Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp Week 11: Next Steps

Well, we have made it! 10 weeks of the Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp, and you should have a super solid foundation built for your growing business.

If you missed any of the prior weeks, you can see the full series here.

Ok, so now what? 

It’s August, and that means we are looking straight ahead at the 2020 holiday shopping/sales season.

If the rest of the year goes anything like the beginning of the year has, then I can reliably predict one thing:

NOTHING is guaranteed.

If you are someone who typically sells at art/craft/vintage fairs, you are likely going to find yourself with a LOT more open Saturdays than you are used to at this time of year.

If you have a brick and mortar shop, you are saddled not only with the ever-changing health department regulations, but with a whole new level of social responsibility and an ever-growing uncertainty about how your store is going to get the sales (while keeping safe, secure, and socially-distanced!).

In October 2019, I started...

Continue Reading...

Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp Week 10: Collaboration

As a child of the ‘90s, I’m gonna kick of this post with some sage words of wisdom that should resonate with you if you are the same vintage as me:

Stop, collaborate, and listen.

Honest to goodness, in my whole life I never thought I’d find myself reaching back to quote Robert Van Winkle, AKA Vanilla Ice, in a business blog post...yet here we are.

Whether you have been following through the entire Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp (you can find all of the posts here) or if this is your first introduction to Bloom, you are likely here because you have (or want to have) a handmade business. 

We artists are a unique bunch...which is really, really cool.

I think that, as an artist and an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get stuck on a lonely island of making and doing everything by yourself. After all, that’s kind of the name of the game when you are a HANDmade business owner, right? Your hands, doing the making!

Here’s the thing, though. It’s...

Continue Reading...

Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp Week 9: Getting Website Traffic

Now you’re really in the thick of things!

You’ve established that yes, you ARE going to be an official Handmade Business Owner (yes, I capitalized it because it’s THAT legit!) and you’ve gotten the foundation laid for your business. 

By now, you should have your business banking and payment options established, social media accounts claimed, and ecommerce site chosen and stocked. It’s time to throw your (virtual) doors open and get ready for (online) shoppers to flood in!

Except...well, it doesn’t always work that way (but wouldn’t that be awesome if it did?!)

There’s a very general “rule of thumb” that says that, for every 100 visitors to your website, you should get 1 sale (or, to put it another way, you would “convert” 1% of your website visitors into buyers).

Now this rule isn’t hard and fast, and if you can establish some good relationships with your audience, you can start to see that 1%...

Continue Reading...

Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp Week 8: email Marketing

I’m going to make a bold statement here:

If you are a handmade business owner (well, any kind of business owner, really): a well-nurtured and engaged email list is the most valuable asset your business can have.

Say whaaaa??

Hear me out: This statement comes with 10+ years of personal experience and a LOT of trial and error.

I have had my handmade business since 2010, and like many artists and crafters, the majority of my business’ income came from craft fairs, art shows, and vintage/barn sales. The great thing about those events (besides cash flows) was that I had the chance to meet SO many people! I formed personal relationships with customers who came to see me show after show and year after year. 

I realized, though, that outside of my social media sites, I didn’t really have a way to contact those loyal customers to let them know when I’d be in their area, what new designs I had, etc. So, I decided it was time to start building my email list!...

Continue Reading...

Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp Week 7: eCommerce Platforms

Well, here we are in week 7 already! If you’ve been following along, we have talked about whether or not you can (or want to!) sell your craft, if you DO sell, how to price your products so that you are making a profit, and business-y stuff like how to come up with a name, how to track your expenses , and how to get paid.  Last week, we moved into the part where you start to show up online, talking about social media (and how to find a flock of raving fans!). 

At this point, you’re all set up and ready to go for it. Just one thing...where are you selling from? If you’re gonna be a real-deal handmade business owner...well...you’ve gotta have a place to sell your goods from!

 There is a whole sea of ecommerce platforms for you to choose from, and if you took the time to look into every single one of them...you might run screaming in the other direction.

For the sake of ease, I’m going to share with you the options that are most popular with...

Continue Reading...

Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp Week 6: Social Media

We’re in week 6 of bootcamp, and hopefully you’ve picked up a few nuggets of wisdom about how you can get the nuts and bolts of your business set up. To review, we’ve covered how to decide if you can sell, pricing your products, naming your business, tracking your money, and accepting payments. 

Now, let's talk about stirring up some excitement online!

Social media is a great way to get some quick and easy awareness of your business. E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y and their mother (literally) is on at least one social media platform, and chances are they have seen and purchased something after they saw a post.

The “Big 3” social media platforms that have the most users are:

  1. Facebook, with 2.6 billion monthly active users

  2. YouTube, with over 2 billion monthly active users

  3. Instagram, with over 1 billion active monthly users

I’d be willing to bet that you have an account on at least ONE of these platforms, likely 2 or all 3. On each of these...

Continue Reading...

Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp Week 5: How to Get Paid

Woohoo, now you’re really rolling! You’ve got your product and pricing set, you’ve created a name and a legit setup for your business structure, and you know how to track your budget.

So now...let's talk about how you get PAID!

First things first: you should have a separate business checking account set up to keep your money separate from your business’ money.

I know, I know, it sounds strange...but you and your business ARE separate entities, even if you are the solopreneur running it. 

 

Trust me, separating out your funds now will save you LOADS of time and headache down the road. Checking accounts are most often free, and it will make your expense tracking SO MUCH EASIER if you are purchasing from and depositing into a completely separate account.

Now that we have covered WHERE to collect your money, let’s talk about HOW you collect it. 

If you are selling on Etsy or another established marketplace, this is fairly easy. All you have...

Continue Reading...

Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp Week 4: Tracking Your Money

Lets face it: you are in business to make money! You make and sell your awesome goodies to make money, which in turn allows you to buy more materials, pay yourself for your valuable time, and more MORE awesome things to sell. 

As a handmade business owner, I can honestly say that one of the most difficult things for me is keeping accurate track of my money. I’m not a numbers person, I don’t find accounting particularly easy, and I really really don’t like when it comes to bookkeeping time. I do, however, understand that keeping track of my money is vitally important to my business...so while I’m no accounting pro, I do take the time to carefully track where my business’ money comes from and where it goes.

There are two pretty basic categories to track here: expense and income. 

(There’s a third category called sales tax, and I’ll get to that at the end).

Expense is the money your business spends.

Income is the money your business...

Continue Reading...

Tips for Choosing A Business Name - Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp Week 3

Your business name should be the second most recognizable thing about your business, only behind your art. It should be broad enough that it can allow you space to grow and pivot, but distinctive enough that it can be a strong representation of a well-defined brand. I know it can be a tough decision, so here are my tips for choosing a business name.

Some questions to ask yourself when choosing a name for your business include:

  1. Are there any other businesses that have the same name, and if so, are they in your niche?
  2. Are there any products otherwise copyrighted/trademarked businesses that use this name?
  3. Is the name easy to read/pronounce?
  4. Are there other words or names that are easily confused with this name?
  5. Are the domain name and social media handles available for this name? (i.e., can you get a Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest page with that business name along with a “yourname.com” web address?)
  6. Can you shorten it to initials without any unfortunate acronyms ...
Continue Reading...

Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp Week 2: Pricing for Profit

Ok, at this point let's say you’ve decided that YES, you ARE going to sell your craft. 

AWESOME!

I am a pretty big fan of surveying your audience for opinion when it comes to habit, style, use, etc, but there’s one question that I can’t STAND to see:

“What do you think I can charge for this?”

It sends chills up my spine just reading it.

Why?

Well, to be perfectly honest, it really doesn’t matter what someone *thinks* you should or could charge for something. Thoughts and feelings have no place in your pricing strategy if you are indeed running a business. One of the biggest mistakes I see craft business owners make is using their materials cost as their retail price, and this is a pretty quick way to get into a financial hole. 

If you are selling as a hobbyist, you can price just to cover your materials and call it a day...but if you want this to be a revenue stream for you, you are going to have to become intimately aware of your...

Continue Reading...
1 2
Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.