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.
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:
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...
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.
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...
Now you’re really in the thick of things!
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%...
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!...
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...
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.
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:
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...
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...
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.
Ok, at this point let's say you’ve decided that YES, you ARE going to sell your craft.
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.
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...