“I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.” Duke Ellington
“It, (creativity) requires an inclination to step into the unknown, as well as the ability to persist when there is no end in sight.” Shaun McNiff
While the majority of my clients are now reporting excellent sales, I am getting inquiries from other crafters saying they are getting hits on their sites but that their work isn’t selling as well as they would like. Normally I would first evaluate their marketing. If a site is getting lots of hits but no sales, it’s possible that there is something weak about the site itself, not the aesthetics, necessarily, but likely, the marketing funnel. Being curious, I couldn’t help checking out some of their sites.
We all know that you can make the most gorgeous product but if it isn’t marketed correctly, it won’t sell. Likewise, it doesn’t matter how great your marketing is if you don’t have something people want to buy. I know, this is common sense, but there is much more to having a marketable product than its’ being beautiful or functional. I decided it was time to take a look at what these crafters are making. Maybe there was a common product factor among those who were not making money with their craft. Bingo! Those who were reporting slow or no sales mostly had lovely crafts but their products all had one thing in common. Continue reading
I’ve had a number of inquiries recently from crafters who sell seasonal crafts and are concerned about the off-season. Many fiber artists who craft “cold weather” garments are worried about the coming slow months. And I’ve also heard the same concern from crafters who make summer-sunshine appropriate crafts. Yes, we are going into a season where it may be tough going if you make only woolen hats, mittens, etc but you have a number of viable, profitable options.
The easiest solution is to design a Continue reading
This past week, the news was full of more doom and gloom about retail closings and mall bankruptcies. It would be easy to get discouraged, thinking, “If a big department store that’s been in business for generations can’t make it, how will I?” Well, you aren’t in competition with the big box stores. And if you’re comparing yourself to them, it’s time for a major mindset shift.
Your target customer is the discriminating shopper who wants something unique and handcrafted. Yes, people are being more careful with their dollars now and you have the advantage in that when times are tight, consumers want what they are spending on to be special. They may not be shopping for household appliances right now but when it comes time to purchase a gift or a piece of artwork for their home, they are making conscious choices and want something they don’t see everywhere.
Keep sight of who Continue reading
In the waiting room at the Mayo Clinic yesterday, I picked up a Forbes Magazine. It’s not typical to see an outdoorsy “Field and Stream” looking image gracing the front of a business publication but the cover of the April 13th edition featured a man with a walking stick surrounded by the most magnificent Retrievers. The headline read, “What Recession?”. While I am hearing these words from my entrepreneurial friends, it was refreshing to see this in the media. The handsome man on the cover , dog breeder MIke Stewart, was one of six featured entrepreneurs whose businesses are thriving in this economic climate. Stewart has a long list of customers waiting to pay him $12,000 for one of his Continue reading
Do your friends and family discourage you from starting your dream business “in this economy.”? Is their reasoning that you’d be unwise to “leave the security of your job in a recession?” I’d find that humorous if it weren’t so sad because,most likely, these naysayers have never been self employed and haven’t yet been victim to the mass layoffs of “valued employees”. In the present economy, the only secure job is the one YOU CREATE for yourself.
Yes, I do listen to the news. I know people are losing jobs and retailers are shutting their doors. And I also know that most of my self employed friends with small businesses are reporting record breaking sales. Because when you’re self employed, you create your own economy. When something isn’t working , you can make changes quickly without the bureaucracy of a board of directors. On the corporate level, by the time reports are generated and changes approved, it is frequently too late. Too much has been lost. Not so in small business. Results are evident Continue reading
You’re probably thinking all I do is play-not true-I do work. It just feels like play. In my hometown on the west coast, I take my daily strolls on bluff trails overlooking the Pacific. Dogs are not allowed on the state beaches where they might disturb endangered snowy plovers, so Lucy and I are taking full advantage of our dog friendly Atlantic community this winter. Because I’m self-employed, I take breaks on my own schedule, which admittedly is these days determined by the tide chart. At low tide, we have endless miles of pristine beach to explore. Unlike our California beaches, which are covered with sand fleas and kelp, the sand is clean and fine. I discovered Continue reading