Reading the trade journals that come in the mail each month keeps me pretty up to date on the current jargon of the business world. At times, I feel as if whichever deep-thinking analyst I’m reading at the moment is so far above my head that I need a college course on the topic just so I can understand what he or she is talking about.
So, in the interest of keeping this month’s column at a level that even I can understand, let’s go ahead and identify, and dispense with, the jargon.

“Revenue stream” is the current jargon for “thing that makes us money.” “New revenue stream” is jargon for “thing we’re making money with this year that we didn’t last year.” A new revenue stream is a new line of products or a new service that’s unlike anything you’ve handled in the past. For example, if you’re an MI store and you add a line of hats and socks, then you’re tapping into a whole pool of money you’ve never seen before. You’ve just added a new revenue stream. That’s good. That’s a really cool thing to do in your store…if the new revenue stream actually produces revenue. If it doesn’t, you’re saddled with inventory that doesn’t move. That’s bad.

The ideal new revenue stream produces revenue for your store while requiring no financial outlay on your part. Yes, I know—no-risk revenue is the first cousin of unicorns and leprechauns. However, it can be achieved by becoming a band instrument rental affiliate. If you’re not renting band instruments in your store, you’re missing one of the best no-risk revenue opportunities that exists in today’s MI world.

At one time, if you wanted to rent band instruments (hereafter, “BI”), you had to pony up big bucks to buy a supply of trumpets, clarinets and related instruments; then, you had to try to recover your expenditure. You also had to hire a…


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