Have you performed an inventory and explored what internal assets you have in your business lately? Most companies have assets that can be turned into opportunities for growth or cash. Often times we take competencies and processes we have built inside our business for granted. A great strategic opportunity to create new revenue streams is to look around the business and take an inventory of what assets you have that may be beneficial to others.
An example might be technology you developed that could be useful to other companies in other markets. I know of two examples of this that I experienced personally. The first company was a food service distributor that had developed a very robust IT department. They wanted to capitalize on this investment and began to offer outsourced IT services to other companies. Over time, the IT business became the main focus and surpassed the food service company in profitability. That company has since morphed into a company that develops software for the home healthcare market. Another company I worked with was a wood products company that developed proprietary software to allow their customers to design and price products online. This information was then fed into their internal systems to drive their internal manufacturing processes seamlessly. The software was so powerful that they decided to package it and sell it as a stand-alone product.
Other examples might be customer lists you developed through the years; could they be sold to non-competing industries? Have you developed a powerhouse-marketing department that can provide services to other companies? Do you have extra warehouse space that might allow you to provide distribution or fulfillment services to others? The list goes on and on. The key is taking some time and looking at your business from a different angle. It can sometimes be helpful to have someone from the outside come in to give you a fresh perspective. However you approach the exercise, it is a worthwhile investment in time that can yield real results.
Take some time at one of your next quarterly meetings with your team to brainstorm and see if there are any hidden assets you could begin leveraging to generate new revenue opportunities. Good luck!