January 4, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit small business operators hard, forcing disruption in their operations that directly affects their revenue. According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), 92% of small businesses say they have suffered negative effects as a consequence of the pandemic. In today’s world, finding ways to generate new revenue is more essential than ever before. Here are a few ideas that can help you create new revenue streams for your business.
Take your business online
Moving your business online can help give your business a sense of certainty. There are several ways to enable online revenue streams. If you have a retail business, you can go from being a local business to a national one by setting up an ecommerce store on your website, which will allow you to reach more people and generate more revenue.
But ecommerce isn’t limited to just retail businesses—even if your business operations wouldn’t traditionally be well suited to online shopping, there are ways to create online revenue streams:
- If you are a restaurant operator, you can add or improve your delivery and takeout options to better serve your customers with online ordering. Studies show that 70% of customers prefer to order directly from a restaurant and online ordering makes it easy for them to do that right from your website or even from their mobile phone.
- If you own a fitness studio or offer a service that requires people to show up, moving classes and other services online with live streaming is a good opportunity to expand your reach and adapt. Taking advantage of your Virtual Terminal makes it easy to run payments online or even set up recurring payments for subscriptions to classes.
Offer new products or services
While the pandemic has limited many normal business channels, it has also created new opportunities that your business can take advantage of. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend money to create or develop new products. Instead, consider what you can add or change about them that can benefit you and your customers.
For example, many retailers are creating care packages, where they bundle up products that can help people cope with the pandemic, such as face coverings, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies. Bundling up is not just putting together products—it’s more about selling a new experience with your business, so make sure your care packages tie back into what your business does best.
- Restaurants can prepare meal kits to take advantage of the fact that families are spending more time cooking and eating at home. Similarly, restaurants can sell grocery items, or even get into selling frozen meals since recent studies show that Americans have paid about $15.5 billion for frozen food during the 11 weeks that ended on May 16, 2020.
- Salons can sell do-it-yourself hair or nail kits, which can be paired nicely with online tutorials or classes.
- Hardware stores can similarly sell do-it-yourself weekend project kits or gardening kits since so many people are taking advantage of this time to improve their homes.
Attract more customers
Trying to reach new customers might seem daunting given that almost everyone is in self-isolation, but in reality, several tools can help you accomplish it without leaving home. One of the most effective ways to reach more customers is through social media. Keeping your customers informed and putting their needs first will allow you to nourish strong relationships and, consequently, attract more new customers. So be creative and interact with your customers in your social media campaigns, and listen to their needs. For example, ask them what they would like to see from your business with a poll, or offer limited-time deals to incentivize your new products or services.
Lastly, don’t forget about email marketing. Having an improved digital presence is good, but it means nothing if people can't find their way to your products or services, and email is still the most effective way to communicate with your customers. Make sure you’re taking advantage of email marketing to direct your customers to your website where they can order new products and services.
By implementing these new revenue strategies, you’ll not only help your business get through the pandemic, but also create better opportunities for your business for when things finally do recover.