A series of Business Tips from the book:
Craft Business Power: 15 Days To A Profitable Online Craft Business
By Jason G. Miles
… once you start down a path toward a goal, doors of opportunity will begin to appear and open that would never have been visible to you if you hadn’t started down the path in the first place. Starting down the path is the key part.
— Jason Miles
Are you one of those creative folks that spends so much time planning and dreaming, but never wanting to take that first step out the door of your business?
Sure it is fun to just create for the sake of creating. After all, that is the strong desire that brought you to this point in your business.
I have discovered that sometimes we just need to take that next step in faith. And believe me, I know the potential fear with that step.
“What if I fall on my face?” … “What if it doesn’t work?” … “What if I end up hating it all?”
Once you make the commitment, “feel the fear and do it anyway”, suddenly opportunities and circumstances will line up to guide you.
So lets get started …
Test people’s enthusiasm. A limited edition set of 10 items, or a one-of-a-kind outfit is always better than simply cranking out 20 copies of the same item and placing them on Etsy.
— Jason Miles
Spending the extra money to create a ton of product before you even test it can be disastrous!
I repped for a food company that created a soup with wonderful packaging and branding — then contracted to make a gazillions of them — only to find out there was really no market for the product!! Disastrous!!
Also, some items sell better when they are perceived as one-of-a-kind (OOAK) item. There is something about scarcity that attracts people. This way, you try out just a few and see how well they sell. Nothing much is lost if they don’t sell, but if they sell out very quickly, you know you have a potential winning product!
And personally, I would recommend trying out these new products at a craft/holiday fair or farmers market where you can interact with your customers. Their feedback can be invaluable!!
Most entrepreneurs start with a product that they can successfully make or acquire, but it might not necessarily be what the marketplace is clamoring for. They quickly realize it is a ton of trouble to launch a mediocre product, very challenging to sell it regularly, hard to scale it up to an impressive numbers, and very often impossible to automate or systematize.
–– Jason Miles
Consumers are inundated with products to buy. Even in my lifetime, I have seen the marketplace swell to the level that I get confused sometimes when I am trying to buy something as simple as shampoo!!
To be successful, you need to pay attention to the marketplace and see what is needed or wanted or unique or saleable …. and I can assure you that mediocrity is NOT what sells!
According to Jason, the trouble with mediocre products goes beyond what will sell. If your passion does not drive you to excellence in your product development, you are wasting your time.
Don’t settle for less just to make a buck. If that is your intention, you would be better off back working for someone rather than starting your own business…. Just my gut feeling!!
We strongly recommend crafters and artisans sell items via auctions. Auctioning your items is the easiest way to establish an ultra-premium price for your products. The truth is that there is a very broad range of prices that are possible for the same item.
— Jason Miles
I think this is an excellent idea — and one I didn’t think to try myself!
I suggested in an earlier email in this series to sell your products at a craft fair before you start producing in large quantities! But, using Jason’s suggest may even work better.
Since I have never tried this approach, I assume that Ebay would be a good place to start your auction.
Once you place your item on an auction site, you will discover what consumers are really willing to pay for your creations! And of course, the more interest generated, the higher the price you will get, and the greater chance your product will succeed in other marketplaces.
If you have tried using auctions to sell your product(s), please share your experiences!
If you want to grow a profitable craft business, you’ll need to decide what you’re good at and what you’re not good at, and work to creatively fill in the gaps.
–– Jason Miles
My husband, Malcolm and I have a nearly perfect business relationship: What he is good at, I am not; and what I am good at, he is not! Because of this, we have been able to run our business mostly by ourselves.
But if you are missing a key component, such as bookkeeping skills, I agree with Jason: Find someone who does have the necessary skills and hire, contract or trade for their services.
Your business can easily crash and burn if you don’t assess your weak points and find someone to fill in the gaps.
Not everyone is a fortunate as Malcolm and I — who complement each other so well in business!