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How to Find New Revenue Sources for Your Online Business

How to Find New Revenue Sources for Your Online Business

Not only is your online business up and running, you’re doing a good job of selling what you have to offer and—most importantly—you’re actually turning a profit doing it. Kudos to you, and that’s not a reference to the delicious cereal bar. Making money with a startup is no easy feat, so that’s really something to celebrate.

You’ve probably learned a lot in the early going, like how to figure out who your core audience is and why it’s more important to have a website that’s easy to use than one with all the bells and whistles (unless you sell bells and whistles, of course). Maybe you’ve even discovered that the Pareto Principle applies to your business, with 20 percent of your products or services accounting for 80 percent of your sales, and used this knowledge to focus on your strengths.

While your business was still in its infancy, these were all important things to learn but now it seems like you’ve plateaued. Growth is stagnant and you might even be feeling a financial pinch from trying to expand before your revenue streams were ready for it. What do you do to get more money and keep growing?

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Easy: find new revenue streams.

Okay, okay. Admittedly, “easy” probably isn’t the best word to use, but there are a number of ways that online businesses can do to add revenue sources, such as…

Add products or services.

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add products

    Maybe your online tea business is selling hand-crafted tea cozies like crazy, but people don’t seem to be as interested in the tea kettles or the tea itself. You rightly focused more on the cozies because they were working but it’s not enough. Ever thought that perhaps you don’t have a tea business, but a cozy business? Try new products like coffee cozies, beer cozies, or toaster cozies and see how they do. A service company like a junk removal business could think about offering a separate moving service because it still involves hauling things.

    Expand your customer base.

    write a guest post

      If could be that you’ve hit your revenue ceiling with your current customers because they don’t have any more money, or they’ve already bought everything you have. Get new customers (i.e. revenue sources) by marketing yourself to a wider audience using new SEO terms, guest posting on different sites, joining more social networks, using PPC advertising, and more. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can stop appealing to your core audience; you just have to find ways to reach out to others without alienating them.

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      Join an affiliate ad network.

      Most businesses don’t like the idea of putting up ads for other companies, and especially fear driving visitors away with banners and pop-ups that are intrusive and annoying, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Amazon’s Associates Program lets you link to anything on their site in a contextual way and make money doing it, while Yahoo Publisher Network, Google Adsense, and others pay surprisingly well for ads that do little to disrupt your site. Perhaps the best part is that you can typically choose the kinds of ads that you want to display. In this way, you ensure that they reflect products and services that interest your customers. Some people have had amazing success using affiliate marketing.

      Get outside investments.

      Kickstarter

        This one works best with companies that are “big ideas” but don’t have a plan on how to monetize the business. Business ideas like Facebook and Twitter, or even companies that want to create something like a video game and sell it but don’t have the necessary money to create the game themselves. Kickstarter and websites like it provide you with one option but you can also utilize your own network to find people willing to invest money now for a piece of the profits later.

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        These suggestions are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finding new revenue sources for your business. You just have to be creative—some companies even make money by outsourcing their employees to other businesses when things are slow. The key is to keep the money coming in while you work on growing the company.

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        Last Updated on March 4, 2019

        How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

        How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

        Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

        I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

        Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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        Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

        Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

        Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

        I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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        I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

        If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

        Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

        The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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        Using Credit Cards with Rewards

        Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

        You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

        I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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        So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

        What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

        Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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