Whether your organisation is a not-for-profit, charity, social enterprise or private sector business, there?s no doubt conversations in meetings regularly turn to bringing in some income. It could be that you’re charging for something you already do or adding new services or products to your offerings, with more and more organisations asking staff who have limited enterprise skills to be entrepreneurial in their thinking.
If this is the situation you have found yourself in then consider these three easy ways you can bring in new income streams in your organisation
Income generation idea number one
Does your organisation have buildings or rooms it no longer uses or doesn’t use all of the time? More and more organisations and start-up businesses are looking for occasional rooms for meetings, courses, or places to hold pop-up shops. If you have a well-equipped kitchen then a start-up food business may well be interested in hiring it for a few hours a week so they can try out a new business idea. They may even be willing to run a small cafe for you and to pay rent.
Don’t just look at your buildings and land as a cost, consider what other people could use them for. Charities with rural locations are setting up camping sites, using composting toilets and only opening in summer months, which can make planning and other requirements much easier to handle. Hiring out a whole site to a group and offering them some classes or additional activities can be really popular and bring in income with very low set-up costs.
Seem a step too far? How about just hiring your meeting room out a few hours a week when you’re not using it? That way you can gauge interest and discover if you can reasonably manage it without too much disruption to your work.
Income generation idea number two
Do you or your team have skills and knowledge others would be willing to pay for on a mentoring, consultancy or training basis? Many smaller organisations are struggling to do it all because they can’t afford to recruit specialists in particular areas of the business. Ask them if they would like to buy in the service from you a few days a month or if they would consider offering outsourcing solutions.
Seem a step too far? How about running ‘ask the expert’ days in your office as a networking session where you charge other business people to come along and speak with a panel of experts from your business to answer questions. It’s a good starting point and a great way to find out if they would buy additional services.
Income generation idea number three
Do you work with or support people who make something or run their own business? You could offer a service to them by marketing their products to your contacts, or by setting up an online or pop-up shop – the sky is the limit.
For example, you may be a housing association and many of your tenants and members of the community in the area you work in sell their services or products, or would like to, if only they had a route to market them. You could provide that for a small fee; it could easily be run as a social enterprise with minimal set-up costs or staff.
Seem a step too far? Why don’t you offer some local artists some wall space in your offices and if they sell anything explain that there will be a small commission. This way you can all start off small.
Evaluate and grow
Don’t forget to evaluate how your new enterprise worked this way you can adapt and develop it. Hopefully as it grows, so will the income stream.
Need more help in developing enterprises in non-enterprising environments? Give me a call on 01570 421301 – I run training courses for housing associations, councils, not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises and charities on how to develop new income streams.