If you’ve seen our book about making money on the road, you’ll see how we emphasize the importance of multiple revenue streams. Many aspiring full-timers hit the road with just one client or employer, but we think that’s a bad idea. If you want more insight on nomadic living for entrepreneurs from two people who’ve been doing it almost 10 years, read on.
Be sure to read Part 1: Nomadic Living Income Tips, Part 1: Rethinking Benefits and Pay
Tips About Nomadic Living for Entrepreneurs
When it comes to being self-employed, the old cliché about putting all of your eggs in one basket is true. Hitting the road with one income stream puts you in as much financial peril as the suburbanite commuter who’s living a traditional lifestyle and clocking in and out of an office every day. When your income stream gets cut, you’re just as hosed as Average Joe and Jane.
In today’s economy, the average worker who has one job and one revenue stream is walking a tightrope between prosperity and poverty. Don’t be Average.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned over 20 years of being self-employed, it’s that having multiple revenue streams – whether they’re all clients in the same industry, or doing other types of work that you enjoy – makes sense. We learned this lesson back in the dot com heyday, when we had 80 percent of our revenue and energy invested in one major client. They paid well for many years but one day the dot com bomb fell and the company folded. We survived, but it was scary and we never want to be in that position again.
Once we knew we wanted to stay on the road, we began juggling many different clients, jobs and revenue streams. Today we only do work that we feel passionate about. From my freelance writing endeavors, to Jim’s marketing and web design projects, to my jewelry business and the Tripawds community that rocks our world, we manage to make a living and put something away for old age.
The other old cliché, do what you love and the work will follow, is also true if you invest 110% into building your revenue streams and are always learning how to be a better entrepreneur.
The biggest nomadic entrepreneur benefit? Knowing that if one income stream dries up, we have others. The world doesn’t end when one client goes away. It just opens up more opportunities to do what we love.
What to Charge as a Nomadic Entrepreneur
Many nomadic entrepreneurs shortchange themselves when it comes to charging clients. It’s easy to do. After all, when you’re enjoying RV living with lower overall expenses than competitors who pay for office space, you might start to think that charging a lower price to potential clients makes you competitive. Don’t fall for this trap.
No matter what kind of work you do, charging the lowest price in your industry only makes you look attractive to tightwads.
These are the kind of business people who are always looking for the cheapest price from vendors. And sure, they might work with you one time, but they won’t hesitate to drop you cold for the next cheapest competitor that comes along. These clients do not create steady revenue streams. Don’t go there. Instead, when you’re looking for new customers, consider offering incentives like a:
- Money-back guarantee
- Introductory price special (be clear about what your prices will look like after the special is over)
- Coupons for future jobs/products.
- Discounts for agreeing to monthly “maintenance” services, like website management.
Whatever kind of new customer incentive you offer, keep your prices a bit higher than the competitor. This gives you room to finagle pricing in a pinch, and also establishes “perceived value” among clients. Your goal is to show clients that although you charge more, you’re totally worth the extra dollars.
Here’s an example of perceived value. When we had our small business marketing and large format printing business, we would weed out customers like this:
- Customer calls and says he wants a full-color banner.
- Our response? If you want a banner, go to Kinkos. They’ll push a button and print whatever you give them.
- If you want an effective marketing tool, then let’s talk. You’ll have 20 years of marketing expertise to help you use your money wisely and effectively.
As long as we were effective in showing why our prices made us worth it, the clients who proceeded to talk were almost always great to work with. Their belief in our services pushed us harder to excel and made us into the successful entrepreneurs we feel we’ve become.
Being a nomadic entrepreneur is never easy. There’s not a day that goes by when we’re not thinking about work, but because we love what we do, we never regret it for a minute. Sure, sometimes the lure of ditch-digging at a workamping job is attractive, but only for a while. For folks like us, life doesn’t get any better when you combine an entrepreneurial life with permanent travel.