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5 helpful ways to source alternative income streams

3-minute read

Almost every business has access to alternative income streams. Here’s how you can find them.

Key take-outs
  • Find out what your customers/clients need from you right now and help make their lives easier
  • Consider selling direct through social media while business on your premises is limited
  • Look into government funding, such as available stimulus packages you may be eligible for

Australia is experiencing its first recession in almost three decades. This means it’s anything but business as usual for Aussie businesses at the moment. Yet, despite restrictions, there are still opportunities to find alternative income streams. Here are five practical and cost-effective thought-starters to help you on your way.

1. Pivot your core business to find alternative income streams

Pivoting your business model can help diversify your income. And chances are your customers’ needs have evolved in line with how the world has changed in recent months, which can provide useful insights if you’re thinking about a new angle for your business. 

 

You could start talking to your customers, engaging them in a survey or monitoring relevant hashtags and posts online. Ask yourself what experience you can offer to help make their lives easier now.

2. Social media can become an alternative income stream

While doing business as usual on your premises is still limited, social media can be a cost effective and impactful way to promote your goods and services to consumers. You can also sell direct through platforms like Facebook and Instagram to a national and global audience.

 

If this is an avenue you’re considering, make sure your offer looks great online. Professional, creative photos and product shots can go a long way on social media. There are many affordable platforms that offer free design templates and filters to enhance your artwork, like Canva, for example.

3. New partnerships can inspire alternative income streams

Are there businesses that complement what you do? If so, a short- or longer-term partnership could help you pool resources and grow your customer base.

 

For example, if you’re a graphic designer, you could partner with printers to offer a complete end-to-end service to make things easier for your customers. Working closely, or simply recommending each other, can be mutually beneficial.

 

Remember to put your agreement in writing to keep your relationship clear and amicable. It’s also good to make sure your professional partnerships reflect well on what you do.

4. Your team could help highlight alternative income streams

Your employees are your greatest asset, so you should make use of them. Be honest about the need for everyone to tap into their ideas and networks to uncover fresh opportunities. 

 

This doesn’t mean you should go for the ‘hard-sell’. It could be as simple as investigating what family, friends and acquaintances need during this time or ramping up the sales activities with your team. Regardless of what you do, remember to show gratitude for their support in all customer communications. 

Consider financial support

Getting through the economic downturn isn’t just about making new sales. Additional financial support in the form of a government stimulus or support package from your business banking provider can help stabilise your cash flow in difficult times. You might not need a loan or an overdraft extension right now, but knowing it’s there when you need it can help provide some much-needed peace of mind. 

 

From selling direct on social media to pivoting your core business, there are opportunities to diversify your income streams or amplify what you have. Remember, effective business innovations should help secure new ways to generate income for years to come.


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Things you should know

This article is a general overview and should be used as a guide only. We recommend that you seek independent professional advice about your specific circumstances before acting.