Building and expanding a business is like crafting. You have an inspired idea and a blank canvas that you can use to create anything you want.
My first few years of running 923 I found myself spinning my wheels trying to see what fits where. Laying out the pieces with no glue. It didn't have shape nor could I visualize what I wanted it to be.
This is the stage where you just start creating and see where it goes.
As time went on I began to discover and understand more about the products I should and should not buy, as well as the appetite of my customers.
For example, I used to buy any fabric that came my way, no matter what. Scraps, bolts, bags, I bought in bulk, and even by the piece. What I found is that sometimes I ended up with a lot of scrap or really old stuff that I could not sell. I also accumulated apparel and upholstery fabrics that my customer base did not buy. What did well overall was good Ole quilting Cotton. So I refined my fabric inventory. Unfortunately that still left a ton of other fabrics unsold. I still have some any takers?
Another part of building a business is around appraising your value. Oftentimes, especially if you are a creator or service provider you don't put a high value on yourself or your time. We think that lowering our prices is a way to gain more customers. Sometimes having low prices repels customers too, so you have to find your sweet spot, and know your audience. The truth is people pay for what they want. If they think your prices are too high, they are not your customer. It's that simple.
My business is built around the thrift store bandits who are always looking for a deal (like me). So my products are priced lower than retail but not free...lol. The classes are priced with both my business and MY customers in mind. Meaning there's a cost but affordable to the thrifty.
Finding the sweet spot is hard but important to building your craft business. It is a constant dance to see what will really work.
One more thing to keep in mind to grow your crafty business you need to imagine there are no limits. That is hard especially when finances are limited. That's where patience comes in. A masterpiece is not built overnight, and neither is your business.
When you are creating something you don’t put limitations on your imagination. Let the colors flow so that the image grows. That’s where I see my business today. The foundation is laid and my initial image is there. Now I’m adding a new layer, embellishing the work to bring the vision to life.
I announced this past weekend the new address for our store.
This is the biggest step I've taken to date. A bigger canvas to paint. It's like going from an 5x7 to a wall mural.... But without risk there is no reward.
I hope that my readers followers and customers will join me as I begin this next chapter of this masterpiece of a business. Truly the design is with you all in mind.