10 Low-Hanging Fruit Ideas to Skyrocket Your Earnings This Year (Forbes)

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10 Low-Hanging Fruit Ideas to Skyrocket Your Earnings This Year (Forbes)

According to data collected from CB Insights, 29% of startups fail because of a cash flow crunch. It ranked as number two on the list of reasons why businesses fail, right below “lack of market need for a product or service.”

Lowering your overhead and cutting costs are two ways to hold on to more cash. But there are only so many costs you can cut before you need to shift focus to earning more revenue. One way to do that is by focusing on low-hanging fruit ideas that can be implemented relatively quickly.

Take a look at the skills and assets you already have that can generate new income. Then ask yourself how those ideas can make a long-term impact on your business’s financial health. From targeting your existing clients, to offering consulting services, here are 10 ideas to get you started.

1. Upsell Your Clients
Selling to your existing customers is far easier than targeting and marketing to brand-new ones. But you may need to do more than just try to resell them the same product or service they bought before. Instead, look for ways to upsell them on a related, but more premium, offer.

For example, a customer who bought your SaaS product may be interested in a VIP service where you come and train their staff on advanced ways to use your product that could help improve sales.

2. Entice Customers to Give Referrals
A study by Harvard Business Review found that customers obtained through referrals are both more loyal and more valuable than other customers. Consider focusing your efforts on exemplary customer service that nurtures and retains your current customers while enticing them to refer new ones.

But you don’t have to go it alone. Referral marketing platforms like RewardStream can help incentivize customers to take the lead as brand advocates by tracking and rewarding their efforts.

3. Become a Public Speaker
Public speaking connects you to new customers while putting speaking fees into your pocket at the same time. I’ve done public speaking in the past, both domestically and internationally, and it brought me new connections and opportunities I never would have found otherwise.

Speaking also gives you the opportunity to really hone your topic and quickly position yourself as an expert in your field. And even if your speaking fees aren’t covered as you get started, the travel is often paid for.

4. Go Beyond Traditional Investing
Socking away your savings into 401k equivalents and stocks and bonds are likely to slowly earn you profits that you’ll realize over several decades. Meanwhile, investing in real estate can yield immediate results. Think bigger than residential real estate, and become a commercial real estate investor. For example, Realty Mogul connects investors to commercial investments including storage space, retail space, and hotels for as little as $5,000.

5. Start Consulting
There may be no faster route to low-hanging fruit than capitalizing on your expertise and offering your consulting services. Business owners who fix smartphones and devices for a living can create their own consulting gig on the side. Teach other tech-savvy entrepreneurs how to operate their own stores and get up and running with marketing and acquiring customers.

You can also consult as a silent business partner and advise on a topic you know best. I’ve done this and earned a nice side income while guiding businesses on growth hacking and content marketing. And if you’re working full-time, venturing into consulting can create a pathway to self-employment.

6. Build Digital Products
Chances are high you probably already teach employees or customers the same business process over and over. For example, you may show your sales team how to successfully onboard new clients using a system like Salesforce. Turn that knowledge and process into a digital product and market it to similar business owners who need help with their own training and are looking for a cost-effective way to outsource it.

7. Team Up with a Complementary Business
There are plenty of ways to work with other businesses that share the same audience as you, that won’t put you out of business. A fitness boot camp could team up with a running store to promote and sell the other’s services and products. Meanwhile, a content marketer who creates high-level blog posts can tap a graphic design team to work on infographics and share leads and clients.

8. Start Freelancing
Like consulting, there is a low barrier of entry for freelancing. It’s easy to get started and turn it into an income stream. You can freelance on the side for just a few hours a week, or turn it into a viable full-time income. And you’ll be in good company. According to the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE), 79.66% of small businesses in the United States are self-employed.

Look for areas that you can jump into immediately. Full-time marketing consultants can look to social media management and Pinterest campaign creation to get up and running quickly.

9. Rent Out Your Business
You may not be able to rent out your actual business, but you can rent out your space and equipment. Brooklyn/Winery struggled to meet its quota for wine selling, but it stumbled into the wedding venue business when a couple asked to rent its space.

Businesses can rent out part of their offices on a short or long-term basis through a site like Share Desk. You can also earn money on equipment you’re not using anymore. Professional photographers can rent out their unused gear with services like ShareGrid.

10. Cut Loose the Time-Wasting Clients
It’s hard to let clients go when you’re desperately trying to scale, but the time-wasters are often what’s holding you back. A difficult client who creates stress and tension in your company isn’t a long-term relationship you want to nurture. Cut them loose, and focus the new time and energy on targeting and marketing to your ideal customer. The more you practice the fine art of firing bad customers, the sooner you can replace them with the winners you’ve always dreamed about working with.

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