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Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Business of Business

Oh, that title looks so impressive. But like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand, I have not updated my business plan for 2009. To be honest, I don't even have one to update. At the beginning of the year, I was directed to Jessica's blog, and her oh, so simple outline for a plan. Just 6 items to decide upon. Here goes.

GOALS. My main goal is to find my niche. If that sounds vague, well, it probably is, but that's all I got.

PRODUCTS. See GOALS. That was flip, but I have discovered that making children's clothes without an adorable model didn't work, and what with the uncertainty of CPSIA that turned out to be a good thing. Narrowing in on the product niche for Down the Street, but still experimenting in the Elle Quilts shop.

VENUES. One online venue is about all I can handle and still get anything made, so that's decided. As for offline, I haven't dipped my toes in the craft/art show venue idea yet, but it is a possibility. Consignment and wholesale are probably not due to the kinds of things I make and the time it takes to make them.

MARKETING & PROMOTION (and ADVERTISING). The recently available Google Analytics for Etsy shop owners will hopefully help with this. So far, none of the paid advertising I've tried has resulted in even one sale. Does that mean it's out? No, but I need to do more research and/or evaluation. Right now, I'm promoting on through the Etsy forums, twitter, flickr (minimally), and word of mouth.

PRICING & BUDGETING. At this point, I'm pretty happy with my pricing. Sewing (and in particular, quilting) is difficult to price by hours because it really takes so long. I have in mind a blog post series on the making of a quilt to demonstrate what goes into the entire process. As for budgeting, I think I've done pretty well there, but the ostrich head may be buried on that one.

So, there you go. Not really much of a plan. More like just musings, but it's a start. Hope y'all are having better luck then I am.