Welcome to our series on Customer Stories, brought to you by CustomStickers.com. This is Allison's sotry on how she turned her sticker hobby into a business netting $150k+ per year.
Starting a Sticker Business
A few years ago, I embarked on a journey that transformed a simple hobby of making and selling stickers from my home into a lucrative business venture. With an initial investment of $300, I acquired a craft cutting machine and a printer, taught myself to utilize them proficiently, and established a shop on Etsy. As sales gradually increased, I expanded my business, launching a personal website via Shopify and creating YouTube videos to document my entrepreneurial journey.
Surprisingly, these ventures evolved into additional sources of income, cumulatively surpassing $150,000 in earnings. Reflecting on the past three years, it's astonishing to realize that my thriving business stemmed from mere ideas. Through this growth, I've gleaned invaluable lessons and insights, which I am happy to share, hoping to provide a foundation for others embarking on similar endeavors.
Starting a Business isn't a Secret Art, but it Takes Work
Numerous finance gurus and influencers frequently spread the falsehood that building wealth is a secret art known only to a select few. However, my experiences affirm that financial prosperity is a skill, honed through dedication and practice. Drawing parallels from the sports world, notably the legendary Kobe Bryant, I've recognized that his approach to basketball, detailed in "The Mamba Mentality," is applicable to business and wealth creation. Kobe's formula for mastery encompasses three fundamental steps:
- Seeking knowledge
- Practicing diligently
- Reflecting on one’s progress
The first step, seeking knowledge, involves learning from established individuals in your desired field. In business, this translates to studying the journeys and strategies of successful entrepreneurs. My personal favorites include "Creativity Inc." by the co-founder of Pixar, "Shoe Dog" by Nike’s founder, and "Ride of a Lifetime" by Disney’s CEO. Podcasts, such as Guy Ross's "How I Built This," offer insightful conversations with founders of renowned companies, providing a wealth of knowledge.
The second step is practice. Knowledge, while invaluable, requires application to yield results. Many falter at this stage, overwhelmed by the vast information acquired, yet hesitant to take actionable steps. True mastery necessitates trial and error, embracing failures as learning opportunities.
The third and final step is reflection, an ongoing process of assessing strategies, analyzing results, and identifying areas for improvement.
Focus on Long Term, Steady Progress
Observing trends in social media and business, a common pitfall is imitation. Success is not a one-size-fits-all model; what works for one may not necessarily work for another. Companies like Nike, Google, and Apple serve as examples of how striving for uniqueness encourages innovation and draws attention from the general public. Standing out in a saturated market is paramount, necessitating a balance between building a valuable product or service and employing effective sales and marketing strategies.
Find a Balance Between Promotional Efforts and Product Development
Reflecting on my own journey, I recognize the importance of balance between product development and promotion. Early in my entrepreneurial journey, I focused predominantly on product creation, neglecting the crucial aspect of marketing. This imbalance resulted in numerous products that, despite their quality, failed to reach their target audience. Achieving equilibrium between building and selling is vital, a lesson I learned through experience and one I wish to impart to fellow entrepreneurs.
The allure of capitalizing on trends is tempting, yet it bears the risk of short-lived success. Building a sustainable business requires a long-term vision, transcending fleeting trends. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the surge in face mask sales on Etsy serves as a poignant example. While profitable for many, it also left some with redundant inventory and equipment as demand dwindled. Selecting a niche or business model requires careful consideration and foresight.
Partnering With CustomStickers.com
CustomStickers.com has played a pivotal role in my business journey, providing unwavering support and high-quality products that align with my goals. Their dedication to understanding my vision and audience has resulted in personalized recommendations, enhancing my market presence and product appeal. The outstanding quality of their stickers, produced with top-tier materials and advanced printing technology, has helped me build a strong brand reputation with high customer satisfaction.
What truly sets CustomStickers.com apart is their remarkable flexibility and exceptional customer service. They are willing to handle varying order sizes, design adjustments, and tight deadlines, allowing me to swiftly adapt to market changes and customer demands. The responsive and attentive customer service team at CustomStickers.com ensures that any questions or requests are quickly completed, providing me with the confidence and peace of mind to focus on growing my business. Their commitment to my success has made CustomStickers.com an invaluable partner in my entrepreneurial journey.
My journey from hobbyist to starting a sticker business to six-figure entrepreneur has been both challenging and rewarding. The lessons learned, from the importance of continuous learning and practice to the necessity of standing out in a crowded market, have shaped my approach to business and life. I encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to start small, set achievable goals, and gradually build a foundation for success. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.