On the Weekends, I’m in a Band

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on January 22, 2010 in: Branding, Business - Plain & Simple

girl-bandA friend of mine is a high school music teacher by day. And, since she’s not a full-time music teacher, she also plays in a band on the weekends to help with the bills.

I was reminded of her when I read an article by Jonathan Weber at TheBigMoney.com, Outsource Yourself. Weber says that, in difficult times, business owners should outsource their skills to earn additional revenue. He, for example, writes his own primary publication but also writes for other publications and produces media products and conferences for other companies. In a way, he sounds like he’s simply restating the freelancing model, but I get the sense that he envisions it to be even bigger than that. I suppose, in a way, it’s not unlike my college whose primary purpose was to educate students but it would also rent out its unused facilities to organizations that needed classroom-style space. And it’s not unlike my friend whose primary work is as a high school music teacher but who makes money on the weekends in a band.

Although this article was written to address diminishing revenue during tough economic times, it has value as a standard operating practice all the time. Creating additional revenue streams is always important (and if you do incorporate it as a regular practice during the good economic times, you might be well diversified to make it through the more challenging times).

So, don’t make the mistake of thinking that Weber is just talking about a freelancing model – taking on another client in a similar way to what you already do. He’s talking about finding new ways to use your skills and assets.

In a way, we might think of this as adding new revenue streams to the core business, such as when you might add ebooks or speaking engagements to your coaching and training business. But I think it goes even further than that:

  • Your business has assets that you don’t need all the time. Can you share those with others? A company like iStopOver gives office owners a place to list extra office space that people can rent temporarily.
  • Maybe your skills can be put to use in different ways than what you are used to, as is the case with my music teacher friend who realized that she can augment her income not by more teaching but by entertaining. Same skill, different purpose.
  • Maybe you continue to provide your own services but then train others to perform similar activities. I see this in some industries frequently – like in real estate – but not in other industries. (Weber is quick to point out that you might end up working with your competitor but that is better than nothing, he says).

The economy may be recovering but it’s not the time to become complacent! Instead, make a plan to explore new revenue opportunities by offering your skills and services in different ways than you are used to. You’ll create short-term revenue and long term business stability.

Have a rockin’ weekend!

Heather Recommends:

I love working with coaches, freelancers, and entrepreneurs to help them become more successful. If you'd like to improve your business, find out how I can help.

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