I took your work at home class several years ago and I remember you speaking about all the different ways you made money with mystery shopping: as a shopper, consultant, author, instructor, etc. Can you remind me about how the rest of us can take our talents and diversify our income?
Entrepreneurs are “idea fountains”, never lacking ideas for starting a brilliant new venture. But how many times have you sat down with ONE brilliant idea and found many ways of earning income from it? The point of this exercise is to take your passion and look at it from every aspect to create as many sources of income as possible:
Main product or service. You could decide that you want to run a daycare, be a yoga instructor, run your own home repair company, provide resume services, or create a subscription-based website that focuses on pet care. Whatever your main passion is, this is your main source of income.
Complimentary products or services.These are things that are complimentary to your main source of income. For example, if you run a daycare, maybe you sell parenting books, or children’s clothing, or have pre-wrapped gifts available for birthday parties. (Parents would LOVE you for that!)
Joint ventures. These are things that you work with other businesses on to expand your client base. For example, I knew of an aromatherapist who joined forces with a Reiki practitioner to put on a free seminar for all of their clients. They each had time to discuss various aspects of their business and doubled their client base.
Consulting. I’ve been mystery shopping since 1999 and since I’ve been a shopper, scheduler, editor and ran a mystery shopping company, I’m a fairly good authority on every aspect of the industry. Because of my expertise, I have been hired by various businesses to help train their employees on how to provide excellent customer service; and I’ve also been hired by mystery shopping companies to teach how to motivate good shoppers and train them properly! You can take your expertise in your industry and consult with others looking to improve non-competing aspects of their business.
Teaching aspects. Think of the divorce attorney who holds seminars for couples about to get married, as well as for those already in long-term relationships looking to improve. Likewise, many actors hold classes on how to audition, develop character and voices and on performing for film and stage. There is a plethora of teaching opportunities within your field. Many local school districts and community colleges offer “Adult Enrichment” classes, and require just a proposal and passion to get started.
Intellectual property aspects. There is a wealth of opportunity in selling your intellectual property. You can create CDs, DVDs, training programs, how-to’s, images, graphics, inventions, and so much more. Everyone has at least one book in them; tell your story, write your song, create that great idea that everyone must have, and share it with the masses.
Kitsch aspects. Also known as SWAG (Stuff We All Get) and merchandise! You can create mugs and posters and t-shirts and calendars and Frisbees and bags and more with even just your logo and people will buy it. Reusable grocery bags are especially popular now, and it’s free advertising!
Licensing aspects. Whatever business you have, there is always the ability to franchise it. There are always going to be people who want to do the same type of business that you have, but don’t know where to start. Licensing or franchising your business model (provided you’re successful!) is a great way to expand your brand and earn money.
Residual aspects. You should have two goals to any work that you do: 1) Love it and 2) Create some sort of residual aspect to it. This means you do the work once and get paid over and over again. This can come from franchising or licensing, informational products or other avenues.
What else wasn’t covered? Sit down by yourself, or even other business owners, and have a brainstorming session about all the great ways you can make money with your brilliant ideas.
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