Thinking Outside the Box For An Internet Business Boom

The Internet industry has its as well all know.  Just like any other business, you may find yourself in a rut that you just can’t seem to get out of.  Maybe there is a lot of turnover with employees or your products aren’t selling or you just can’t seem to get organized.  NMIPA wanted to shed some light on Bill Bisco, an online stationary supplier by trade, who took a chance and brought his business where it has never gone before.  This seems to be a consistent cycle for Bill, who has had to change his business plan multiple times throughout his career, but always seems to come out on top.

Bill Bisco was a classically trained oil painter and has his degree in Fine Arts.  After he graduated and realized that a career in painting would surely not make him the type of money he desired to raise a family, Bill began to make his own stationary paper by hand and selling it.  It was of a great quality and got a lot of praise from the art community.  Over the years, Bill expanded his business to sell all sorts of stationary supplies; from papers of all kind, to stamps, to envelopes, to invitations, but especially .  Bill was always extremely picky about what fountain pens he sold in his store, stating that he would never sell something he himself wouldn’t use.

When the economy started its downturn in 2008, Bill’s stationary business was stagnant.  Customers were not coming in his store like the fervor they once had in the past.  Bill stated that at times an entire day would pass with not one customer stepping into his storefront.  Bill reconnected with his artistic and creative side and began to teach himself calligraphy with his fountain pens. He started out his learning process with a visit to  During the slow points, he would use the different fountain pens to make different signs in calligraphy.  This was to show how the pens would write as well as help him pass the time.

By 2010, Bill was unfortunately unable to keep his store front lucrative and had to close the doors on his stationary store.  However, this setback did not sour him and he decided to learn more about online shopping and virtual stores.  Eventually, he began his own virtual stationary store.  Bill stated this made sense because he no longer had to pay rent or property taxes and utilities for a storefront, but could continue to sell his products.

Bill shared that he again went through another sales slump in late 2014 and was brainstorming how he could revamp business.  He saw the successful markets of and and got the idea to begin selling his fountain pen calligraphy art.  Bill figured at least if they weren’t interested in buying a pen that cost a couple hundred dollars, they could at least have a personalized work of art that was made by it.  Bill began to receive orders almost daily and this has once again transformed his business.

As an Internet professional, it can sometimes be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel as , as are products.  There is an infinite amount of opportunity to make money on the Internet.  All it takes is a little bit of brainstorming, community support and thinking outside of the box.  Please feel free to reach out to your fellow businessmen and women on this forum for help and ideas.