A key lesson for small business owners is to avoid putting all their eggs in one basket. In other words, it's essential to diversify your business operations and income streams. This will mitigate risks and ensure long-term success. Focusing all your efforts on a single channel, source of income, or supplier can lead to devastating consequences.

Let's crack open this topic further and explore some examples of how to avoid disaster if you are let down by suppliers, technology or circumstances. We’ll also investigate how small businesses can diversify their income streams.

Egg-spect some egg puns. Hey, it’s Easter so why not?

  1. Use more than one supplier. When a supplier goes bust or lets you down, it can be a major blow to your business. To avoid being left with egg on your face, it's crucial to have contingency plans in place. Firstly, maintain good relationships with multiple suppliers. By spreading your orders across different suppliers, you minimise the risk of a single supplier's failure impacting your entire operation. Secondly, consider exploring alternative suppliers or even local sourcing options. This way, you can quickly adapt and find new sources for your products or materials without compromising your business.
  2. Investigate diversifying your revenue streams for eggs-tra stability. By diversifying your revenue streams, you can create a solid foundation for your business. As an expert in your field, you could consider offering training sessions, workshops, or online courses. Sharing your knowledge not only generates income but also establishes you as a thought leader. Additionally, if your business has available physical space, you may want to explore the option of renting it out for events, meetings, or storage. This can provide an additional source of income and help you make the most of your resources. You can also expand your product range to attract different audiences.
  3. Do not rely on one large customer or client. This is usually more applicable to service-based businesses than product-based ones. If you are lucky enough to get one large customer or client, it can be extremely easy to get comfortable and take your eye off the ball with your marketing efforts. This is a risk to your business as it can have serious consequences if the customer or client finds another supplier. You should always be prepared to shell out on acquiring new customers. The loss of just one major client or customer is an astonishingly common reason for businesses folding.
  4. Don’t be left scrambling if the performance of your main sales channel starts to decrease. Explore other sales channels. If you sell your products online, consider investigating bricks and mortar shops or partnering with established stores. You can also ask other online suppliers to sell your products and investigate online marketplaces such as Etsy and eBay. By expanding your sales channels, you can reach a wider audience and reduce the risk of relying solely on one platform or channel.
  5. Make sure you don’t rely on just one marketing channel. You should be utilising more than one marketing channel anyway and it is important to consider each channel’s usefulness for each stage of the marketing funnel. For example, you may use social media advertising for awareness and email to encourage repeat purchases. However, it is egg-stremely likely that you will lose access to one channel at some point. Facebook accounts get banned. Email providers go into liquidation. Therefore, you need to ensure that you spread your message across more than one channel. Putting all your efforts into one marketing channel could mean the end of your business when that channel is no longer available. 

Rachel says: “It’s important to continually be aware of risk. Diversify and plan ahead to safeguard your business's survival when a critical element is unexpectedly removed. These strategies provide a safety net and allow for greater flexibility and robustness.” 

Let’s crack on!

The key to a resilient business is to maintain flexibility, adaptability and a proactive mindset. This is essential to mitigate risks and ensure long-term success. By diversifying suppliers, revenue streams, customers, sales channels, and marketing channels, you can protect your business from catastrophic outcomes.