Thu 11 Aug 2011
In the first part of this article, we listed three ways you can earn additional revenue and offset your total business space expense. In this section, we go over some additional strategies for you to consider as additional revenue makers.
Consider a Side Business
Is there something in your small business you do that creates by-products? Or even equipment you can use to develop additional products or services?
For instance, Roger owns and operates a delivery and cleaning service for commercial restaurant uniforms and linens. He has a fleet of 5 trucks he uses for his business that all use biodiesel fuel. As an avid environmental proponent and amateur scientist, he has designed a biodiesel fuel conversion station that makes the eco-friendly fuel out of spent cooking oil. He gets the oil for free from local restaurants, and he has the chemicals and equipment to convert the oil into bio-diesel at his business warehouse.
He makes enough biodiesel not only to power his trucks, but has a surplus he can sell to other auto owners with biodiesel engines. He sells the fuel to a small clientele for about $1.50-$2 per gallon and makes a nice income to offset the cost of chemicals and equipment to produce the biofuel. Essentially he runs his trucks at zero fuel expense.
Think outside the box and consider something along these lines in your business. Is there something else your business can do to make extra revenue in the space you occupy? Be creative. You're sure to come up with at least one idea.
Make and Show an Art Gallery
In Portland, Oregon, the trendy Pearl District near the downtown area holds a "First Thursday" art event every month. There are a number of art galleries in the area that started this event years ago, but other non-art related business joined the trend as a way to promote their own location. Companies like architecture firms, fine restaurants, upscale furniture stores, and more all open their doors each First Thursday night and display their art collection, provide wine & cheese or other small hors d'oeurvres, and end up finding additional business through the networking event.
Consider using your attractive and convenient space as a way to promote local artists. Find out how you can join with other local businesses and galleries to make a regular viewing event. Then make a call for art submissions. Choose a different theme each month or quarter. It could be paintings, sculptures, photographs, or whatever you think may fit your business "personality". Not only can you make additional income through the networking and additional foot traffic, but you could work out an arrangement to split the sale of art in a consignment deal.
Offer Storage Space Rental
Do you have a great small business space that happens to have additional empty space? It could be a basement or even an empty unused garage. Consider offering this ample empty space as a storage space to select individuals or other businesses.
However, be picky. You don't want every average Joe coming to your place of business asking to store his "stuff". Your arrangement should be made through word-of-mouth in an arrangement such as storing a local performing theater's costumes, storing an extra vehicle for another company, or even allowing a non-profit to store extra materials for a tax advantage deal.
Share Your IT Space
Do you have a slick IT room for your server use? Consider offering a shelf and internet connection to other local businesses to house their internet server. Professional web hosting companies will house a server owned by another business, and it's termed "co-location". And you could do the same for another local business if you have the qualified IT space and staff to monitor it. This type of co-location arrangement could be a great and easy way to utilize your high-tech space and add revenue to your company.
The ideas listed here are just ideas that have been proven effective for many small business owners. Consider some of these, and brainstorm your own. It is your duty as a small business owner to do the best you can to operate at full efficiency, and sharing your space could be one of those ways.