Additional Revenue Streams With the economy the way it is all small businesses are struggling to survive. As I travel around the U.S. I talk to towers that get creative and come up with additional ways to generate revenue.

1.One company got rid of his heavy duty business. This cut down on expenses, and he opened up a convenience store.
2.Another tower from Alabama also open up a convenience sore.
3.There was a tower in Shepard Texas whose wife had a nail salon and tanning salon in the front office of their storage lot.
4.Another company did a u-haul rental from his storage lot.
5.Towing junk cars and running them across the scales.
6.RV and boat storage.
7.New car storage for car dealers.
8.Store cars for other tow companies.
9.Storage units at your storage yard.
10.Overnight parking for tractor trailers as they pass through town.

If you have room on your storage yard there are ways to make money with it. Go to car dealers and ask them if they want to store new cars on your lot. You will be their inventory lot. If you think about it, your storage yard is fenced, some are staffed 24/7, some have security cameras, that has to be of value to someone.

I recently talked with a large company that was going into the grocery delivery business. People would e-mail their orders in and this company would deliver the groceries. They asked me if they could contract tow companies to be their delivery service. They are going nationwide with this service and they knew I knew tow companies all over the U.S. I was very much interested in the concept and this would be a great way for tow companies to add additional revenue when they are not towing. The pay was actually more than some tow fees the tow companies were getting for some of their tow contracts.

When people ask me what they should do I tell them to start holding their own auctions. Check your local laws but where I Am if you have your own storage lot you can hold your own auction. There is a little more to it than that, but it is easy and you can make some good money. Then you grow the auctions where you auction off other peoples cars and charge a small buyers fee and the next thing you know you have an extra ten thousand a month. I’m going to start working the local body shops and help them dispose of vehicles they get stuck with. You split the revenue with the body shop and you both make some money on cars the body shop would have lost money on. Over a 7 year period my tow company auctioned off over 20,000 cars at an average of about $500 a car, do the math. Anyone interested or needing help feel free to call.

Here are a few guide lines to follow to help you increase revenue;

  1. Write down where you are making money, and where you think you are losing money. If you need help call me.
  2. Develop a clear vision of where your industry is heading to begin to project where things may need to change as the industry evolves. Again, write it down so that the vision can be reviewed and verified by others.
  3. Thoroughly research the competition to harvest their better ideas. Yes, those talented people hard at work for your competition do have very good ideas too.
  4. Listen to your existing customers and identify what they want.
  5. Identify opportunities that your company could fulfill. Many companies desire the so-called “low hanging fruit” but you should also look for the opportunities that require a ladder to harvest some richer opportunities that might be shunned by competitors. Evaluate the cost and see if it’s worth it to go after the new business.
  6. Objectively evaluate your marketing and sales, If it’s still running pretty much the same as it was a few years ago, you’re missing opportunities. The phrase “We’ve always done it that way” doesn’t work anymore. You have to start keeping up with an ever-evolving business world.
  7. Listen to your employees, by drawing upon your own people to help imagine your next big thing. Especially listen to those closest to your customers even if they are at the lowest tier on your organization chart.
  8. Consider how your service could be evolved to exploit a new market. Sometimes little changes can yield big new product successes.
  9. Assemble the above into an action plan. Write it down, because an actionable plan in someone’s head is understood by only that one person. Your team can’t even tell if it’s the best plan if they can’t see it.

I talk to tow companies that have been in business for over 25 years and have not changed anything. It’s time to take a good look at what you are doing and start making changes if you want to stay competitive. Sit down with all your employees and ask the following questions:

  • How can existing products or services be repackaged into a new source of revenue?
  • How much- if at all- can the Internet impact our revenues?
  • How much market share do we have now and how much more can you realistically take?
  • How can we realize new revenue from what we are already doing? What specific growth skills, knowledge, talent, and resources will be necessary to enter a new market?

Once you have identified changes to be made, you need to focus on a plan to get from here to there. The plan is used to maintain progress toward tapping into that new revenue stream. If you need help developing your plan I will be glad to help.

There are many opportunities to change your business and generate new revenue streams. Be creative and use as many resources that are available to you to make 2015 your best year ever.