Capturing Alternative Revenues

Strategic Lessons and Compendium of Tactics for Increasing Nontraditional Operating Revenue

Topics: Administration and Finance, Transportation and Parking, Auxiliary Enterprises, Space Utilization, Facilities and Operations, Revenue Enhancement, Alternative Revenues

Rotating Luxury Amenities

Offering a Variety of High-End Retail Options to Students

The goal of imperative #4 is to leverage the institution’s scale to achieve a critical mass of inventory or buyers (or both) to fuel a new market that benefits the campus.

One channel for building a critical mass of buyers is the student body. For example, UCLA has found a way to benefit from the food truck craze. They contract with 21 local vendors for exclusive rights to sell on a parking lot in central campus. UCLA leaders also promote the trucks through official student communication channels. In exchange, vendors provide UCLA 15% of all sales, totaling $75,000 in annual revenue. Increased food truck usage has also allowed UCLA to delay a $15 million upgrade to student dining facilities.

Other colleges and universities have successfully applied the same concept to create on-campus clothing sales. Rotating vendors bring merchandise to campus, providing a percentage of sales to the institution and often a slight discount to students. Note, while food trucks are likely an option only in urban locations, clothing sales are applicable in any setting.

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Imperative #4: Leverage Scale to Create Beneficial New Markets

Opening a Secondhand Store for Inventory Resale