Have you already started your stationery business? If you’re just starting out – definitely check out this post. But a lot of designers get the basics down, have a few clients, and then start to wonder: what’s next? Especially toward the end of the year, when bookings can be lower, it’s easy to feel a little sluggish or burnt out. That’s where I come in! I’ve been a full time designer for almost a decade now, and have experienced all the ups and downs, as well as helped many designers move through it.
So today, I’m sharing with you my 5 favorite Tips for Re-energizing your Stationery Business!
I know, this one seems a little silly. But trust me, it’ll help. Literally write down all the things you’ve accomplished: your favorite clients, your most fun projects, any awesome features you’ve gotten, cool planners you’ve worked with, new skills you’ve learned, hard things you’ve overcome, compliments from people you admire, ways your business has supported your family, etc.
This thought exercise will automatically get you feeling jazzed about your business and your skills. It will also remind you of why you started this business in the first place. And last, but definitely not least, it’ll put things into perspective for the future. Once upon a time, you were just dreaming up this business. Now – you’ve accomplished all these awesome things. Of course it’s time to start planning for what you want to accomplish next.
Bonus points if you can do a visualization exercise imagining the day when those new goals are in your past too!
Here’s a diagram to help you with this! You may have done this before, but your pain points aren’t what they used to be, so it’s helpful to start again. This will help you see areas for improvement in your customer experience and in your back-end processes.
After you’ve been creating stationery for a while, there are bound to be some parts of the process that aren’t as exciting as they used to be. Use this as an opportunity to list out those steps that you might want to start outsourcing, automating, or cutting out completely. And put stars by the steps that are most fun for you – your particular Zone of Genius! Those are the tasks that you really want to keep under your belt as you grow.
When we’re working on projects, we often forget to appreciate them. Maybe you’ve taken a few photos or videos, but they didn’t go anywhere. Maybe you didn’t even do that. Use these steps to breathe some life into your business’s portfolio:
Here’s a video on how you can set that up!
Now that your business has a new look, you can work on improving your skills. I’d bet you started this business because you like figuring things out, being creative, and practicing your work. But those things can get a little lost as the work becomes more routine. So break out of that mold by signing up for a workshop or class to learn something new!
Maybe you want to learn a new business skill, like video editing or sales strategies. Maybe you want to learn how to paint watercolor venues or draw pet portraits with markers (hint: all of these are available in Stationery School!). Whatever it is you want to learn, you can likely find a course, workshop, or even a free YouTube lesson to get you started! Personally, I like to lean into learning new skills I can do with my hands, like painting, drawing, knitting, or polymer clay modeling. If you’re specifically looking to use this skill to grow the business – a good place to start is by asking yourself what things clients have asked for that you’ve said no to or hired out in the past! Maybe you can bring them under your current business service umbrella in future.
Your Process Flow from Step 2 might help with this. But I want you to officially let go of some things that have been weighing you down this year. Things that you hate doing, things have moved from to-do list to to-do list for months and never gotten done. You really have 3 options here:
There are very few things you have to do in your business. I know stationers who are successful without Instagram, without a website, without doing client consults, without ever posting on social media. Whatever it is that’s bringing stress into your life, you can let it go. Maybe you hire someone to do it for you. Maybe you figure out how to do it in a way that’s not stressful (batching and scheduling social content, for instance). Or maybe you just give yourself permission to not be on TikTok if you hate it. Or not do client consults if they’re draining you. Or not offer day-of stationery if it’s constantly bringing chaos into your life. You’re the boss – you’re allowed to do that. Cross it off your to-do list and breathe the sigh of relief that I know you feel. Now spend that energy on something better.
As your business grows and changes, so will your pain points and stressors. So if you’re feeling burnt out? Come back to this list and start over at Step 1! And if this all feels like too much to handle on your own, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Visit this page to check out some more of our resource options to get a little more help.
Hi, I'm Laney!
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I make wedding invitations and I teach artists how to work smarter, make money, and run a business that works for you.