Vital Business Strategy

By: Diane Hughes

So often we, as online business owners, fall victim to the hype surrounding the latest buzzword or idea. It’s a truly pitiful state of Internet affairs when we can’t distinguish sound truth from blurred theory. So what is the truth surrounding one of the most talked about Internet catch phrases, "multiple streams of income"?

In all actuality, the idea of multiple streams of income is not a new concept. Those who have been successful in business (in life for that matter) have long understood that you simply aren’t acting wisely if you place all your trust in one wealth-generating company, idea, or tool. Those in offline business refer to "multiple streams of income" as "diversification."

Take a look at the stock market for a moment. This is a prime example of diversification or "multiple streams of income" (MSI). For as long as it has been in existence, the stock market has thrived on diversification. Stockbrokers encourage (almost insist) that you keep your funds split between multiple companies. Why? Because if one company goes under, you’ll have additional sources of revenue through the dividends of other companies.

How about business purchasing? Professionals in business procurement will advise you to line up and use several vendors for the same products/services.

Why? Again, to protect yourself should one or more of your vendors close their doors at the same time. If this happens, and you have other vendors lined up and ready to go, you won’t lose any time in getting the supplies you need to continue conducting your business.

These same proven tactics apply to MSI online. Just as you wouldn’t want to invest all of your savings with one retirement fund company, you wouldn’t want to derive all your income from one source. Just the opposite. You’ll want to ensure you have revenue coming in from as many different sources as possible.

MSI is a solid business principle that should be at the very foundation of your company. Whether you sell others’ products through affiliate programs or have a service-based business that you operate yourself, find multiple streams of income to back up your primary stream.

Don’t know where to look? Try these!

1. Add affiliate products to your site (or start a new site and offer them there).

2. Produce your own ebook, software product, or automated service that can be created once and sold over and over with little effort on your part.

3. Find others to partner with. Bring a combination of your products/services to market and give yourself twice as much income for half as much work.

The Same or Different?

Should you aim for adding MSI that are similar to your current offerings or different? There are pros and cons to each. You’ll need to examine both sides of the story and make that decision for yourself.

While products/services that are similar can be added to your current marketing plan more quickly, those that are different allow your company to expand and reach more target groups. Similar products/services integrate easily into your current business strategy, but different products/services help you achieve more security. The "correct" decision is one you can make according to your situation.

Regardless of whether you decide to go with products or services that are similar or diverse, affiliate or your own, give some serious thought to shoring up your finances through multiple streams of income. When you do, you can be rest assured knowing your future is secure.

Copyright 2004 Diane Hughes

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