Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Business talk

So let's talk about business, shall we? Seeing as this is my new business, and all. I have so many questions, so much to learn and I'm learning new things as each day passes.

Things I've learned so far (which can also be looked at as my current business plan):

1) TIME: Having your own business can be absolutely time-consuming from the actual making of your product to creating a variety of websites for those products, to editing pictures, to re-taking and re-editing of pictures, to thinking and typing out descriptions, to doing research, to re-evaluating current content for SEO issues and other related web searching criteria (don't ask...), to actually being relevant and interesting with all those heap-loads of online content that you spew into the webular world. Finding time for any or ALL such aforementioned activities can seem quite daunting at me...I just went through a few weeks of being in shock! haha! But I'm slowly figuring out ways to weed out the bad content and commit more to the good stuff (or so I'm hoping I've made a good distinction between the two!!).

2) ADVERTISING: Advertising yourself and your business in an effective and interesting way is a HUGE part to getting your business out there...and you really cannot separate the two (yourself & your business). You come as a whole package. People want to see that. They want to see more. And this makes the advertising part of it WAYYYY tougher then making the actual items and setting up shop! It's darn tough! Very, very time-consuming!! I've been doing A LOT of research about different kinds of ways to do this and have found you really just have to take things with a grain of salt, experiment with different things and do what works best for you and whatever suits your needs and your business' needs. I may go into specifically what I've tried on a later post...but I want to give myself more time to experiment. And I personally think that doing zero in this category will NOT be helpful, unless you have a horseshoe up your butt! :P

3) SPAM: People do not like spam. I'm sure it's to post links to your work occasionally or such but I do think there is a fine line...and right now I'm still finding that line. Using all these media outlets can be tricky and I don't doubt that it's all trial and error. Current stage for me: trial and many errors! hahah

4) PRICING: Good ol' pricing. Well...I'm still figuring out pricing...but I kind of expected this. However, I'm feeling left out in a sense that may be one of those rare(?) Etsy shops who opens up with higher than average prices (you usually hear about those who start off pricing too low)...I'm not sure about this all just yet but I initially did prepare ahead of time and used a popular pricing spreadsheet for starting out...after I first listed, I got some friendly & experienced advice (thank you!!! you know who you are!) and kinda threw that out the door and ended up reducing my prices somewhat. And then again after that and then another time just recently actually. I am still obviously figuring this whole pricing thing out but I imagine that this is a totally normal, expected and understandable task when just starting out. I do hope that I'm not being too prideful or stubborn about this and my work! But I imagine I'll figure that out eventually too.

5) LOCALIZE: I am realizing that not everyone is online and on the internet or Etsy. I really need to get myself more out there in my community and amongst my community members and try to get local people interested in my product. I'm slowly increasing this aspect of my business and hoping that this summer, a lot more people will know about my little business! I've given some gifts away to family and friends and also donated to one event and I will definitely keep this up. One thing is for certain, I'll happily be wearing & showing off my necklaces around town, come spring & summer! :)

6) DON'T QUIT: If you really want to make a small business work, you cannot give up. Even if you do it part-time at first, and that's all you can handle for now (or because that pesky day job & financial obligations get in the way), then that's okay. It's an incredible learning process and one that I've felt I've always wanted to experience! If you're forced to make it your day job, don't give up hope. Put yourself out there. That, to some, is the scariest part. But you are worthy. Give yourself a push...a challenge.

So I guess that ends my little pep-talk to myself! hahh! Because honestly, it helped me to set some things straight in my head, say things out loud and maybe actually set some goals for myself and my new, little business. Thanks for being apart of my process and for hearing all about my new learnings and ideas! I'm sure they're not new, but they are definitely new to me! :)

Until next time, with perhaps some pretty pictures!! I think ya'll deserve that after sitting through this long post, ha ha!


  1. You are doing GREAT Vita! You never stop learning when you work for yourself, trust me :-)
    Pricing is a slippery slope, and what works in real life, tends to not work on etsy, and what sells on etsy, sometimes doesn't sell in real life. Know what I mean? You will find the quicker you work, the more you will get a feel for how to price things, and even more so, what you can ask for when pricing things.
    Keep up the great work - I am LOVING your colour choices and style!

  2. I'm wishing you much success. It's a slow go in the beginning with any business, trust me I've had a few :)

    xo Rochelle

  3. Delia: Thanks girl! xo

    Jaime: I definitely hear what you're saying! Thank you!!! I agree and imagine that most of what I will learn will be through experience. Trial & error. As always, you've got great advice! <3

    Rochelle: Thanks so much for your words of wisdom! I do kind of expect a slow start and am sort of happy in a way because I feel like I need to catch up and focus on making more things anyways, lol. xo

  4. Thank you for this post. I have been thrown into my "own business" when I heard that I will be retrenched at the end of May. I will be mulling over your advice for the next few days :)

    As for beading - I am a total newbie and have only been beading for two months. And yesterday I had my first sale - I am so excited!

    Chriz’Creative Spot

  5. Chris, no problem! I'm so new to all this as well! And it changes from day to day, week to week, etc! I wish you tonnes of luck with it all! Congrats on your first sale! Isn't is fun & exciting!? :)