Back in December, I mentioned that I was trying a multiple streams approach to starting a business. My idea was that I’d balance a means of earning an income fairly quickly with one that was more of a slow burner. The fast earner is doing some admin for a bookkeeper friend – I can learn my friend’s system quickly and get paid at the end of the month. The slow burner is this website – I’ve got a lot to learn and do to earn an income from an information website, but once I’ve cracked it, there are all sorts of possibilities including blogging, a membership site, e-books, podcasts and no doubt many other ways I’ve not even considered yet.
The more business mums I talk to, the more multiple streamers I find. We’re so used to looking for one big business idea that the multiple streams approach isn’t mentioned too often, but it has real benefits for business mums:
- Like me, you can balance two income streams that serve you in different ways. Such as a long term project that will take a while to pay off balanced with freelance work from your old employer.
- If you have very young children, you can start one stream during nap times, then create more streams as the children get older.
- You never know who you might meet when networking. You could collaborate with another business mum on a new income stream, but keep working alone on an existing stream.
- Do you like variety? You can have several complementary streams running at the same time. Or several totally different ones
- An income stream that you felt passionate about initially might lose its appeal after a few years. You could outsource the work or sell it off completely and expand another one of your income streams to fill the gap.
- If you’ve built up expertise and a reputation, you could sell your knowledge as an e-book, a course or as a consultant.
- If you have several income streams, you don’t have all your business eggs in one basket.
So what about the downside? It’s very easy to be distracted as a self-employed homeworker and easier still to be distracted by young children. Add in several projects running at the same time and unless you are very focused, you might find yourself doing nowhere fast!
If you find staying on track a challenge, then you may be better off with just one income stream – it’s better do one thing well than several things badly.
For each stream, you’ll need to be clear about what you aim to achieve and how you’re going to do it.You may find it’s best to get one stream well established and bringing in a reliable income before you start the next.
Do you have a multiple streams approach? Drop me a comment and let me know how it works for you.