Sunday, January 11, 2015
Just a Few Business Tips I Have Learned Along the Way
Six years ago I was in a craft store buying a little bit of fabric to make a gift for someone and happened to strike up a conversation with the lady at the fabric cutting desk about what I was doing with it. Within 15 minutes she had mentioned her daughter selling and succeeding on Etsy and that started the ball rolling in my brain about the possibility of my starting my own business. I wasn't too secure enough to think I would be able to sell what I make, since all I had ever done with it is give my artwork out as a gift, but I decided to take the jump and much to my surprise, I have been pretty successful and love what I do even more than I did in the beginning!
Do I have a magic formula for success in this arena? No... sorry, I don't...so don't be too disappointed that I have no great revelations on how to have a successful business in 3 easy steps. What I can share with you is just a few basic observations that I think are absolute musts if you want to go in this direction with whatever it is you wish to sell...so here goes, Debbie's self
learned business tips that may or may not help you...
1. Sell something somebody wants
Yes, I know you are thinking , "Well everybody should want a crocheted nose warmer with a pom pom ball on the end... Or a rubber baby buggy bumper, or my handmade purple snow cone cup holder...right?"
Maybe, but my first tip is to think twice before you jump in and sell something you think every would want to buy and ask yourself how different will you stand out, and how crowded is the market with such things? If what you have in mind to sell is unique, or really useful, practical in some way, and not a saturated market, you may have something there!
2. Expect to work at it a loooooooooooong time and not expect overnight success. Yes, it would be wonderful to set up your shop, list everything and be swamped with people who have handfuls of cash, (or their credit card or PayPal account), begging for your items and listen to the merry sound of flowing cash coming in to your bank account at a rapid pace, but that seldom happens...really seldom. You have to take time to learn what you are doing, find customers who want what you have to sell, find people who have money to buy, and take time to learn what to do and what not to do in order for your business to build up. And unfortunately, that does take time, there is no easy route, and even the best of businesses have periods of feeling like they perhaps may have fallen off the face of the earth and no one knows where to find them...But expect that to feel like that sometimes and also expect that it could easily pick up again and in the meantime keep working at it.
(Kind of like a snail climbing a mountain-slow, steady, hard, and takes time to reach the top...sometimes a long. long time!)
3.Finally, I will add just one more tip, (and there may be a few more coming in the future), but I have learned that when you start a business, be the owner of it and take responsibility for it. Don't ask other people what you should charge for your doojiemaflopper...do the research and figure it out on your own. Look at the others out there, see what the going rate seems to be, and then look at what it costs you to make, the time involved to make it, and all the other expenses that will go into it. Don't "not charge" for something because you think your item will then be too expensive. Don't assume people won't pay you what you need to make a profit. The right customers always will, and if you aren't making a profit, there really is no point in being in business..so keep that in mind when deciding on prices.
And there you have it folks, my three business tips I have learned and wish to pass on to you. I hope they help, more to come in the days ahead!
General Stonewall Jackson Civil War General- Found at Uneek Doll Designs