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3 Alternative Sources of Income to Support Your Small Business

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by Startacus Admin

Alternative Sources of Income to Support Your Small Business

Running a small business can be financially draining, especially during the first year of operation. It’s one of the pressures which prevents many people from pursuing their ambitions of self-employment- the bills keep on coming whether you are running your own business or not!  

For many though, this needn’t prevent taking the plunge into entrepreneurship.

If you’re finding it difficult to come up with the finances to support your company, the good news is there are a few alternative sources of income you can look into and explore. In fact, many successful businesses claim the secret to doing well is making sure you have more than one income stream.

An often overlooked benefit of working in other capacities alongside managing your own business, is the opportunity it creates to expand your personal network and forge new professional relationships which can ultimately prove lucrative for your own enterprise.

Below you’ll discover 3 alternative sources of income that can help to support your small business, whilst giving you the flexibility which is so important to the modern entrepreneur.

Alternative sources of income for your small business

1. Use your skills

Everybody has unique skills that other people would love to learn. If you have the time, why not offer tuition on the side. This can provide quite a lucrative extra income that can be used to fuel your small business.  What’s more, tutoring others can be as flexible as you need it to be, allowing you to focus on growing your business alongside your work.   

However, if a less labour intensive approach is what you are after, there are even ways to start earning a regular extra income which don’t require much extra work. Selling eBooks is a great example. You could create an eBook relating to your business sector. Once it’s been written and published, you’ll earn money each time somebody buys the book, providing you with a steady stream of extra profit. This is also a great opportunity to build yourself up as an expert in the field, driving more sales to your small business.

Another low-intensity option is providing consultancy services to businesses and other entrepreneurs.  People often fail to realise the value of the skills and experiences that they have, and are oftentimes surprised to find that these can command a hefty price-tag to those in need of them.  Of course, this consultancy work can be done on a freelance basis, leaving you with the flexibility to focus on your own business when need be.  

2. Investing / Stocks and shares

This might not be something you have ever considered before, but for some business owners investing in stocks and shares can be a good way of finding extra revenue to support their business.

One of the major factors which can prevent entrepreneurs from pursuing this alongside their own business is that it can seem like a complicated and risky process if you don’t know what you’re doing- and as we have learned through recent events, stock markets can be fickle things!

As is the case with all enterprise related topics, making sure that you are fully aware of how the system works is absolutely crucial.  Online you will find a lot of information, such as that offered by EXT Capital, which can help you to understand the simplest, and lowest risk ways to invest in stocks and shares.  

3. Find an investor / Crowdfund

Investors usually only consider working with start-up businesses, but some are willing to come on board with more established businesses. An investor gives you the funds you need to take your business forward, in return for a percentage of the profits / an equity share in your business. You’ll need to consider this option carefully and do a lot of research beforehand. However, it could be an excellent way to expand and gain more financial security.  Check out our guide to investment terms and phrases, for a bit more clarity on the matter.

Another funding option which is becoming increasingly popular is crowdfunding.   Crowdfunding is the process of raising investment for a business venture, by encouraging many smaller sums of money from a number of individuals.  In the vast majority of cases, this takes place on the internet via social network style facilitation services called crowdfunding platforms.

Rewards-based crowdfunding in particular, can be a good way of raising extra cash to support your business without having to part with any equity, instead providing products and services as a means of repaying investors. 

Equity crowdfunding, on the other hand more closely resembles traditional business funding, whereby investors receive an equity stake in your business, in return for a cash injection.  Some of the most well-known and popular crowdfunding platforms include Seedrs, Kickstarter, crowdcube, and Indiegogo.   

As you can see from the above ideas, there are plenty of alternative income sources out there. Sometimes you just need to think outside of the box. Ideally having 2-3 income sources is recommended. It may take a lot of extra time and effort, but once a second income source has been established, your small business will really reap the benefits.

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Published on: 6th July 2016

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