Student Examples: Business Road Map
So we're actually going to go ahead and do some hot seat cleaning. The easiest wait for you guys to understand. This process is just a watch. Some people go through it, all right? So just remind us who you are and what you know. Sure, you show Mishra and I dio a seamstress and I do handmade, um, right now, home accessories and women's accessories. Okay, so let's start by identifying the profile that you're going to focus on right now, I think I'm going to focus on the artist retailer. Okay, Get started. So you're in a really focus on selling, selling to come directly to customers. And in that profile, are you online in person or a little bit of a little bit of both. Okay, so this is where now we're literally gonna talk about what you feel like you don't know to be able to make money. That's leisure. So what do you think? Is this having a strong logo? Own website is is missing. Okay, I have a logo and I have a blawg, but they're you know, that could be a lot better. Okay, What else? Um,...
I think what's missing is probably a little bit of focus on my side. Okay, Um, but, you know, I don't think that that's just my That's my job, right about out. Um, So how are you going to get customers to this website? Well, I'm pretty active on social media about some social channels. So you're comfortable. Social media. Okay, so that's not one you have to worry about, right? And probably good product photography and creative life has an upcoming class, um, about photography with your IPhone. And I think it's something that I feel like there's I kind of made this mental list of things that I need to dio. And if I outsource it, you know how much my, how much of my money my gonna invest in these things, right, to get started. And so how much can I do right now and, um, go from there? And then I think related to the product Photography is any models, because it's something that I never really considered, but I think actually might help with, um, the merchandising of my products. Is there anything else on the business end that you feel very specifically right now, I do my own taxes because They're pretty simple. Um, I think eventually I'll probably need a bookkeeper. If if If my business grows to the where I want it to grow, then I'd probably need that help. And, um what about I ask you something else that's completely skipped my mind. Um, anything else that you're thinking of that, you know? What about email marketing? Were you on that? I haven't done any. I don't have any mel list. Uh, I know that there are tools out there that can help me create some email marketing. And I think that there's I think, through social media and through website, you can capture email addresses. I might be previewing your you were gonna be here tomorrow. We're gonna die really deep in that one, So OK, so now what we want to do is there anything else that you're thinking you're missing? I had it written down on my I think those are the big ones. I feel like I feel like I have the ability to write product descriptions so that that kind of stuff I can do okay, But I think those are the big things. I feel like those with roadblocks or my gremlin keeping me back. Yeah, And so now what we want to do is really like, look at these things that you're like. This is the reason I'm not moving forward and deconstruct them and figure out how to get you past them with some deadlines. And so, um, I would emphasize that I think email list is super super Super priority number one important. What is, um what's holding you back on the website? What? Don't you know? Um, which platform to use, Um, how I'm gonna populate it with content. So, by content, do you mean blood posts or do you mean product descriptions or What do you mean by Congo? Okay, right. So, you know, just keeping it current, that, like, what to put on it. Or like, I feel overwhelmed by the amount I need to put. I feel overwhelmed by the amount that I need to get on it. Um, and I and I feel like I part of that is because I'm still not focused with my my product line. And so I feel like that's really the gremlin that's holding me back. You know where that's where I'm kind of going around in circles. Analysis, paralysis. OK, so really for you, then the first priority is to set some deadlines around deciding what's happening with your product. So what is a nice forced deadline that you can give yourself to get something done? So what do you need to accomplish when you won't accomplish it by and what triggers that involve other people can you do to make you stick to that? So something that was a catalyst a few years ago was I attended a conference and in person conference that was with a bunch of makers, and that's coming up in a few months time at the end of April, And that was that a few years ago when I also attended the conference. That was kind of the catalyst that made me get active on social media. Get my blood post up, and I feel like that's a good It's a good milestone for me because I can talk about it with other people and okay, with confidence. Like I have this. I do that so that use of the end of April okay, so at the end of April, and what do you feel like? You want it exactly have done by then. Um, I think I want to have a focus on my line of product, okay? And I want to have a website up and, um then, like some of these other things that fit with its the photography, let's give you that focus on my line of products. Let's give you something a little more concrete, because the problem is not that you're not focusing on it. The problem is that you're not finishing it, right? Right. So let's give you a really concrete goal of finished pieces. Okay? So how maney? And you're one of a kind. So are you trying to Are you trying to develop a set of, like, specific styles that you can repeat? What's your goal with your partner? No, I've I've narrowed down to about three or four different patterns that I choose. And but because of the one of a kind nature of the material that I used, it does take a little bit of manipulation. It's not just like, first of all, I'm not a robot, But, you know, I have to really focus on every piece individually, um, and part of the product line focuses is really thinking about. How can I make that part more efficient? Okay, so it's it's really and then kind of the sourcing of my materials and if it's more important to be up cycled or one of a kind. So I think in this case, so the goal isn't really like deciding anything. It's just getting more efficient. And that means setting an aggressive target for how many things you're gonna produce because the more you produce, the more efficient you get. Right. So what's a good goal? How maney, How many pieces do you wanna have made by the end of April conference? Well, if we go back to the exercise we did with the pricing should absolutely go back. And and I said that I needed Well, that was I needed to sell 32 prices a month. So we think about if I produce that, Am I cheating because I already have some inventory that you already always have it so like, but really, to hit that goal, if you were hitting local every month, you would need to produce 32 pieces. So, um, what were we'll give you some time for for photography? But I think we could say maybe like 70. How does that feel? Aggressive. That's that I like. So you're gonna produce 70 pieces by the end of April? I love aggressive gold. All right, I usually do too, but I'm scared. Okay? This is what makes you more efficient. And this is what gets you out of that analysis Proud you're like, So I would actually go back, and I would write this number somewhere posted up next year. This is my new hourly wage. 70 pieces. End of April. Right. Okay. But that's not the only thing that you have to do because we have to deal with this website issue because that is the big sticking point for you in moving forward. So you already have a blawg, right? What platform are you on? I'm on, Blogger. Okay, that's old school. It's been it's been around for a while. And so I'm old school. So in your case, So the platform thing and the content thing actually sort of go together because the question is, do you want to keep all of the old content that you created on Blogger? Is that important to you? I mean, do you want to carry that over to website. You know, the photography on it isn't great, but I feel like it's a I mean, I probably started the block for me. Perfect That question right there. You're gonna start from scratch, OK? Which I realised makes this feel slightly more overwhelming. I haven't the I have no content problem, but that's okay. That's flexible too. So what that means for you is like, you're gonna just pick a platform and commit to it. So tell me, what do you deciding between? Well, right now we have ah, family website on Wix. Okay, so it's something that, you know, we already have some pricing things and there, um I know my business finances are separate from my right personal ones, but it's, um because I'm looking at a platform that can not just I don't want to just have a blogger. I want to also be needy. Amherst platform. So is it Shopify or is it? Yeah, um Wicks, Or is it something else? So I would say the two best options for this, And actually, for those of you who are struggling with this, which platform question on the class. I did previously called Beyond At Sea. We literally tackle this question. So we're gonna talk about it specifically for you. But for those of you who are struggling and you want more, you can go check out that beyond etc Class. It's a really good resource for getting your Web site up and going. So I think for you that you are like Shopify or square speed. And I think the thing there's two things to look at their so one like, How are your visuals right now? Because what Squarespace really really does well is like big, beautiful images like they're super image heavy. And if you don't have stunning, spectacular visuals, that platform, I think, is a little bit harder when you're first starting out. I personally like Shopify because they have such a great back out and they such integration and they have some really great symbol templates to use. But if you're thinking you want to go a little bit more of that design aesthetic route square spaces agreed on, But really at the end of the day and you should just pick one, pick one right now what sound right to you? Um I think Shopify sounds good to me. Perfect. So you're committing to that right now? What you want to determine is is there still anything you don't know in this process? Right. So you picked one. Is there any other information you need to get started or do you feel like OK, I made a decision. Now I can move forward. I made a decision. I have. Like I said, I have a little gonna have a color palette. It's I think that there's some room for improvement. I think that I probably should just not worry about that right now. I agree. I just get going. Okay. And so then your next question of like what to put on there is actually solved right here in this 70 piece goal. So your goal is by the end of April, you're gonna have this shop of Aisa shop set up and all 70 pieces. We're going to be on it. That means photographed and on the site to sell. So how did that feel? Feels super scary. Okay? Yeah, but doable. It's doable. Probably wait until you know March 15. Okay. I have to break it down into smaller goal, you dio. But Okay, I'm gonna cross that out. Your new goal is March 15. Way. Don't watch long gold because you wait too long. Right? So on march 15th you're gonna find some kind of event here in the Bay area, even if it's just like a funny little networking event or something. And you're gonna show up to that event with business cards that direct people to your website. All right, OK, you're like Gary, but yeah, but that's nothing. If you're going to spend ah, month and 1/2 not doing this because you've set this goal far out, let's set a shorter goal. And if that if this number that is not possible, like 70 pieces a lot, that's a long goal to work towards. So okay, so instead of thing, okay, I have to have 70 pieces done by the end of April. Now I have to have 35 pieces done by the middle of March, right? So that that gives you, like, a little bit more work toward, But you still have to have a website. Dunkley, then and then you're just building that content through out as you're finishing new pieces, like make them it does. OK. And is there anything else you feel like? Has to go on your list for things to learn or think about? I don't think so. I mean, we just covered pricing that perfect. And they think the, you know, in parallel, because I feel like my online isn't my only channel selling, but I feel like it's I have to have that in place in order to point people to when I you know, when I go and go to a craft show or a pop up shop or wherever that I have something that I can point people to right? Exactly. And I think that's the thing is like, if not having this is holding you back from doing those other things, because you're like, Well, I can't draw people to my website then, like, let's focus on the thing that's holding you back. All right? Okay. Perfect. You know, you got a lot of work to dio sweating. All right, so what is your profile? Um, so I wanted to start with artists retail. Okay. And what do you think is missing? I need to get better at sales. Okay, So what's so get better at sales. And do you think that's in person? Um, putting your person and also social media. Okay. Not great at that. What else? Um, kind of, uh, build my email list. I have one, but it is very small and a photography. I have product photography, but I think it needs to be on models and, um, in settings and stuff. I don't know how you spell that, You but sure. Yeah. Um uh, what else? I think that's that's it. Pretty much all I want to focus on right now. Perfect. So let's talk about this. Get better at sales thing, because I think this is one that impacts a lot of people. But it's also like a super big problem, right? Yes. I mean, I I think I need Teoh kind of memorize my talking for us and be more confident. Okay, so So do you have your talking points written now, or do you need to develop those? I need to develop them. I have some ideas now. Okay, So you develop talking points and then so memorize is kind of a funny way of thinking about it because you don't want to come off robotic and So what happens? This is why we focused on this idea of stories. Because when you're talking, points are stories, they feel more natural. And so if you're like OK, I have to remember to tell someone that this is this and this is that not you better. It's going to make you awkward and uncomfortable. And so instead of thinking about like I have to memorize, it's like, how can I evolve? My talking points into stories, Okay. And then you can draw stories based on who you're talking to, what piece you're looking at. And so it becomes this really interactive thing. Okay, so then along with that and the confidence piece, what else do you think you can do to improve those things? Well, I don't know. For me, it's just if I have if I know the stories that that will make me more comfortable it's like I feel like I believe in the products. Like I'm excited about them. And But I also need to I don't know. I have to sit with this new price thing. I, uh uh So you see your comfy with your new price? Yes. Yes. And I think for you. You know, one of the things to remember to is that, like that necklace is going up. But you can develop other things in your line that still hit. You're probably not. You're not gonna end up with anything at $40 anymore. Let's be honest, but you can develop some things that aren't that hot. Yeah, on DSO that is something that you could also think about. Like, What can you design in the say, like 50 to $80 range? You you have a few pieces that help you. So it's not like it's 100 $50 necklace for nothing. Yes, yes, and I think that I have been I've signed up. I've done one craft show so far this year, and I'm signed up for another one next week. And so I feel like getting some practice doing a lot of the shows will make me more comfortable. Yes, so this is definitely a case. We're like. Practice is one of the best ways to get better at sales, but the all their way to get better sales. It's through observation. So how can you put yourself in scenarios where you're experiencing people who are really good at sales, so that could be going to a store and clearly like letting them sell things to you. You don't have to buy the but like, you know, getting into that. But it could also be if you're not exhibiting at a show, quota shows and walk around, or even offer to help somebody at a show who's been around longer so you can watch and see how they sell. And if you're at a show when you've got downtime, listen to your neighbors. That is actually how I learned. Everything I know about selling wholesale is I went to my first show knowing nothing, and I just kept listening to my neighbors. Yes, so one. Do you want your order? They just asked. So there's a lot in that observation piece that I think really helps, and the other thing that you can do to is, even though it's talking about trade shows in my class, sell your products to retailers. We talk a lot about selling in person and moving people through the booth and booth flow and kind of having those engaging conversations. So even though right now you're focused on selling directly to customers. That sales piece of that class might be helpful to you because it's just helpful. Toe listen to people sell who are comfortable selling. Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. Okay, let's talk about the social media piece too, because I know that's one that feels like a hang out for a lot of people. So is this a case of you know what to do but aren't doing it or you're not sure what to do? I'm not sure what to do. Okay, So tell me what platforms you're trying to use right now right now is mostly instagram. Okay? It's like that one is the one I've tried. Pinterest, um, and Facebook. I like instagram because all of the brands, because I find brands on Instagram and I feel like I've always been kind of suspicious of, like, advertising enough. But I follow brands and let them advertise to me, and I love it. I feel like Okay, I feel like this is a platform that I gotta make sense to me. Perfect. Okay, so this is a platform that you want. We're not gonna dive too deep into this. Only because I know you're going to be at the next class, and we are talking pretty in depth about instrument, the next class. But I just want to address this Kind of like where you feel like what you feel like You don't know that we can establish, like, these are the problem areas. So you're like, OK, I like brands. I follow brands, but you're not sure how to do it for yourself. Yeah. Okay. And why is that? I don't know. I just, um It just seems confusing to me. I just don't know what to post. Like what? To post what else? You know how Teoh You know how to engage? Yeah, how to get people engaged. Okay, Okay. Perfect. So yes. So this is literally like what we're doing. This exercise is these are questions. And now, in this case, the how do I solve these is you're gonna come to my class tomorrow on We're going to address these, and that is the beauty of actually what we're doing in this exercise is I'm not trying to just sell you guys on other classes. But we're on this amazing platform with all of these. Resource is and so if we can identify what you're missing. Because I can't teach you everything you need to know about sales and Instagram and this and that whatever. In the next 30 minutes that we have left, right? So instead, we're acknowledging these are the things I don't know. And now we're thinking about a plan. So in your case, there's not as much that's time bound with you because a lot of it is sort of skill development. But is there anything that you think you can put a kind of time frame on yourself for learning or doing? Yes. Well, um, I feel like I can you? I couldn't. You know, one of my goals was to do at least, uh, five shows in the first quarter. Okay, Um so I think that's perfect. And you want not cute for jump in this way had here, so I think that's perfect. And what you can think about is like, Can you Can you keep adding to that? Like do you have that same kind of goal? Uh, and you have five shows booked. You won't know. I've done one, and I have one booked and I have a list of some more. OK, so are these things you have to apply to? You have to just give them your money. Um, well, some of them I have to apply to one that I'm doing next week is a recurring one. And so they've accepted me. So if I want to do more like they were about every week, Okay, So you have the potential. So this would be the only thing would be, if you need to look into Yeah. How do I hit my quota of yet? Five. But it sounds like you're you have that sort of Yeah. Yeah, that. Is there anything that's keeping you from committing to anyone where you're kind of like the one you're sort of waiting to see? How this one go. Perfect. And and so, Yeah, I feel like that will help me with the sales. And, um and then yes, hopefully, your class tomorrow will help me with my social media. Some of that. And I think the other thing for you is that there might be, like, still a little bit of that product. Yeah, to really get that. But I think you kind of know where that Yeah, that right now, So perfect already. Awesome. Thank you. Do you have someone who's not thinking of artist retailer as their first thing that wants to talk through it or you both thinking artist retailer as well. Okay. Do you guys feel like you're okay or do you need to walk through the process? You were getting pretty perfect. Us is a great question. So Michelle wants to know if we after the art craft show route Is it detrimental if you attend different shows across the country and only once at each or should we go to the same one multiple times? So this is a case where either option is actually OK, So you white see some repeat customers if you go multiple times and you might start to build a fan base. But craft shows are a little bit less about that because it's more of impulse buy, or you can get people on your email list. So if you do a show once and you're like, Well, I'm not going back across the country again to do that, I think that's okay. Were the multiple times for a show actually comes into play is trade shows. So if you're doing the artist wholesaler route and you're doing trade shows. You do typically need to commit to doing a show more than once. And that's because trade show buyers wholesale buyers. They want to see that you're committed. They have to give up shelf space in order to bring you into their store. And they're not gonna give up shelf space if they don't know that you're gonna be here in six months or a year. So usually with trade shows, you do need to think about being able to do the same show multiple times. But with art and craft shows, you really have the freedom and flexibility to play around. So if you want to try a lot of different shows, see what kind of is the right vibe? Don't feel like you have to go back to all of them if they're not the right fit. Do you have any other questions? Okay, so Daisy Chain says I just recently started my business sustainable home to core and soon jewelry for nerds. I struggle with deciding if I should do more designs of one of a kind product or more kinds of product of the same design or something else completely. I don't even know what something else completely ISS. So I think with this one part of this is going to depend on how you're thinking about selling. So if you're thinking about selling, say mostly through like craft shows, you can do a lot more one of a kind product because you don't have to photograph it and create a description and create a listing. You could just show up with kind of handful of things and see what's working for people. If you are thinking about doing more of the online or out. This is not to say that you can't dio one of a kind online. I do one of a kind online. It's very possible, but it definitely requires more work because every single piece needs a photograph and it needs a description and needs a new listing. And so, for one of a kind online, it's really only best if you have a slightly higher price point, because that covers some of that time. So my one of a kind, I think online the least expensive piece maybe starts at 1 80 it goes up from there. I can't imagine selling one of a kind online that's a like a 50 to $100 price point or even lower because it's just too much work to get those things up. If you're selling at that lower price point, you either want to focus on repeatable products or you want to. You know, if you want to do one of a kind of that price point, you're better off doing shows on the same thing. If you're thinking about stores sores, we're definitely looking for repeatable product. So in this case, it really depends on what route you're thinking about selling as to which way is the better way to go.