Maximize revenue by finding a niche
I firmly believe that the best way to maximize your revenue is by finding a good niche for your skills.
For example, my main source of consulting business is SQL and VBA development for Microsoft SQL databases. There are probably tens of thousands of people who can do that, and if I entered that marketplace, I’d be competing with that large labor supply.
The last thing you want is to have to compete on price, because offering a lower price just to get customers is a losing battle: there will always be someone who’s willing to do the job for less. Eventually, the price becomes so low, it’s not worth it for you–or anyone else–to do the work. WalMart may be able to do it, but you probably don’t want to fight that battle.
You could decide to define your niche in some other way, so that it differentiates you from the mass of other competitors. In this age off outsourcing, being a native English-speaker can be an advantage, or maybe you have special knowledge of a particular field which you can parlay into a niche–healthcare or insurance, for example.
When I started consulting, I was fortunate, in that I had industry-specific knowledge. What was even better was that I had also worked for a software vendor that made a specialized product within that industry, and where the clients often needed customized services. After I left that software company, it was relatively easy to find clients and network with other consultants to find consulting work.
Because of my work experience, I’m in a more protected niche, where there are probably less than 10 people who can do what I can. There’s a potential client base of around 2,000, where perhaps 20%-50% of those clients will need my services at some point; even better, is that each new client becomes a revenue stream, and isn’t generally a one-off project.
So, long story short: because I have a niche for my not-incredibly-specialized skills, I have access to a client base. My clients come to me because of my experience and skills, and I can charge a premium rate for my services.