7 easy additional revenue stream ideas for SMEs

A few simple additions to your business can be hugely beneficial to its income. Here’s how…

11 March 2019

If you’re looking to increase your small business’ revenue, then simply selling more of your core service isn’t necessarily the only means of doing it. There are plenty of things you can do to boost what comes into your business. Done properly, these techniques can create passive income that allows you to sell products, services and even space with minimal extra effort.

After the initial work upfront, passive income can create additional revenue streams while you work on other duties or even when you’re out of the office. Though not all passive income ideas will be suitable for your industry or customers, the sheer amount of options means you’re likely to find certain methods that can be applied to your organisation.

Here, we’ll present some ways businesses across a variety of sectors can establish additional revenue streams.

Licensing out in-house designs

If you have software, programs or processes that your business has created in-house, then consider licensing out this intellectual property to other companies. These other businesses will then have to pay a licensing fee to you as a result of usage.

Empty modern office

Sub-contracting and renting

Spare workstations, parking spaces and extra office equipment can all be rented out to other businesses. Office space, in particular, is very sought after, particularly if it’s in a great location, so if you have space that’s always available or some employees who work in the office part-time, make sure you’re taking advantage of it. Depending on the size and location, you stand to make a significant sum of money each month renting it out.

Likewise, renting out or leasing office equipment can help with revenue streams, as well as allowing you to benefit from tax breaks. For small businesses, it can significantly reduce the initial capital needed to get things off the ground. 

Create an online course

A vast amount of businesses can benefit from creating an online course based on their area of expertise. If you have the skills to, then create a video course with editing software, post it on your website, or an educational website, and sell it for others to download.

Pricing will vary based on subject matter and how much time it took to make, but regular content has the potential to make a good amount of money. Consider uploading it to YouTube and attach Google AdSense, which overlays automatic ads and pays you money per every thousand views.

Man with beard works on laptop and writes notes on filepad

It doesn’t even have to be course or tutorial-oriented; getting creative with your ideas means finding a potential audience outside of your immediate customers. If you have an office dog, maybe make a weekly video, or livestream, of them having fun. If you own a barbershop, mount a camera on the mirror, link to your social media on the video, and see what happens.

Partnership referrals

Consider the customers who have been referred to you by other businesses. Wouldn’t it be beneficial to give back to these other organisations with a referral or cross-promotion program? Contact businesses you think would be interested and if they agree, refer them to your friends, family, co-workers and customers. Be sure to negotiate a referral cut – usually starting with 10 per cent – and benefit from a stronger community that you’ve helped create.

Woman packing boxes in small retail office with laptop

Affiliate marketing

Somewhat related to the above, affiliate marketing involves linking to other businesses’ products or services on your site, and then getting a cut of the sales generated by traffic from your site. For every customer that links to your affiliates, you’ll get paid. It’s becoming increasingly popular too, with more and more businesses leveraging their knowledge of customers to reap the rewards of linking to other companies. 


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Selling stock photos

Got a talent for snapping photos for the products or services your business offers? Other people and organisations could benefit from your skills too. Photography websites such as Shutterstock and iStockphoto can help you sell your images to others online, usually for a flat fee or a cut of each sale. Just be sure to get permission from those featured in your photos first.

Hosting vending machines and ATMs

Even something as simple as a vending machine in your break room can be a surprisingly lucrative decision for your business, especially given that they require minimal upkeep and no manpower to generate sales. Depending on the kind of product that’s being dispensed, as well as your clientele, you could generate significant funds through vending machines.

Likewise, an ATM on site can enable you to make more money on the side, too. They’re expensive to buy but there is plenty of potential to receive a higher commission per surcharge transaction.


Gazprom Energy is a leading and award-winning business energy supplier, helping thousands of small businesses manage their gas and electricity contracts. To find out more about what we can offer your business, visit the homepage or call us today on 0161 837 3395.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within this article are those of our third-party content providers alone and do not represent those of Gazprom Energy. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. Gazprom Energy accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.


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