As we approach the end of the calendar year, you may have started thinking about your goals, plans and priorities for 2011. Part of your planning may involve business development activities that you hope will increase your income over the long term. But what about right now? We still have just under two months left in 2010 … what if you could take some fast action and start the new year already ahead of the game?
The goal should be to figure out what you can do that requires just a little time and small investment, but has the potential to yield significant rewards. Or at least get you started on a plan you can take further in 2011. Here are a few income-boosting ideas to get you thinking.
Create a New Product
While information products may be starting to get a bad name, I have seen some true gems that offer an amazing value to the purchaser. What are the hot topics in your business, among your network, and with your clients? Create a short ebook on a topic that relates to your expertise, a video tutorial series on a challenge frequently faced by your clients, or a how-to guide that walks the user through an advanced process in a few simplified steps.
When it comes time to sell your product, consider teaming up with colleagues, connections and even clients to expand your reach and increase the visibility of your product.
Try an Upsell
A valuable add-on product or service offered at the right time can be a huge value-add for your clients. For example, say you provide WordPress setup and customization services, and you create a video guide on how to manage a WordPress site. That guide could be the perfect upsell to clients who hire you to get their WordPress blogs set up.
And you’re not limited to current clients. Once your product has been developed, go back to past clients who have WordPress blogs sitting dormant because they are overwhelmed by the process of posting, managing comments and upgrading plugins. Your product could be exactly what they need.
Bundle Current Products/Services
Do you offer a few different products and services that go hand-in-hand? For example, services like logo design, business card design and letterhead design can be bundled perfectly to create a “business start-up package.”
Combining these like items into one bundle at a moderately discounted price, especially when offered for a limited time such as a holiday special, can be the incentive your clients need to sign on and make the purchase.
Monetize Your Website and/or Blog
If you have an active blog, introducing ad space with a limited time introductory package can be a great way to get some initial income, lock in advertisers for a few months, and get the ball rolling.
If your blog is not yet up to snuff or readership is low, use the next two months to polish it up and get the word out. Advertising and other website monetization techniques may not be a quick income booster, but starting now can set the foundation for a passive income stream you can work on building over the next year.
Start an Incentive-based Referral Program
We all know how powerful word of mouth referrals can be, but instead of waiting for your happy clients to sing your praises on their own, offer them a reason to do it now. Create a referral program that rewards your clients for sending more business your way through free bonuses, special discounts and other incentives that not only make it worth the effort but also show how much you appreciate their business … and their referrals.
Have you been able to boost your income in a short period of time by doing any of these ideas? What would you add to the list?
Image credit: Farvala
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