co Sidelines: How Your Business Can Survive Online |

Every small business owner knows that survival doesn’t always mean doing what you set out to do in the first place. Sometimes you can add new services and increase your revenues by a lot. But what services should you add?

There are different approaches to adding sidelines to a business. But in general the following activities make good sidelines for most businesses:

  • Consulting
  • Speaking engagements
  • E-books
  • Radio shows
  • Special events

A sideline is a part of your business that doesn’t really do anything to increase your customer satisfaction by itself. It should be related in some way to what you do, but it shouldn’t take it over (otherwise, it wouldn’t be a sideline).

For instance, let’s say you run an automotive shop. You get paid to fix people’s cars. You could start a number of sidelines to help increase your overall revenue, but the market for those sidelines may be a completely different market. You could consult with automobile owners one on one and teach them how to do their own automotive work. In this case you’d get paid by the hour, but all you do is communicate while someone else does the work.

Using the same scenario, you could get paid to speak at conferences about different aspects of automotive care. In that case, you’d get paid per speaking engagement.

    E-books – Get paid for what you sell.

    Radio show (or podcast) – Sell sponsorships.

    Special events – Get creative and design your own revenue stream.

There’s really no limit to the number of sidelines you can have. Some website owners have created online sidelines such as niche directories, wikis, video channels and all kinds of other creative ideas. You should find out what your audience needs and meet that need, on the sideline.