The Motley Fool reports that Tesla Motors is exploring alternative revenue streams outside of automobile sales. Developing alternative revenue streams helps businesses ensure that there are always funds coming in, even during downtime and recessions. Currently, Tesla may be exploring three alternative revenue sources, something that The Motley Fool says, “traditional car companies can only dream of.”

So, how is Tesla planning to diversify their revenue streams?

Tesla Motors is expected to roll out their 90-second battery swap stations sometime later this year. It’s expected that these swaps will cost between $50 and $80. The battery swap should be very popular, because drivers won’t even have to get out of their cars to do it.

Tesla is also expected to add financial power through in-car advertising. According to the company’s analyst, Trip Chowdhry, “Tesla is leading the $100 billion ‘transport-as-a-service’ industry.” The company may allow advertisers, like Google or Bing, to control search and map functionality on the vehicle’s 17-inch center console screen. This partnership could bring in millions of dollars in revenue for Tesla.

Finally, it’s rumored that Tesla could develop its own in-car app store. The company would collect a percentage of revenue from app developers, simply for hosting their apps on the car’s console screen. This may not sound feasible, but according to The Motley Fool, “It has already been suggested by some Tesla Model S owners on the company’s forums. Tesla is known for its quick response to the feedback of its customers and openness to incorporate user-suggested features.”

Developing multiple revenue streams will be a key factor in Tesla’s ongoing success. Even if they don’t meet their projected sales, Tesla will be able to fall back on the revenue collected from their other ventures. If you follow in Tesla’s footsteps and diversify your revenue streams, you’ll develop a successful business that doesn’t depend on a single source to stay afloat during tough economic times.

Look to the Future to Find New Revenue Streams

Ask yourself, “Where is my industry heading?” Tesla could be revolutionizing consoles by integrating apps into their vehicles, because that’s what people want from their devices. Could your business be doing something similar? Brainstorm. Try to determine what your customers want from the future and from your company.

Another example of this is Trend Micro, a global leader in network security solutions, which imagined the world in 2020 and the threats the world may face. The company had this to say about the project: “Project 2020 is our take on what society might look like at the end of the decade, how technology will shape that society and what could happen when the bad guys try to subvert it.” That’s smart thinking and with it, the company diversifies their revenue streams into various protections, including server protection for new cloud networks.

What predictions can you make about the future of your business?

  1. Call together the brightest in your business for a brainstorming session. Ask them where they see your company in 5, 10, 15 and even 20 years.
  2. Provide your customers with surveys asking them for their current opinions on your company and what they’d like to see in the future.
  3. Ask your customers for suggestions on how to make your business better.
  4. Advertise and cross-promote your business. Recognize that not every income stream is going to represent the same demographic. Be open to targeting new customers.

A Business Model that Works

According to The Motley Fool’s report on Tesla’s new business ventures, “Business model innovation can either create a new market or allow a company to exploit new opportunities in existing markets.” This is a win/win situation. If you haven’t added additional revenue streams yet, it’s time to take the leap.