Do you want to explore new ways to generate revenue within your small business? You’re not alone! During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies had to pivot their business structures. These new business models included targeting online markets and establishing a presence on digital platforms.
Even though the pandemic has subsided, there are still plenty of opportunities to generate income online for your business.
Gift Card Promotion
It can be hard to sell your business’ products online, and that’s okay. Consider a gift card promotion—an incredible incentive that keeps customers interested in your business.
Selling gift cards at a discounted rate using a gift card processor on your website gives customers money off products and drives revenue.
Organizations specializing in personal services, such as spas, or hair and nail salons, can find this technique valuable for generating immediate revenue. Promotions such as purchasing a $120 gift card for the price of $100 can be an effective way to offer a discount on unspecified items or services.
Sales on Future Services
Don’t have time to set up a gift card processor on your business’ website? Hosting sales on future services is an easy way to generate revenue and keep customers returning to your business. This method is valuable for cosmetologists or other service base providers who do not have physical products to sell.
An effective way of selling services now, instead of later, is by discounting them and setting a date for when customers can redeem an offer. For example, if you have a carpet cleaning company, your business could run a special rate for a home cleaning service that a customer can purchase immediately and redeem within the next 12 months. This way, there is a time limit on the promotion but an incentive for customers to use a service.
Host an Online Seminar
Hosting an online seminar is an excellent idea for sharing your business craft with others. Online streaming platforms let your business share private content with paying customers and allows customers to pay a flat rate to view video and audio clips. Alternatively, customers can pay for content every month.
A creative way that some restaurants can benefit from online seminars is by broadcasting cooking lessons or tips and tricks from the kitchen. Other businesses can share content and tutorials about their services. For example, a personal trainer attempting to advertise their business can broadcast at-home workouts.
Optimize Your Website With SEO
Research shows that more than 25 percent of all Google users click on the first organic result after searching for a specific term. That demonstrates the power of search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is about improving your business’ website – so it appears higher on search engine results pages. Your business can do this in various ways:
- Update website content regularly
- Incorporate relevant keywords in the website content
- Make sure your website displays correctly on mobile devices as well as computers
- Publish authoritative and informative content about your business niche on a blog (see below)
- Use “alt tags” (alternative text descriptions), which help search engines locate your business site
- Include metadata for website pages, which help search engines crawl and index your business site
- Remove any website elements that slow your business’ site down or make it difficult for potential customers to access the content
- Ensure all business contact information (phone number, email address, social media links, etc.) is up to date
Start a Blog
Like online seminars, sharing content on a blog can help your business target online markets and establish an internet presence. You can create blog content about your business niche and share insights with your audience. Also, blogging can improve SEO efforts and drive more potential customers to your business’s pages.
Don’t forget to include links to products and services in blog posts to boost sales. Say you own a fashion brand and want to generate more online leads. You could create blog content that showcases seasonal fashion trends and include links to product pages on your business’s online store.
Creating a successful blog can take some time. However, you can encourage readers to share pages on their social media pages or repost content on their websites. This increases the online visibility of your business and helps your business advertise products and services to a larger audience.
Tip: Get Financial Assistance
Pivoting your business to online markets requires time and money. For example, you might need to invest in audio-visual equipment to create online seminars. Financial assistance can help take your business to the next level and provide the funds your business needs to pay for technologies, extra labor, and promotional campaigns.
- A merchant cash advance is a short-term alternative business financing option that gives businesses access to working capital in exchange for a percentage of their future credit/debit card receivables.
- This financing option is a good choice for businesses that need help with seasonal costs, business expansion, equipment repairs, or cash flow gaps.
- A small business line of credit is a form of flexible financing that allows your business to draw on funds up to an approved credit amount while making regular payments to pay off what you’ve drawn on, allowing continuous and repeated access to these funds.
- This could be an ideal option for small businesses that need fast funding to overcome gaps in cash flow or build up a cushion of working capital to grow their company.
While the COVID-19 pandemic spurred many businesses to adopt online methods for generating revenue, the phenomenon of using online methods to generate revenue shows no signs of going away.
However, with some creativity and exploration, there are many ways to produce online revenue and establish a digital presence with limited resources. Once your business has a program in place, get the word out. Email blasts, social posts, and advertising on your business’ website can all be effective tools for reaching your business’ online audience.