December 15, 2008

Multiple Streams of Design Income

Let me give you a little-known secret for protecting your income - no matter what the economic climate: multiple streams of income.

Let's face it. If you have income coming in from various sources, you are less likely to suffer when one or two of them is slow.

As designers, most of us have ONE source of income: working with clients. Yes, we do many things for them and sell various products, but THEY are our only way to make money. Without clients who are willing to hire and pay us, we have no business.

But it doesn't have to be that way!

Designers are finally learning that they can make money from other sources. And I do NOT mean getting another job working for someone else or starting a completely new business. All of your streams of income can be design related.

This is one thing that sets apart the designers who are thriving (and truly confusedabout why everyone is whining) and those who are buying into the overwhelming complaining about how "bad" the economy is.

One of my favorite things to do when I coach designers is look at their current income stream (working one-on-one with clients), and then talk about what they really love about it. Then I help them figure out other outlets for creating income, taking into account their passions and talents. This not only helps guarantee more money for them (even in "tough" times), but they start enjoying what they are doing more than ever. For the purpose of this article, I'll share 3 examples of additional streams of income for your interior design business.

1. Writing: Put your expertise down on paper. You don't have to be a five-star writer to profit from writing. There are many possibilities for income when you write about design. Newspapers and magazines are often looking for a steady columnist. If you are ambitious, publish your own book! The quickest way to make money this way is to create an e-book and sell it on line.

2. Teaching: Even when homeowners aren't spending as much on decorating, they still want to know how to make their homes beautiful. Since you know a lot of tricks of the trade, why don't you share some of them? You can teach live classes at a local college or in your showroom. Or you can make it even easier, and use my favorite way to teach - as a teleseminar.

3. Membership Programs: Large stores have been profiting from this stream of income for many years, and it's time for you to join the bandwagon. What can you offer your clients and prospects as a wonderful convenience? Customers pay you monthly or yearly to receive certain benefits, like upholstery cleaning when needed, service calls on motorized window treatments, carpet freshening, pillow fluffing, etc.

For designers, sources of income are really unlimited. I'll keep sharing more ideas in upcoming ezines. But please get started. Add an additional stream of income now!

Seriously folks. You can sit around complaining (and watch what you are focusing on become a reality in your life), or you can join me and create more streams of income. What is your choice?