I am privileged to work with and meet many talented creative people. I even get a "behind the scenes" glimpse of both them and their businesses and it's fascinating how differently they all approach their work and their business. Except for one thing. All of my clients, past and present, have produced work which they do not feel is "good enough" to put out in to the market and expect money in return. It's to varying degrees - one has an entire spare room of paintings and such that she can't bare to show anyone, another has a cupboard under the TV of not-quite-finished clay pieces that weren't going to plan and so she dumped them there, closed the door and worked on something else.
'Tis the season...for craft fairs!
Almost everyone I know who has a creative business is either in the throws of doing Christmas fairs or is getting ready for their first one of the year. Craft fairs and Christmas markets can have a serious impact on your business - good and bad and although most will know the "do's" to get positive results, few have a grasp of the "don'ts" which play an even more significant role when it comes to success. [Read more...]
Working from home is a dream many aspire to and yet for those that have achieved it and are the envy of every friend and relative who has to battle the daily commute, office politics and endless meetings, there is a knowing that as great as the utopia many believe it to be, there are some realities that can have you yearning for the chaos-free bubble of the office. To be able to be spend a full 8 hours distraction free in an environment actually conducive to productivity and achievement becomes an unrealistic hope for many home-workers. If this is you, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone and there are some simple changes you can make to get the most out of each and every day. [Read more...]
Well, like everything in your business, it depends on your plan and where you'd like your business to be in 12 months' time but generally, it's probably more than you think , especially in the beginning and it can be costly both in terms of time and money. There are no rules when it comes to the magic number but the more your brand is known, understood and trusted, the easier and less expensive it can be. Of course this also depends on your growth plans - if you're planning to expand your products, ranges, collections etc. then even a well known brand will require some heavy lifting in those early days to get recognised in new fields. Many creative entrepreneurs find that they spend at least 50% of their working time promoting their store - creating images, posting, writing blogs, networking etc. In fact, the amount of effort needed to promote your brand and products can be a bit of surprise when starting out (and not a pleasant one if you started your business thinking you were going to spend 90% of your time designing and creating).
This is arguably THE single most important element you will do for your shop. A single photograph will tell a prospective customer so many things about you and your product and you cannot afford to waste that opportunity. There's a reason that window dressers in large department stores are paid a small fortune!
Below are some top tips for capturing great photographs and maximising the time a customer spends on your shop page (the more time = the more likely to buy). [Read more...]
Let's be honest, running your own business, calling the shots and being responsible for EVERYTHING is scary stuff. Add to that the risk of being criticised or having your hard work and creative expression being under appreciated is enough to put anyone off. So why do so many of us do it? Because when we get it right, the pay off is huge and the feeling of triumph is like no other.
I've devised a list of all the reasons that I know of that propelled creative entrepreneurs into the unknown and I'd urge you to keep this list close at hand to remind yourself, should you ever need to, of why you did this in the first place. [Read more...]
If you're anything like me, you waiver between perfect indignation that anyone should question your pricing and slight embarrassment when posting the price for your item, to utter surprise/glee when someone buys it!!!
Doubt can overwhelm us all and sometimes when we're asked about our pricing, we can stumble and fall over our words which adds to the self-doubt and sounds like a justification (which it should never). As a creative entrepreneur, self-doubt and certainly doubt around your pricing and value cannot be allowed to seep outside your front door. The moment you waiver in view of your customers, the walls will crumble. [Read more...]