Friday, April 8, 2011
Getting Beyond Etsy - Beyond Craft Shows and Into the Big Blue Yonder of Making Money
Creative people ask me questions all the time about their creative product businesses. All sorts of questions - and usually they want to show me the products they're making and ask me if they're viable in the marketplace.
I've discovered the reason for this question is not what I originally thought.
Usually they want validation that they are good enough to operate a profitable business.
Many want to know where they should start or they've already started and have yet to make any real money. Sadly some think there is something wrong with their product or become convinced they are destined to create for family and friends and not make any money.
They have resigned themselves to being a hobby rather than a business - not because they aren't talented, have good ideas or amazing products but because they don't know what to do differently than what they're doing already.
Here are reasons creative people stay hobbyists when they want to have a money making business:
1.Well meaning Family and Friends: It's interesting how seemingly well meaning family and friends sabotage your business. They start saying things to you like, "why don't you get a real job" or "you'll never make any money doing this" or "that's okay honey we love your stuff." Here's the thing - it's not the family and friends who are doing the sabotaging - it's that you're listening to them and allowing their opinions to shape you. Are they entrepreneurs - have they ever started a successful business? Probably not - so why are you listening to them and valuing their opinion? Step away from the negativity.
2.Etsy Mentality: I love this one! How many times have I heard, "Well I just want to get my Etsy site up and then I can start making money?" Oh my! Don't get me wrong I think Etsy and similar sites such as Artfire are wonderful for getting started or what I call "toe-dipping" but to stay stuck in the Etsy mentality where your life revolves around Etsy and selling one to one and all the other issues and criteria that are required just plain keep you small. I'm sorry somebody's got to say it! Stepping beyond Etsy and the small craft show route will grow your business. Yes maybe its fear that's holding you back - but I guarantee there's a whole huge world out there wanting to embrace you. Step away from the Etsy mentality and step into your gift and your greatness.
3.Do everything themselves: Start-up businesses in the creative product or craft arena are often small. You've got a great idea or product and now what? You soon learn that there are so many more parts to a business besides the product. You now have to have a website, accounting, sourcing, a business license, shipping etc. There are so many things to do - some of it is busy work - some parts are things beyond your expertise. The greatest mistake you can make is limiting yourself by saying "I'll hire someone when I can afford it." If that is your mantra - you will never be able to hire someone. Start delegating the one thing you dislike or is not your core competency that will give you more time to work ON your business and not IN your business. You do have the money - you have money for supplies - this is a supply you need to have a profitable business and not a hobby.
4.The Blog excuse: I have talked to people who tell me they can't start their business until their blog or their website is done. It's not done for one reason and one reason alone - it's an excuse. If getting your blog done determined your income you would get it done no matter what it took.
5.Don't want to sell: In order to make money you have to sell - this means money has to change hands - from the buyer's hands to your hands. Without sales no matter what you do you will not make money or become profitable. Brian Tracy says most businesses spend only 11% of their time on sales. If you double that to 22% you've doubled your sales! Anyone can learn how to sell - you've been doing it your entire life since you were born. How else have you gotten what you want? Learn how to sell your product and once your line is created this is where the majority of your time needs to be spent.
Are you ready to throw these excuses to the wind and get beyond the hobby business? It takes drive, determination and yes, work. If you're willing and open to learn - you CAN do it. Don't give up your dream and let these reasons stop you!
© 2011 Jane Button International Design2Market Success
Online creative product mentor Jane Button publishes "Design 2 Market News" weekly ezine packed full of with tips to help make you money from your Sewn or Knit Product, Design, Gift, or Craft Business. If you're ready to take off the training wheels and turn your creative passion into a profitable business, get your FREE tips now at www.Design2MarketSuccess.com