Throughout this week we’re introducing the “what if?” content series.

The purpose of these will explore what could happen if you’re handed a small (but usable) budget to explore different areas of online business from starting a website to growing the business.

The first in this series showed you the “what if” of having $500 at our expense to build a website, second on content, third about monetization, and forth in promoting the brand. Now comes the finale in this series and it’s a doozy: growing the business.

Do you explore horizontal, vertical, or joint-ventures?

$500 isn’t a whole lot when you think about what it takes for world domination but let’s play along with this prompt and see where it can take us …

The Temptation of Horizontal, Vertical, and Joint Ventures

First, let’s examine these three options:

  • Horizontal – This is where you would create a new income stream based on something you already do in your business (think: a premium offer on top of the basics).
  • Vertical – This is where you create a new income stream by leveraging your placement in the market and the strength of your brand (think: speaking roles instead of just consulting).
  • Joint – This is where you work with someone else in your industry toward a common, shared goal in hopes of improving both businesses (think: partnering with a competitor).

Which of these options presents the best for your business?

It really depends on where you wish to take it – and how much time, energy, and resources you can place toward going after these ventures without disrupting your current business.

Every opportunity you uncover will be a temptation.

Not all opportunities are the best choice for your business.

With $500, though, you’ll have the flexibility to explore these ventures.

Putting Everything into Motion

Let’s go through a scenario since it will be the easiest to convey these ideas of venture opportunities.

For our example I’ll use a business that offers website building services.


The business could choose to introduce products to the market based on their expertise (as detailed in the monetization post in the series) or offer a greater range of services by hiring on an expert in a field that has been untouched by the business such as banner design (as an example).

The business could open a new income channel to new customers and begin offering these updated services to ones already on their list which makes for a quick win.

Maybe they could implement an affiliate program to expand their offers? Hint, hint.


Suppose that business offering website development has a great amount of internal resources, site templates, and other vital Web elements within their resources. One vertical venture they could explore is opening a theme marketplace where they sell these items to the community rather than sitting on the assets and keeping the availability to customers.


The business could reach out to a competitor in the market and combine forces by putting both entities under one roof and pooling their talent and budget toward larger marketing campaigns which will land the bigger clients.

Now, $500 is enough to do the first two but it’s a stretch when it comes to the joint ventureship unless you consider spending money on taking a competitor out to lunch and discussing a deal to fit within the budget.

As I’ve mentioned in previous articles of the series – you can tap into a handful of resources:

  • Give your shot at the process
  • Hire a freelancer to handle the work
  • Hand it over to employees

Your time would find its best placement when going after the joint ventureship since it would require executive decisions but this doesn’t mean you can make suggestions or even work on the main parts of doing horizontal or vertical ventures.

Consider using this idea of the $500 budget toward the tools and resources to empower your employees or freelancers to create products, new services, or an implementation of platforms to increase revenue.

There is a lot of opportunity out there if you take the time to uncover it.

Find an idea. Make a plan. Set the budget. Run with it.

You could certainly continue doing what you do to grow your brand in your specific niche but why stop there? Why not become a dominant, influential element of your entire industry?


Final Note: I hope you enjoyed this content series and if it was able to open your eyes at all the possibilities present when you’re willing to make an investment into your business.

Keep a look out for more content, like this, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter!