Discovering a new revenue stream is much like starting a new business. Many variables contribute to successfully finding a new lucrative stream of cash. A great deal of all marketing & sales consultant work revolves around the concept of helping clients make more money. Often that additional revenue is closely tied to finding new customers. The biggest win for companies is finding a whole new source of buyers. Ideally that source is loaded with an abundance of quality prospects and not just ancillary business fished from existing pools.

The Best Way To Discover a New Revenue Stream...

Show & tell works better than ever when trying to sell your products or services

...starts at the strategic level. This should involve thorough efforts to:

  1. Evaluate & document where you are making money now to establish an objective baseline. It's not sufficient for this to be in someone's head; write it down so that all stakeholders can see the same baseline (and verify that that view is correct... or help fix it).
  2. Develop a clear vision of where your industry is heading to begin to project where things may need to change as the industry evolves. Again, write it down so that the vision can be reviewed and verified by others.
  3. Thoroughly research the competition to harvest their better ideas. Yes, those talented people hard at work for your competition do have very good ideas too. A strong competitive intelligence progam can add them to your own (and you don't even have to pay those innovators).
  4. Regularly (frequently) listen to existing customers to collectively identify what buyers want (as a group(s)).
  5. Use SWOT analysis to help organize how best to leverage existing talent, resources and capabilities.
  6. Identify a relevant opportunity(s) or hole(s) that your company could fulfill. Many companies desire the so-called "low hanging fruit" but you should also look for the opportunities that require a ladder or three to harvest some richer opportunities that might be shunned by competitors also reaching for only the easy, quick & cheap. Why? While many competitors pick the low-hanging fruit bare, you can (also) gorge on the bounty just out of that crowd's reach. Yes, it may take a little more work or cost but those very issues will screen out many other pickers (and that additional fruit tastes just as good).
  7. Objectively evaluate your marketing & sales model to determine potential adaptations. If it's still running pretty much the same as it was a few years ago, you're missing opportunities. "We've always done it that way" is a poor- sometimes terminal- execuse for not keeping up with an ever-evolving business world.
  8. Listen to the brilliance within (and not just the executives at the top) by drawing upon your own people to help imagine your next big thing. Especially listen to those closest to your customers... even if they are at the lowest tier on your organization chart. By interacting with your customers much more often than executive management, they have insights far superior to anything you can get from the top tiers... even if those top tiers are pretty good at trying to draw out such intelligence via chain of command. Second, third to tenth+ hand is never as good as first hand; there's too much lost in translation and messenger massaging as it works its way up to you. Bypass the middlemen.
  9. Consider how your product or service development model could be evolved to exploit a new market. Sometimes little changes can yield big new product successes.
  10. Assemble the above into a cohesive, actionable plan explicitly mapping out how to get from here to there. Write it down, because an actionable plan in someone's head is undersood by only that ONE person. Your team can't even tell if it's the best plan- or help you evolve it into the best possible plan- if they can't see it.

Complete Objectivity is Crucial to Recognize Tangible New Revenue Stream Opportunities

A key descriptor to be associated with all of the above is to execute those efforts OBJECTIVELY. Sure, you can do many of these kinds of things internally but that always yields a subjective outcome. An objective view will cut through the internal biases, company spin, etc, while a subjective approach is constantly influenced by internal PR, politics, emotions and so on.

Consider the very common, narrow example of how company spin is regularly reinforcing (what are actually outright) lies to internal staff like "our products are far superior to everyone else's." While this is a great way to fire up your team in company meetings (and you want your salespeople to believe this completely), it often yields a strategic downside. If the internal staff charged with helping you find your new revenue stream accepts that spin as fact (or are too afraid to challenge the status quo), they may not even consider any fundamental opportunities related to product… such as quality, value, pricing, promotion, etc.

In a competitive marketplace a rare few products can be tangibly superior to all other offerings. If your competitors own good chunks of market share they must be doing something right… or more directly, something better than YOUR company to have that share. Because that market share exists there is opportunity for you to take it. The status quo won't get it (or it would have already done so).

An objective viewpoint & approach will be distanced from the internal biases resulting in a more realistic view of all matters related to tapping into a new revenue stream. In this narrow example it will see this particular opportunity much more clearly than biased, internal staff. As such, it may reveal huge revenue opportunities by simply evolving your products or by creating new variant products. This is one of the easiest- and cheapest- ways to tap into new revenue streams… a way that is (too) often overlooked (because company propaganda and politics are powerful influences on any internal team).

Very simply, until a problem or opportunity is clearly and objectively defined any perceived progress against it is just luck or guessing. If the internal team can't look at the company objectively- and they can't- it is immensely helpful to also work with an external team to fill this strategic need.

The Big Innovations team is highly skilled at this kind of project. You could engage us to work with your team in just about any capacity or have us work independent of any such influences. Either way, we would utilize well proven solutions every step of the way. For example, our collective brilliance model is the optimal way to deliver big on #3, #4 and #8 in the above list.

Leveraging Internal Brilliance Once the Objective New Revenue Possibilities Are Identified

When all of the objective concepts are on the table we could work with your internal brains to process the observations into actionable possibilities. In that phase, we help you think through and work out the details to a long list of questions like:

  • How can existing products or services be repackaged or repurposed for a new source of revenue?
  • How much- if at all- can the Internet impact our revenues?
  • How much market share do we have now and how much more can we realistically take?
  • How can we realize new revenue from (much of) what we are already doing?
  • What specific growth (skills, knowledge, talent, resources) will be necessary to enter a new market?
  • How can we test our way into the new market to verify the opportunity before committing too much toward it?
  • Could you offerings be packaged for the rapidly growing mobile app market?
  • Should we strategically acquire a business to add to our existing operations?
  • Etc. (there are many more)

In this capacity, you would be using our objectivity to frame the possibilities then help you tap internal expertise to flesh out the nitty gritty. This will typically screen out some ideas as too much of a stretch beyond your current core competencies while focusing in on the great concepts you could actually accomplish. That focus feeds into developing a solid plan of how to get from here to there. The plan is used to maintain progress toward tapping into that new revenue stream. Objective milestones verify real progress. Objective testing verifies new market validity. Etc.

Contact us for a free consultation. If you want or need a new revenue stream, we can provide exceptional talent & resources to help you get there.

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