have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips – knowledge that start ups or other businesses will pay handsomely for. A quick search for courses and classes will show you just how profitable teaching can be. Previously documented case studies of business who’ve successfully capitalised on their knowledge include a miller who promotes his main line (flour) via high-end cookery classes. You could offer face to face classes or run online courses with previously prepared training materials and pre-recorded training videos. Holding webinars is one popular way of offering global training online.

Another way to capitalise on your knowledge is to share via a blog. Give your target customer the solutions to some of their problems and you’ll build trust, promote your name, and drive sales through increased customer engagement and brand recognition.

2. Harness Technology Advances

Recent developments such as Google Helputs offer businesses a new way to capitalise on their knowledge and improve their customer support. Free to set up (request an invitation code – much like we used to do to get a Gmail email address – to open your account), Google Helpouts lets all kind of businesses engage with customers and clients by offering consulting, personalised learning or simple support services. You decide whether to charge for the help you give, and will depend on the type of service you offer.

3. Avoid Staff Layoffs

As business fluctuates the payroll can become an increasingly heavy burden. Instead of laying off valuable staff, a better way would be to sub-contract your best employees to another company that may need staff in the short term.  You’d need to devise a properly worded contract that benefits all concerned, but such as solution would work well for everyone when weighed up against the alternative of layoffs or redundancies.

4. Put Unused Office Space to Work

Have you cottoned on to the trend of hot desking? If you have a spare corner in your office where you could set up a desk, that space could be earning additional income from a fellow small business owner or freelancer. Easy to facilitate, it requires little input on your part beyond making the space available and exercising due diligence regarding the person you’ll rent to and share your office with.

 

5. Recycle Scrap Plastics

Recycling is the current buzz word, but despite the best of intentions many companies don’t maximise their opportunities, and even more don’t realise they can make money from the waste their business generates. Plastics recycling is a good example, with specialist plastic recycling companies paying for waste of all kinds, from CD cases to water pipes. Some will even come to your premises and advise on methods, storage and what to recycle. If you scrap at least 5 tonnes a year, you’re leaving money on the table by throwing it away or paying the council to collect it.

Have we given you some ideas? Stepping outside your normal business modus operandi can generate extra income and provide new opportunities to get ahead where others are struggling.

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