Three Income Streams Every Business Can Generate

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Even under the best circumstances, it\’s hard to think of any business that couldn\’t benefit from additional revenue streams. The trick lies in identifying opportunities, and getting in to a favorable position to exploit them. The real trick is doing it with the resources on hand. A frequently overlooked resource for generating income is in knowledge sharing. And, depending on what you do, it can soon turn from \”making a few bucks on the side\” to a major source of income. Unlike many income opportunities, it doesn\’t require a great deal of up-front investment. You just have to be really good at something, be able to pass the knowledge along to others, and be willing to put forth the effort. There are any number of ways to make money sharing your knowledge. Below are just a few different ideas to get you started.

1. Coaching:

Chances are, you didn\’t just pick a field or business type out of a book and start a business. And over the years, you\’ve learned any number of things that you\’ve used to become better at it. It\’s also a good bet that a lot of what you\’ve learned are \’soft skills\’, such as how to sell your particular product, or specific techniques for dealing with your clients and customer base. For example, if you have a successful technical writing business, you\’ve probably figured out a working approach to gathering information from clients when they\’re not so good at explaining things. You\’ve learned what works and what doesn\’t work, and over the years you\’ve applied it to your own business.

Start-up costs for this can be kept to a minimum. A small fee for web-based video-conferencing, a small investment in a good webcam and microphone, and a little money for advertising. For a small investment in a video-conferencing service, and maybe some hardware for your computer, you could offer one-on-one coaching in probing techniques for technical writers. Or you could work with less experienced technical writers to improve their core skill-set. This has the virtue of being schedulable, so you can generate the income on your time-table, without the need to adjust how and when you service your clients.

2. Online Courses:

Online courses are a rapidly growing industry, and a great way to turn your knowledge and experience in to income without a lot of expenditure. It can be a bit time-intensive designing and creating the courses, but once the material is completed and published, the time spent on it is limited to answering questions in a web-forum, and the occasional update to courses. There are a growing number of websites, such as Udemy, that you can use to publish, and get paid for, your course, which means you may not have to invest in an expensive web-hosting package. You\’ll probably need to spend some money for advertising, but even that cost can be minimized by thoughtful and strategic use of social media platforms.

3. Executive Consulting:

Corporations spend nearly $375 billion annually on Executive Consulting services, and that number is getting bigger all the time. There are any number areas that are ripe for the picking, such as sales training, manufacturing cost analysis, outside tax and accounting services, and many other \’high-level\’ project types. Other things that executive consultants are hired for are not quite so well-known. Form design, document control projects, event planning, or employee engagement research are all things that corporations hire outside consulting firms for.

Executive consulting is something that requires getting your name to the top of the list in ways other than advertising. Attending and speaking at conferences, maintaining a high-traffic blog or website, publishing articles in industry publications, and networking are some of the keys to build this type of income stream. If this is something you\’re considering, it\’s vital to bring your a-game every time. Word of mouth can be the difference between success and spinning your wheels. But executive consulting can also be a very lucrative business.


We\’ve discussed a few of many ways to create an income stream from your existing knowledge and expertise. And it might be obvious, but it\’s worth saying that you don\’t need to limit yourself to just one or two of them.

Phil Shawe is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of TransPerfect, the world\’s largest privately held provider of language services.

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