I've always been afraid of a business model built around me as the commodity (i.e. I am a facialist or I am a personal organizer), because it seems to me that even if I was working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there is only so much money to be made--and I want the opportunity to make endless amounts of cash. On the flipside, there are definitely some peeps out there that have made a pretty great go of this (i.e Martha Stewart), so it can't be all bad either.
Startup Journal has a really interesting article on tackling this issue in which they discuss a popular NYC fitness trainer and how she has come up with some creative ideas to build her brand and expand it beyond just her.
This whole discussion really brought home for me that coming up with creative solutions and ideas is the key to expanding your business to the next level. Before I launched Paper Bride and Paper Mama I thought my focus was strictly going to be stationery stores. Well, stationery stores were a great place to start, but as it turned out, bridal shops, gift shops, spa shops and now baby and kids store want to sell our products too. This development has pushed me even further to start contacting accounts that a year or so ago I would have thought would never be interested in carrying our line. So, my long winded attempt at passing along some friendly advice is: challenge yourself from the get go to come up with new ideas/new gameplans/new focus for your business. Just when you think you are being super creative, make yourself push it one step further. Contact one totally long shot account or customer a week--what do you have to lose?