There are two ways to create additional profit centers. First, you can create an offshoot of your main business. Second, you may want to create another business altogether, one that you can do at the same time. Let's consider that first idea, generating multiple sources of income from one main business. For example:
- A massage therapist could get a gig working at a local health club. She could also buy a massage table and go to her client's homes. She could set up the table in her spare bedroom. She could get on the list of local hotels that need her services for their customers. She could offer 10-minute massages to corporations with harried executives. Now, instead of only one profit center, she would have five.
- A cleaning service owner can add commercial clients to his or her roster of residential clients.
- An antique dealer who sells antiques from the barn in the back of his house could also sell them at local shows and on eBay.
There are innumerable new things you can do to bring in money from one business if you just get creative. Try this brainstorming exercise: Write down 10 possible new ways to generate income from your homebased business. Jot down any idea that comes to your head; you can edit later. Ask your spouse or a valued friend for any ideas he or she might have. Cross out the ridiculous ideas and see if you don't end up with a few gems.
Steve Strauss is a lawyer, author and speaker who specializes in small business and entrepreneurship. He also writes a weekly column for USA Today.