How to expand your revenue streams as a stationery designer
how to expand your revenue streams as a stationery designer
Adding multiple revenue streams in your business is something that I am very passionate about. Think of it as a safety net.
What if you are a painter and you break your arm, you can’t paint.
What if develop a medical condition that limits the amount of time you can work?
When you depend on one sole source of income in your business, it can be crippled quickly. But if you have multiple revenue streams, you lean on the others if something were to happen to one.
So how can you expand your revenue streams as a stationery designer? Read on, my friend!
What are Revenue Streams
So first thing, let’s talk about what exactly revenue streams are. Simply put, revenue streams are various ways your business earns income.
Usually these revenue streams compliment each other in some shape or form. Most businesses (unless they are just starting out) have multiple revenue streams that make up their income.
It is said that the average millionaire has SEVEN different revenue streams.
For instance, when I first started my stationery business is 2010, my one and only revenue stream was custom wedding/event stationery.
That was all I did and all I offered. Now granted, within that category, I would offer invitations for weddings, parties, graduation, etc. But they were all still part of the same revenue stream.
I did that one revenue stream for almost 7 years. 7 years seems like a really long time to offer the same revenue stream, however, I will say that during those 7 years I was still working a full-time corporate job and didn’t have the capacity to offer more.
And I was also spending those first 2-3 years honing in on my design style and ideal clientele.
In 2017 I launched my second revenue stream, 14 pre-designed wedding collections. These were in addition to my custom work, but now I had a whole set of invitations + matching pieces that were already designed and I could sell quicker and easier.
My third revenue stream was launched in 2018 when I started offering branding and website services for other creatives and stationery designers.
And in 2019 with the launch of The Cultivated Creative and other educational pieces, this will be my fourth revenue stream.
Why do you need multiple revenue streams
I think it is only natural that as you as an individual and your business grow over the years, it is the next step in your business to expand your services, adding in additional revenue streams.
While some people are 100% content sticking to the one thing they know/do and doing it well (which is totally fine), but businesses find that as an entrepreneur, and especially an entrepreneur in a very niche industry, there are peaks and valleys with clients and seasons, so usually those additional revenue streams are developed to fill those valleys.
For instance, when I launched my branding and website services, my goal was to be able to push and promote that service more during slow wedding seasons.
I think having multiple revenue streams also helps save us from burn out.
While you may absolutely love what you do for your one main revenue stream, after so long of doing relatively the same service, you can start to get burnt out or just in robot mode. I think switching up your brain to work in different streams really helps you keep propelling forward.
I do also think there is a fine line between balancing multiple revenue streams. You need to determine what you physically can handle with your time and resources.
How to determine which additional revenue streams may be right for you
So when helping someone determine additional revenue streams for their business, there are few different questions I ask.
What can compliment what you currently offer? My second revenue stream fell under this. When I launched my pre-designed wedding collections, it clearly complimented my custom designed wedding invitations, but they targeted a slightly different audience that my custom invitations weren’t reaching.
Are you looking for something more passive? Do you currently offer a service that works one on one with a client only and you want something that you could create and sell without working one on one with someone? Passive or semi-passive may be a way to go. Even though I will mention that passive income is not 100% passive, there is a lot of upfront work as well as maintaining involved.
Are you wanting to bring in something more product/service based? Do you currently offer something product based, like wedding invitations, where there is overhead that cuts into profit margins? Maybe you want to add something that is more service based. That is where I landed when I decided to start offering branding and web services.
What do you see a need for in the industry? I saved the best for last on this one. I think asking this question is key with any new revenue stream you are thinking of. What do you see a need for? Who needs this? Why do they need this? If you develop something that no one needs, chances are, no one will purchase it. This is where my education and course revenue stream came in. I saw a need in the stationery industry for education and resources. While we have amazing online communities, we were lacking in a structured place to help stationers learn and grow.
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