4 Steps to no only start your Handmade Business but also keep it sustainable in the future.
Reading time: 3 mins
Having your own business means, having the discipline for doing stuff you don't want to do!
And I know as a maker you would prefer to be creating your products, or designing rather than having to learn about marketing or do business plans, etc.
The problem with this is, that your products can be the best out there, but without the marketing skills nobody will ever know you exist.
This is why you need to dedicate time to learn how to market your product as soon as possible, but first to start your business with the right foot you need to create a solid foundation.
So, the first mistake makers, creators and artist make is, they jump the foundation and planning of their company, which is essential, and start by doing the fun part first, completely ignoring to give themselves the direction and clarity they need for a future sustainable growth.
All this being said, let's dive in and try to make this process a little more fun:
1-. Start with a Plan
It doesn't has to be a business plan worth an A in your English class, the important thing here is giving you direction, so you know where you are going, which direction you are heading.
You can start a bullet journal, and use one or two pages for planning your month, another page for planning your week, and one last page for your day.
If bullet journals are not your thing, try then to make a road map. A road map is a series of illustrated steps or milestones, heading to a goal, make it simple and set a due date for each step.
2-. Start getting visible
I know many gurus or expert recommend to open Social Media accounts, the last stage of planning your business, but I disagree, if used the right way, Social Media is a great tool to collect data.
You can find who you think your ideal client is, and follow them, they will be voluntarily giving you information about their interest, likes and dislikes.
You can test products and see the reaction of people towards them.
The cons of this is that you can get lost on vanity metrics, for example likes and followers, and lose track on your goal, why you are using Social Media in the first place.
The main issue I have seen in Social Media is that people use their business account like if they were their personal accounts; post randomly, without purpose and in the moment, don't take the time to stablish a theme or at least colours, don't think of the captions and write the first thing that comes to mind.
The fastest you understand to separate your business account from your personal one, and treat the business account like such, the more focus you'll stay.
which take us to the next point.
3-. Separate you personal finance from your business'
This is a big step to make your business sustainable, because when you separate finances, you start treating your handmade business as it is, a business.
If you don't have any funds, then the first sale you make take it as the company money, and don't touch it.
Pay yourself a small salary at the beginning, even if it is $1 per hour, and then you can rise it.
Keep this consistent now and you'll pick the rewards later.
4-. Follow up old costumers
This one may seem pretty obvious for some, but many, if not most, handmade business owners focus only on getting new clients, forgetting of the old ones, with time they end up burn out and without money for the cost of this not planned strategy.
Always try to keep contact with old customers, ask for reviews and referrals, and offer discounts for them to come back, old customers are a gold mine if you nurture them enough.
5-. Learn as you go
I haven't talk about mission and vision, of course they are important!
But as your company grow you will get more and more clear with this.
If you're just starting, I will recommend to focus better on small goals doable goals per month, as you grow you can start having a better more aligned vision and mission.
I always see Small Handmade Shop owners struggle because they don't have a Unique Sales Point, or a Vision, and they have tried to craft it but it is very difficult and it doesn't feel right or aligned with them.
Then they never start their shops because they are missing this.
My advice is to start your shop! Start and I promise with time you'll find a vision more aligned with you, but if you never start you'll never know.
If you set doable goals, you will do everything to stay in track with your handmade business.
Celebrate when you accomplish goals, even if it is a tiny one, this will keep you motivated.
To finish, always keep your mind open to new things.
Follow these and I am sure you can succeed.
Write me to Mianasvensson@mianacriticizes.com or to DM me on Instagram if you have any questions.