When it comes to your business, you should always be on the lookout for byproducts. Every single business has a byproduct in some way or another that, when treated properly, can add a huge boost to your bottom line. Even people who have hobbies that they do for fun (as opposed to profit) have opportunities to capitalize on their byproducts. In some businesses these byproducts are obvious, in others they may take a little bit of thought and investigation before they really become clear.
Many people have already heard the story of Kingsford Charcoal… For those who haven’t, it’s a little known fact that it actually started as Ford Charcoal. When Henry Ford built his automobile plants, he built saw mills to create the wooden parts that went in to his Model Ts. The saw dust and wood chips would begin to pile up. Henry quickly looked for a way to dispose of all of this scrap and, in doing so, learned all about the methods of compressing it and turning it in to charcoal. Henry Ford discovered a byproduct to his main product that turned in to a multi-million dollar business of its own. In the 70s an investment company purchased the charcoal portion of the business and renamed it Kingsford Charcoal.
The story of Kingsford charcoal may be an obvious example of a byproduct. They had factories and the excess wood chips just piled up. They had to stare at them everyday which eventually led to their idea. How do you spot byproducts, however, if you have no visible waste? What if you’re product is a digital product or even a blog?
Believe it or not, The WordPress Classroom began as a byproduct… I’ve been blogging since about 2006 with various other niche blogs. I learned how to monetize my blogs and make some extra cash back in 2007. I was going to build my online income through blogs alone because I had a few of them and I was good at it. Then one day, someone asked me, “Why aren’t you recording this process and teaching others how to blog?” That was a huge “Aha” moment for me. That was when I realized that I can be good at one thing and produce a byproduct by teaching others as I go along. The WordPress Classroom was born.
I don’t care what business you are in or which niche you chose to work in… Your business has byproducts. Have you ever seen DVDs of behind the scenes footage of musicians in the studio or musicians on tour? Those are byproducts of being in that industry. Have you ever gone to a live seminar and seen someone recording the seminar from the back of the room? They are creating a byproduct to sell later. Are you a dentist or a doctor or a mechanic? Is there any reason you can’t record your craft (with permission from your clients) and sell the videos as training material or use videos to overcome objections to people using your services? All of these ideas are potential byproducts of exactly what you’re doing right now. Even non-paid gigs can produce byproducts. Are you in to model planes, quilting, cooking, dirt bikes, or any other fun hobbies? Create a blog all about your hobby! It’s what you love doing, you’ll have no problem talking about it and engaging others. All byproducts.
My final example is what I’m doing right now… I’m in the process of creating a new site called LearnToBlog.com. During the entire process I’ve been turning on my screen capture software and explaining every last step that I’m taking to get this business online. I’ve recorded information about how I landed the domain, info about how I designed the logo, info about how I had the theme designed, info about having the theme coded, details about how I set up the affiliate program, how I protect the content, how I create the tutorial videos, and so on and so on… I’m thinking that, when all is said and done, I’ll be able to make just as much on the training of how I developed LearnToBlog as I did on selling subscriptions to the program itself. We’ll see.
The point is that there are byproducts that can be converted in to cash. It doesn’t matter what your business is or what your hobbies are. There are ways to squeeze some extra money out of what you do. Sometimes the byproducts just take a little hunting before they really become apparent.
Do you have any more examples of byproducts? Please leave some comments. I love the feedback!