Revenue streams refer specifically to the individual methods by which money comes into a company. A good balance of revenue streams can make a company and the lack will break your company in the same manner.

When I was a commercial photographer I had multiple revenue streams. During the normal months when executives were in the office (fall, parts of winter and parts of spring) I would be able to conduct my commercial photography campaigns because there executives around to make decisions. I liked commercial work because I usually only worked with the president and CEO of the business.

I learned in the beginning of my career that if I only relied on Commercial work even though it was very lucrative I would have large gaps in my revenue and cash flow. I realized I could photograph portraits for Christmas and Valentine’s Day, and  in January I could book weddings for the summer months. My summer months therefore were booked solid with weddings at a time when my big executives took holidays and commercial work slowed to a crawl.

As I became well known in the industry as a talented commercial photographer I managed to secure better paying accounts. One day I finished a big catalog shoot and asked the CEO what he intended to do with the pictures I had just done. He told me he needed to find a designer to produce his catalog. I told him not to worry I could give him a great quote on the full production.

I had no idea what was required to put a catalog together so hired a designer, found a production team and located a printer who put a first rate quote together allowing me to get a winning quote for the client. Another revenue stream was born!

From print I developed another revenue stream – the internet and webpages. This was followed by the obvious transformation of my photography and now a design studio morphed into a boutique ad agency.

I had developed not only a multiple revenue stream in the photography niche but developed a revenue stream in the media production market.

I had a salesman who I asked to call on a large multinational corporation with 17 subsidiaries. He kept putting off calling the Marketing Department until I finally sat him down and had a conversation about revenue streams. He felt there was little we could do for him as far as photography was concerned. He said, “Look all I can get is some executive portraits”.

I explained the process of finding revenue streams. I gave him the short list of work we could do for that business:

-  Product photography- they transported 140′ concrete beams to build bridges and specifically designed trucks to do so, thats impressive, imagine a picture?

– Executive portraits (which he had correctly identified) were out of date and needed to be redone

-  Art photography for the offices

– Photojournalism at press conferences (which they had ona regular basis)

– Christmas parties

– Family portraits at the Christmas party

-  Photos for brochures and newsletter

-  Retirement packages and parties

-  Art photos as gifts to clients

-  Website

-  Brochure

-  A published book on the company history

-  Annual report

-  Newsletter

I was so excited after running these possibilities by my salesman that I met with the marketing guys the next day myself and secured a 3 year contract to be on call for all the revenue streams I had identified. I made $60K in 1986 (and the next two) just being on call with a pager on my hip working a max of 10 hours a month.

I would have still been there had this huge corporation not gone bankrupt (guess they paid me too much, lol)

A corner store cannot run a store selling milk and bread that’s why they carry a large array of products so they can have multiple sales streams. When they bring in the lotto terminals it’s another revenue stream.

Identifying the streams that can help you build your business is a matter of commonsense consistently looking at products or services that are synergistic to your business.

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6 Comments

  1. Hi, i’ve been come to your blog and it looks really informative. I’m building a blog and struggling to make it look good. How hard was it to make your blog? Could someone like me, a newbie make this? I really want to write in my page something like that. Just wanna let u know your home page seem broken when I browse using FF.

  2. Hello just thought i would tell you something.. This is twice now i’ve landed on your blog in the last 3 days searching for totally unrelated things. Spooky or what?

  3. Great article-would like to publish in my free newsletter for seniors but was wondering if the information applies to Washington residents as well?

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