I love my little country town in the Spring. All of the trees start blooming with gorgeous colorful flowers and the pastures are littered with cute, bounding, baby lambs and calves. Maybe that is why this time of year always inspires me to grow something amazing.
Who says that needs to be a plant? I say that Spring is the perfect time to think about growing your design business.
If you feel like your income isn’t exactly blooming, then you might need to do a little work on increasing your income streams. Think of your income streams as your fertilizer. It’s like adding little bits of nutrients that in the end will make your business thrive.
So what exactly is an income stream? It’s an additional source of income that you can incorporate into your business foundation to grow your overall revenue.
Think of it like offering your customers fries and a drink to go along with their hamburger; in most businesses, that’s where the real money is made.
Your basic design fees should cover your bills and expenses, and those additional income streams can help your bottom line flourish.
Growing your business model can be done in ways limited only by your imagination. I’m going to discuss a few of my favorites that I’ve had great success with in my career.
Joining forces with a reputable, bigger brand can add money to your bank account and increase your prestige. If you buy into a program like 3 Day Blinds, or Carole Fabrics, not only can you sell their products and use their marketing tools, but you can display their logo alongside yours on your website or business card, and improve your perceived value.
Adding more to your business doesn’t mean more time or investment on your part.Simply offering a wider selection of design packages can greatly increase your income and help you to spread your “marketing net” to a wider audience.Not every client needs their entire house remodeled.Sometimes they only need help accessorizing a room.Accessory housecalls are so fun and one of my personal favorites.
Holiday and special occasion design is a great way to quickly add an influx of money.Have you ever thought about advertising an event design package to your clients?This is a great follow-up service you can offer to earn some extra cash around the holiday times.
The biggest income increasing strategy, and the most common mistake that struggling designers make is to only charge one way for your services. If you’re only billing for your design hours, then you might need to do some math.There just aren’t enough hours in the day to make 6 figures as a designer, or you’ll have to charge more for your time which will make it tough to compete within your market.That’s why I always encourage my designers to combine more than one income stream, like various design commissions and product mark-ups.
Finally, when it comes to laying out a profitable business strategy, don’t spread yourself too thin. The last thing you want to do is spend so much energy on “creating” these strategies that you lose sight of your foundation income.
Remember, you need that to keep your business running. I’m suggesting that you incorporate one extra income stream at a time. See what your market responds to and those ideas that you have the most fun with.
Just like traditional gardening, if you prepare your garden with a healthy foundation, create a plan and with a variety of seeds, then put in a bit of elbow grease, you enjoy a plentiful harvest.