Here are four profit-boosting ideas that will help you take your creative business to the next level!
1. Create multiple streams of income
The phrase “multiple streams of income” is music to my ears. I love the imaginary doors it opens, I love the way it rolls off my tongue, and I love the peace of mind it brings.
I work with a lot of creative business owners, and for every talk, interview, or lesson I gave, I was transparent in that my online storefront is only half of the work I do. My blog (specifically the e-programs I create and services I offer) also generates an income. The course I co-host with Tim Adam (Handmadeology) is another source of income. And my part-time editing position with Create Hype is yet another source of income.
The steady flow of cash provided by these multiple sources equals one calm creative business owner. I’m able to keep my head on straight and think clearly about new projects. My working hours are free of desperation, high pressure or anxiety.
2. Partner up
Some of the biggest leaps in my career (and in my income) have come from my community partnerships. Tim Adam and I have co-hosted the Build a Better Creative Business Course three times in the last eighteen months. Not only did our course’s success make a healthy contribution toward my annual salary, it also taught me how energy-saving a partnership can be.
I didn’t know this going in, but it turns out that Tim loves to do all the things I dislike about launching an e-course (building websites, creating landing and sales pages, processing payments, building affiliate programs, etc.). And likewise, I love to do all the things that Tim dislikes when launching an e-course (blog writing, sales copy, scheduling and organizing).
By working together, we eliminated all of the stalls we might encounter had either of us taken the challenge on our own. We launched the first semester two weeks after having come up with the idea, and it’s a phenomenal project – one we’re both very proud of.
If you’re looking to partner up in business and don’t know where to start, I highly recommend the community membership program over on Oh My! Handmade Goodness (This site/resource is no longer available) . It is an amazing space for inspiration and collaboration, and I’m a proud member.
3. Respect the business of turning a profit
Recognize where you’re getting a return on investment and where you’re not. For example, if you’re spending the majority of your day methodically producing one-of-a-kind designs and listing them in your online storefront, be sure to ask yourself if it’s paying off for you. I work with countless shop owners who spend months, if not years, stocking their virtual shelves toward a goal (# of products, # of pages or # of product in each shop category).
Having inventory and a strong selection does help your shop, it’s true. However, I’ve had sales with only four items in stock. Inventory doesn’t make or break your storefront. If customers see something they have to have, well, they buy it.
If you’re all production and no sales, it’s time to ask yourself if your current strategy is working. You’re giving all of your designs and creativity away for free! Stop producing and start examining your business model, marketing strategy and shop cohesiveness. Tweak the business until you start seeing a return on your investment of time, resources and energy.
4. Do more of what you know works
I coach too many creatives who treat their businesses like a hobby, often abandoning a best-selling product because they’ve grown tired of making it. A hobby is about doing what you enjoy all the time; it’s a form of entertainment. A business takes work, and that means sometimes doing what you know needs done – regardless of whether or not you like the task.
I built a career doing what I love for a living, but that certainly does not mean I always love what I’m doing!
There comes a point in business (I also face it in every project I produce) where excitement fizzles and your goals require effort. It’s an easy place to pivot back to another new and shiny idea, and so it is the ultimate test of every would-be success!
Push through the hard and/or tedious work. Keep the best-selling product in stock because it’s what your customers are telling you they want. Finish that big profit-earning project you’ve been putting off. Let the hard work fund your bigger, more exciting ideas and fuel your vision.
Can you make any of these strategies work for you?
Image source: danka peter via Unsplash