Tired of the day-to- day time struggle of chasing one client to the next? Want a better way to run your business that enables you to better predict your monthly income? One of the best ways to stabilize your income when you’re a self-employed services professional is to create a monthly recurring source of income for yourself, commonly referred to as a continuity program.
Many continuity programs focus on providing products every month (think of a variety of beauty product clubs you find on infomercials) or offering coaching or information ( think about an Inner Circle Club where in fact the members get one call monthly from an expert, plus a CD and transcript of the decision ). While there is nothing wrong with these continuity versions, I think an independent provider professional builds the strongest business when the ongoing business contains multiple streams of income, or in this complete case, multiple streams of recurring income. I’m along the way of updating my business design to add service-based recurring revenue, all linked to Internet marketing tasks.
Here are 13 examples of how I’ve seen recurring income for solutions offered:
- Landscaping and yard care: I pay a monthly retainer to a local landscaper for complete care of my backyard, from mowing the grass to picking up limbs after a storm to replenishing the mulch in the plant beds to staking the crepe myrtle trees to the ground during hurricane time of year. I don’t worry at all about anything to do with yard maintenance, and I sometimes hire them at an extra fee to add additional plants to the landscape.
- Housecleaning: I spend a twice-monthly retainer to a small company to come and completely clean my house two times a month. I HATE housecleaning, so this is one of my favorite checks to write, as I do enjoy nice, clean-smelling surroundings.
- Air conditioning/ heating: I pay a yearly fee for our AC provider to turn out twice a year and verify and clean the AC/Heating system, once prior to the AC season and once prior to the heating season. They verify connections, knock out the dirt, and inspect both the outside and inside units. Some owner need to take auto equity loan to climatise whole house. Upon completion, i actually am distributed by them a checklist of what they did, and i want to know if there have been any nagging problems which I should be aware.
- Accountant/bookkeeper: A month-to-month retainer to enter a small business owner’s income and expenses is definitely a recurring income technique of accountants and bookkeepers. Many of these businesses then turn to that same person to do their business and personal income taxes, and also buying additional consulting time regarding major financial techniques or investments.
- Blog designer: For services businesses with WordPress blogs, finding someone to help you if your blog crashes or if a feature stops working can be a nightmare, as there’s no tech support provided with this open source software. I’ve begun to observe many blog designers offering monthly blog maintenance packages where they upgrade the software and plug-ins each month, as well as back up the blog, and provide other services as necessary to keep your blogsite up and running smoothly.
- Web site designer: The primary way that I’ve seen web designers create recurring income is through the sale of web site hosting packages. Once they have designed a site for you, you continue to be their customer by paying them a monthly, quarterly, or annual hosting fee for your site. Many web designers include basic tech support/trouble-shooting in this fee, so if you have a problem receiving your email, for example , you can call or email them for assistance.
- Publicist: I believe there’s a dependence on publicity experts to provide packages featuring 1-2 custom pr announcements per month optimized for on-line submission and SEO. Many companies won’t take time to write their own releases ( or just don’t know how). Finding a person who can create a launch from a previously written content would be great for web business owners who want to use these releases within their traffic generation strategy.
- Writer: A writer who’s acquainted with creating articles for increasing visitor count could offer several 600-800 word keyword-optimized content articles for a monthly fee. An internet business owner could use these content articles in her ezine, blog, or within an given information product.
- Videographer: I just registered with a service that will give me a 1-minute flash video every month. All I have to do is provide the info for the voiceover, and images (like logos or head shots ) or video (of me talking to a web cam, for example ) to add in, if I have them. They do everything else, and have a stock of rights-free images and video that can use in my videos if needed.
- Audio voiceover: Ever wanted to create a podcast or audio version of your ezine? I think this is a great chance for audio voiceover experts to provide a retainer to provide a specialist “reading” of written materials that you create that you could repurpose in any fashion that you want.
- Newsletter expert: I am working with an organization who formats and publishes my ezine every week for a monthly retainer. I provide them with the articles and pictures for the ezine simply, plus they put it together within an HTML file that’s uploaded to my e-mail marketing service as well as positioned on my web site.
- Social media expert: I’ve seen many digital assistants provide a “social networking done for you ” type retainer in which they go in to your social networking platforms and update your status, look for and add friends/ followers, and send your followers/ friends birthday wishes.
- Tech support specialist: I pay a monthly retainer to a group who’ll install scripts and blogs for me, update web sites, create forms on pages, among other things. They offer a point system in that I purchase so many points each month, and what I don’t use rolls over to the next month. I’ve also seen companies offer tech support subscriptions for troubleshooting computer issues. So, rather than paying $200 to have Outlook reinstalled if it crashes, you could spend a tech support business a monthly retainer to assist you with tech emergencies with out a wait.
- Software programmer: There are a variety of products that I pay monthly fees to gain access to a software assistance, from audio/video hosting to a shopping cart software system to a contact marketing system to an on-line collaboration program to a receipt scanning program. This kind of recurring income is the most effective, as you have a big chunk of your business resources tied up in this assistance when you sign up to the service, that makes it unlikely that you will ever leave the assistance, as it’s time-consuming and unpleasant to change services.
Did these ideas spark a concept for your business? I’m fairly certain that there’s an opportunity for every service business to offer a continuity service program. What can you offer?