Increasing Your Revenue: Building a Consortium

If the first few years as a solo entrepreneur teaches you anything it’s that you can’t do it all at once. When you’re calling on potential clients or pitching your products you’re focused on making the sale. With that focus you can’t be actually delivering a service or producing more of your product.

It just makes sense … when you’re busy doing one thing, you can’t be doing another. If you’re a start-up it’s a good bet you can’t yet afford to hire someone to do one of the half dozen things you’re trying to do.

When I started my consulting practice I experienced this phenomena first hand. I’d spend time finding leads, setting meetings, and getting clients. I’d begin to deliver the work and other prospects I’d called on would call and want me to do an engagement. I didn’t have the bandwidth to do two engagements at once so I’d have to say I was unavailable. I’d finish the engagement and start all over.

If you’re in this position, you can bet that there are other start-ups either in your business or in one that’s related that are in the same position.

I solved my problem and learned how to smooth out my revenue stream by partnering with other small firms, then taking the time to learn what they offered so when I was in sales mode I could talk about a broader service offering. If I sold a project and they delivered it I got a finder’s fee and vice versa.

Regardless of the business you’re in, you can use that approach to grow your business.

Published by Leah Ward-Lee

Leah Ward-Lee, the author of "$1,000 Start-Ups", is a serial micro-entrepreneur. She opened her first business at ten after lobbying for and receiving a shoe shine kit for Christmas. She pulled her wagon through the neighborhood, going door-to-door, offering to shine her neighbor’s shoes for twenty-five cents a pair. Once her wagon was full, she took the shoes home and polished them. Unfortunately that business was short-lived. She hadn’t tagged the shoes and couldn’t remember whose shoes were whose, so her dad went with her to retrace the route until every pair was returned. Since then she’s had businesses developing and teaching college courses, instructing aerobic classes, owning half a plane that was rented to a flight and maintenance school, and renting homes. She’s also owned a consignment store, a gift shop, a gift basket business, a consulting firm, hosted The Executive Toolbox (a weekly radio show), and a publishing company. She also spent twenty years in the US Army, served as the Chief Information and Technical Officer for two major insurance companies, and has a second career as a management consultant. Leah resides in Dallas, TX and on Amelia Island with Sammy and Goliath, her two rescue dogs.


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