Business Strategies

Sidelines and the Entrepreneur

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

One business will often inspire other ideas and offshoots can be profitable, it's a case of knowing which ones will work and which won't.

If you are running your own business, you will no doubt see other opportunities to make money from off shoots of your business.

This is good stuff as these can be implemented fairly quickly as your business is at least in part, already established.

Potential sidelines should always be followed through. Though in the beginning they can mislead you into thinking they are not going to be very profitable, but bear in mind they are in the main, hard to predict in the long term. So what may make a few extra pennies in the beginning, may lead to a lot of pennies after a year.

Sidelines are very much in the entrepreneurial spirit. Find the idea, research it, and exploit it, and it makes money. Sidelines look good from all angles if you think about it.

Examples of sidelines:

If your business has a website, you may want to consider ads as a good sideline to make money. Adsense, from Google, is a well known and much used advertising service which is fairly straight forward to implement. It works by using Pay Per Click, or PPC. Whereby you are paid a small sum for every click on an ad.

There are also other forms of advertising for your site, such as Affiliate Programs, whereby you advertise a related product to your site, and should a person click on the ad and buy the product, you receive a percentage of the sale.

There are pros and cons to all internet advertising, and before you start to advertise on your site, research them thoroughly.

Related services are always good to offer as a sideline. The thinking here is that if someone is willing to pay for one type of service, then they may well want to pay for another. This can lead to other services until the range you offer will be extensive. Examine carefully what you are doing at the moment, and see if you can spot a new one.

Related products are similar to services, and have a lot of scope. Some markets are more suited to this than others, but if you are selling a product, another type in its field seems to make sense. Think about products that are not directly related for maximum impact. For example, if you are selling make-up products, why not move into jewellery, perfume, and accessories? DVDs lend themselves to CDs, blu-ray and home cinema and hi-fi products such as leads and cleaning products, possibly MP3 players and iPods. Possibilities are endless.

The one question with sidelines is how much effort should be put into them, in comparison with the main business. Often with products, it is simply a question of sourcing and carrying more stock. For services however, this takes more time and you have to view them with possibilities for profit.

Sidelines, wherever possible should be explored and exploited, as many have the capacity to grow into a very profitable side of your business. A little thought and careful examination of what you already do, and the sidelines will become obvious.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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