By Vishal P. Rao
Many home-based business owners have a single service or
product they provide. They may sell e-books or crafts or
speech-writing services. Specializing in one area is good
for many reasons. For one, it makes marketing easier and
helps that business build a solid reputation in one area.
Although specialization has its benefits, businesses who
derive all of their profit from a single area are overall
more susceptible to economic fluctuations and less
profitable in the long term.
A good example of multiple streams of income at work in
traditional business is the modern newspaper. A newspaper
company brings in revenue in three ways: by selling the
papers, by selling advertising space, and by selling
classified ads. Each of these is another stream of revenue
for the newspaper. Furthermore, some newspapers have added
an additional stream by charging for access to their online
For the home-based business owners like yourself, the key is
to follow the advice of the old saying: "Don't put all of
your eggs in one basket." Instead, you should work on
developing multiple streams of income.
Think in terms of a river. One river may have hundreds of
small tributaries and streams emptying into it along its
path. Without these waterways, the river level would fall
considerably and may one day disappear completely. The same
is true in business. Your revenue is like that river; it
needs to be nourished by many sources, not just one. If that
one source slows down or dries up, the negative impact on
the flow of your revenue is dramatic.
Once you understand why you need multiple streams of income,
the question is how do you create them. One home-based
business owner who specialized in writing secured her
multiple streams of income by owning her own business, doing
freelance work for two other companies, and teaching a class
at a local business college.
Another home-based business owner joined affiliate programs
offered by big name retailers and earned money by
imaginatively incorporating them into her heavily trafficked
Still another took his existing product which was designed
to help marketers produce effective e-zine articles, made
some minor changes, and re-packaged it as a tool for
students struggling to write school essays.
As these examples show, multiple streams of income can be
derived in a number of ways if you think creatively. The key
is to look for ways that complement your existing business.
If you sell gourmet cookies, for example, you could produce
cookbooks. If you work with Internet marketing, set up an
online bookstore full of marketing books via an affiliate
program. If you design web sites, teach a course on it at
your local college or offer it online through your existing
The possibilities for establishing multiple streams of
income are endless. But you must always remember that the
key to successfully managing multiple streams of income is
not to lose focus on your primary revenue generating
Have you ever been to a web site so covered in ads that you
could not tell what service or product was even being sold?
Most people have. The people who run those sites do not
realize that visitors are not coming to see banner ads for
other companies' products, but to learn more about theirs.
When visitors are bombarded by these other ads, they leave
in frustration. In the long run, the site loses money
because it simply isn't generating enough sales to justify
charging a decent rate for advertising. The idea is
balancing these other ways of earning you money without
taking away from the income stream you already have.
Once you have your streams in place and learn how to
maintain this equilibrium, your revenue will flow like a
steady river and will keep your home-based business on solid