Committing to Your Business
So how much time do you have to invest? I think that this is really important to you and it goes goes a little bit back to our previous slide, which is businesses are a lot of work. So when you are visioning, what your business is going to look like, take into consideration how much time you can actually build into it. If you have in your plan that you need to sell one hundred rings a week, is it possible for you to even make a hundred rings a week and then on top of making them? Can you also photograph which you could? If you were making the same rain, you would only need one set of photographs, but would you have time to photograph them and update your shop site all the time and do the packaging and figure out how you're going to ship them out and then follow up with customers and send invoices and chase down problems and do the social media that it takes to drive one hundred, people to that to your shop each week to buy your rings? What does your time really look like? This is. Such...
a hard question, because when we think about doing things they all seem like sort of easy. But the truth of the matter is, I think that I have found for myself, and I'm not going to say that this is how it works for the world, but I found for myself, if I say to myself, I'm going to spend four hours and get that done, I should just double that, like right off the bat, I should think if I think it's going to take four hours, that's me just lying to myself, it's really going to take eight hours? And sadly, it has taken me all of these years to really figure that out and be comfortable with it. And some days I still just have so much confidence in myself that I just think not today. Today it really will be four hours, and those were the days when it's been twelve hours so that's, just the way that people work and so give yourself a rig, right, right off the bat as far as that goes, but trying to be really honest about how much time you have to invest in your business. When are you going to make when are you going to promote? What are you going to sell? What are you going to ship? When are you going? Follow up, thes air all areas that take your time that you need to think about and and for a lot of us, really, the only time we have is that the only extra time we have this time that we should be sleeping and that's that's just the truth, so I don't know how to make that seem better, but just be honest with how much time you have and then go with it and keep note of when you went, how long something takes you that's really important to remember, my mom said to me once when I I was writing something that had to do with time management and my mom at the time was a college professor, and she worked with beginning nursing students, and she said that she would tell all of them that they should add twenty percent on to whatever they say. So if they said we're going to study for two hours, then they should add twenty percent of that because that was probably going toe really be more realistic because they were going to want to get a cup of coffee. They were going to wantto go to the bathroom or chat with their friends or whatever it was and that's. That's sort of how time works so just because you set aside two hours to do something doesn't mean that you're focused that entire time on two hours, so pay attention to how long things really take you and I think you'll be surprised I often think like we'll just take ten minutes and walk my dogs and then I don't come back into the house until forty five minutes later because I talked to a neighbor because I stop and take a photo of somebody's garden like whatever it is something I think it's honestly going to take me ten minutes can take so much longer because that's it's mostly just because I'm a human and you are also human so be prepared for that and pay attention so how much money can you invest that is something that we also all need to think about and that goes back into a little bit of what I was saying that you already have a lot of what you need so how much money can you invest that should go into your supplies first? In my opinion the things that are going to help you make your product which are going to bring in more money which is how you're going to pay for other stuff so be realistic about how much money you have to invest if you know for sure that buying a certain tool our product is going to make your workflow aa lot easier it's going to help you say batch things or you're not going to have to borrow a piece of equipment that you've been continually borrowing just get it for yourself if you don't invest in your business in sum, I mean, we all have to invest in our business in some ways, and if you're not willing to do it, then why should anybody else be willing to do it? Actually, so you need tio it's a part of re upping that commitment to yourself is saying that I am committed to making this work enough that I'm going to actually put money into it with the faith that it's going to turn out on the other end and so that's a really sort of important characteristic, I think for business people who are particularly in the startup face is that you're going to need some to invest the money and be prepared to do that and be realistic about that, too. So whether or not do you need tio pay for web hosting and you've never done that before or you need to get some help with some design elements of what you need in your online shop, be prepared tio pay money for this and don't let it be something that holds you back if you're constantly saying I can't start a web site because I don't have ten thousand dollars to pay a web designer you know see see what else you khun dio look around for other options see if you can barter with somebody in your community that has worked a lot for me join an online group where you can find some other support on a personal level. I just started a podcast as a part of my business and I did not know how to do any of it and I had to really invest in a lot of education around that but I relied heavily upon my amazing starting my amazing friends you and my community who already had podcast to help me and we can all do the same thing there you could figure anything out that you need for your business whether it is building a website, taking a better photograph, writing copy for your work or how to price her work. All of that information is available to you and a lot of it is available to you at a very low cost, so invest in your knowledge is often very, very easy, but investing in your business is imperative how solid or your ideas this goes back tio what we were talking about when I was talking about visioning what you want your business to be uh you need to have some sort of clear direction, so I believe donovan is that who had the question earlier about was she ready to start based on how many pieces she had available or what she didn't have a full line know what your ideas are, so if you wanted to just start out by saying hand thinking about launching a line of these necklaces and there's one for each months of the year, you know what? What does everybody think about this idea? And you're interested in getting some feedback like that that's really? One great way did it go? But no where you want to know where you want to end up on, that will help you get there a little bit easier and you don't have to think about your five year plan or your son your plan or anything just like nowhere you kind of want to be by the end of the school year or by the start of spring or by january first, give yourself some sort of finish line to cross and that goes with your ideas too. So if you really want to start a full line of products, know what that looks like to you and then spend a lot of time with that, looking it over and seeing how you can mold it or change it as time goes on because you might I think that you want to do ten things within the next year, but really it would be much better for you or your business if you just focused on three you know, because we need to consider our customers here and what kind of feedback they want to give us and what they want to buy. I've talked tio, countless him, the business owners who started out thinking that their business was going to be one way, and then a year and a half into it, they were like, oh, I had no idea I was going to be doing this, but it's really what people wanted for me when I started trying it out it's what felt best to me? What? It's what came was naturally to me and I had no idea when I first started, so that happens that happens to a lot of people. But knowing where you want to end up will really help you get there. So how solid are your ideas? What are you going to sell? And who are you going to sell it to you? And how comfortable are you that you can begin doing that today? So that is something that that you really need, tio dig deep and really think about andi. What do you need from a business? This often is sort of one of the last things that we think about as business people, because we already have enthusiastic personalities there, we already have a really good idea, or we already have enough confidence that we believe that the world wants us to share what we have. So what do you really need from a business? What does it need to do for you? How much money do you need to make from your business to either support the business itself or to support you or to support your family? What do you want the business to actually d'oh a lot of the times we just say I want a business because we want a business and that's, you know, are I want to be a business person, or I want to be in this community or all my friends have anesi shop, and I would like to have one, too, but what do you need back from that business? I, sadly didn't ask myself that question until I was like three and a half years and working for myself and what I did really answer the question, I thought, oh, man, like and a lot of ways I'm about to start all over, like what I need for my business, it's not giving it to me at all, because I really wasn't thinking about what I needed. Instead, I was thinking about how it was making me feel, which was pretty good and there's a big difference between what I actually need and how I feel so I had to learn to make those distinctions and a lot of other people do too so what do you want your business to do for yourself? You got firsthand experience of being a really good boss got a good question from justina into bet she's saying any secret tips or strategies for being a good boss and getting your work done oh my gosh just you know that's my dream question my I feel like a lot of my whole purpose in the world is to teach people how to be a good boss to themselves and to learn how to be a good boss to myself so I would love to talk to you about that forever and in fact that is why I I'll give myself a little plug but that's why I started my podcast which is called aimed because I really wanted to talk to other successful business people and say how do you get your work done because every day I have the best intentions I wake up like today in iraq and I'm going to write five chapters and this is gonna be so great and I'm still gonna have time to go to yoga and I'm going to remember to drink water and I'm also going to change out of my pajamas and I'm going like this really amazing day and it's gonna be fantastic and then six o'clock rolls around and I'm like well I ordered a new pair of shoes and I'm gonna watch nashville and and drink on the couch under under a blink and I didn't get any my work done and so that is you know what happened to me a lot which is why I really love talking to other people about how they get their work done because often we find ourselves in these positions where you really love what we're doing and we really want to keep doing it but then all of a sudden like there's some sort of invisible wall that you just crashed into and you're like oh it's not for me and I don't know what that wall is made out of and I'm convinced that if I talked tio enough people about it is somebody somewhere is going to tell me the secret and once I find it out I will definitely share with you just dina but the reasons knowing some of the answers to some of this some of these questions can help make your work go better or at least maybe help motivate you towards really doing that why do you want to do this and if you think about those reasons rather than with the tasks at hands are sometimes that makes the difference but how you propel yourself into action is that I've learned very sadly is a highly individualized, highly individualized answer and there's nothing that works for everybody and there is no pill and nothing that sold in a bottle that makes it any easier as far as I have found, and I've been doing a lot of market research, so I just think that you have to keep trying every day and that that's really the best way t make that happen, but knowing what your big goals are can help you actually didn't make the difference every day to move forward if you have something in mind that you're working for because, you know, if you're just working for the weekend like that's, that's not good for anybody that's probably why you didn't want to stick with a traditional paying job and why you wanted to work for yourself is because you wanted a certain kind of lifestyle and you wanted to be a certain kind of person, and you wanted to live in a certain house and you wanted to provide a certain service, but getting in touch with that vision that you have of yourself and you have of your own life can sometimes making the slog a little bit easier and again, sadly, it ties right back into owning a businesses work and it's hard it's hard to do what you want to d'oh it's hard to the only thing that's easiest stopping yourself like that turns out is like a snap it's so easy to say, yeah, not today I don't deserve this, or I don't know how I'm not ready or nobody's gonna like it or I'm embarrassed or I'm shy, I mean and sure over you don't know how many times they say that myself, and I said that's, the only thing that's easy, the only thing that's easiest to quit and to say, forget it, everything else is really hard, so good luck to you. I'll be thinking of you doesn't wear going to move on with to the fast track to your success on dh I borrowed a page from alexis at the shop here so we could see what her jewelry looks like. This is one of the top tricks I know to making things go easier for your business, right off the get go. And luckily, this is a pretty popular topic of conversation recently, but this is knowing who your ideal customers if you can figure this out about whoever you're selling tio a lot of those hard jobs that we need to do on a daily basis get a little get a little easier. If you can figure out who your customer is, then all the things you need to do to connect with them, including makes stuff for them get a little a bit simpler, because now you are working for one person or one type of person within mind rather than the whole world. If you sit down and think the whole world is going to want to buy what I make, I really, really hope that that's true, because that would be fantastic, but that's also pretty tough because the whole world is busy and they might not find you for a little while. But if you have this one person in mind and you can know everything that there is to know about them getting in touch with them, making something that they want to purchase and by making something that they like and that they can afford and that you also can make with good feelings is going tio to make a really big difference. So who is your customer who is going to buy your jewelry? What are they like? What do they want? How much money are they going to spend? What do they like? Where will you find them? And then what do they need to know about what you make in order to purchase it? Having all of those things in mind from the get go, we'll make everything you dio a lot easier, for example, if you make leather free necklaces that are made out of sustainable green materials. You probably wouldn't want to photograph those at the butcher counter at your local grocery store because there's a disconnect between your photograph, which is how you're selling it and the product that you made. So the person who is going to be most interested in that type of jewelry just, you know, doesn't want to see a meat cleaver, even a joke, one in the picture when they go to look at those necklaces. So you need to know that about your customer and just keep that in mind. What kind of things do they want? Brides want really specific things. If your ideal customers a special occasion person and their bride, then you know, really thinking about what they want for their special day, what kind of wedding do you think they're going to have? Are they one of those d I y rock and roll brides? Are they very fancy? Traditional bride? Are they? What kind of wedding do you imagine your ideal customer having? And then what would they want now making your product becomes a little bit easier on a little bit more zeroed in a little bit more niche down, which is important. So now, you know, sort of for your customer is and, you know, when they're most likely going to be wearing your jewelry and so you would know what they want to they want something that's every day are you trying to target things to brand new moms so they need things that can be pulled on and yanked on and chewed on, you know, that kind of thing that's a very different customer then say me, I don't need an injury like that, so I'm just going to pass right on by when I see your store and not because you haven't done a good job, but because I'm not your ideal customer that's a really good point you make there carriage dorian is asking, does it make sense for them to think of their ideal customer into how they would approach something? Should should they represent themselves as the ideal customer? Is that not helpful at all? I think I think that there can be so people like themselves, mostly so you know, it's fun, it's, easy to respond to somebody that you have something in common with, but you don't have to put yourself in your business to that level. You could represent your product as your ideal customer would see it that's what you want to dio so when your ideal customer goes to your jewelry store and they're looking at something you make like, I'm looking at these hearings and I'm not thinking about alexa at all, I'm not thinking on what was alexa wearing when she was making these turquoise hearings or do what alexa had for dinner? I wonder, you know, I mean, like, I don't have alexa in my mind at all, instead of thinking about myself when I look at these hearings like, where would I wear them? What? I wear them every day, you know, ok, where them? What would my sister like them like? What would my sister think about them? So when somebody looks at your work or shop or your products, they're really thinking about themselves that's why, knowing your ideal customer as as much as you can will really help you do everything you want to do. So I do want to know about alexa, and I might click on her about page, but it's not really going to change my mind. If those were the exact right hearings for my sister, then I'm going to get those earrings, no matter what alexis is like. You know, all I need to know from her. She likes the ocean. She makes good work, she's going to make my sister happy she's in my price range. She ships on saturday, which means that the areas will be in time for my sister's birthday, and she gift wraps. So I don't even have to go to the store or give my sister a birthday present with christmas wrapping paper in the middle of july, because she's actually thought of that morning. So those are the kinds of things that I would want to know before I purchase something from somebody online. Now, if I wanted to start reading alexis blawg or doreen's blogger, or really story is part of understanding who they were, is a person that I would want to know things about them, that if they matched me exactly, that wouldn't be the only thing that factored into whether or not I found them to be interesting. This's seems very. Very easy to follow its very beautifully laid out actually very clear what the products are, but we did have some questions and from thing was danny rose yes, danny rose and three people voted on this they're saying, do you think it's more important to have a well polished site or nfc shop for people to look at with one or two items or should you put all of your items that their way is the best layout really something that's going to drive people to purchase? So I would really love snow? What that person cells if you only make two products that only have two products up there, you know, and maybe you could if they change it any slight way, you could absolutely show your variations I personally and and more attracted to clean websites and clean shops and clean banners, but that's just because and a lot of ways I can't I can't trust my mind tio stay focused on the task at hand so I need as little distractions as possible is what really keeps my intention so but that's that's just me. I think that the general rule of thumb is the more that's in the store are the more people are going to stay in the store and stay on the page and keep looking until they eventually either let out of time and then they make their purchase because, you know, they were the only set aside fifteen minutes to find a pair of areas for their sister, and they did not. You know, my great advice about doubling their time into thirty minutes, so now their time is up, they have to be somewhere, so they just click on where they're at, they don't keep researching. So aa lot of people are of the mind that a full store means more sales, but again, I think you can make your business whatever you want it to be, and if you only have two items and that should not stop you from starting a business, you just do your very best and rock the heck out of those two items, and you're going to be all set. So we're going to wrap up this part of our segment and alexa is coming up soon, so if you have questions for her after looking at foamy waiter, it would be great if you would send them in, but I just sort of want to wind down this first part of our fast start by saying, there's, no reason why you can't do this there's just absolutely no reason why you can't do it anything you need to know you can learn. People want to help you people in the chat room want to help you people on facebook want to help you every there's this there's one thing that everybody is sort of a universal thing, that people like that is giving advice so you can ask anybody for anything that people really like to tell you what they think people will help you. Do they like your designs? Do they like this element of your work? Do they think your website is ok? Are you forgetting something? Did you miss something? People love to help you, and they will, and you will figure all of this out as you go along the way that you start your business is not going to be the way your business end up, and that is really the only thing that I can promise you where you are now, it's, not where you're going to be a year from now. If you are honestly working on your business, you could be exactly in the same place here from now, if you just stop watching our fest are faster and then don't think about it for a year, then you'll be in the same spot, but otherwise, you know, you can only move forward and you can only continue to grow and you can only make things better and change things and that's what happens when you just start and actually get to work and when you learn to become a good boss to yourself and you you probably need less than than you think you do to start so I just want to keep emphasizing that that you could begin just now with what you have and with what you want to make you khun start any time you want the only thing that's stopping from doing that is yourself I'm lastly you are incredible and really can make this happen and can make this happen for yourself and I'm excited about that so that's that's just the end of that are there any are there any questions? We've got lots of sort of general questions that have been coming in that people have been asking so maybe this is a good time carrie just to run through some of those you're talking earlier about, you know, putting together your tulips and known what tools you'll need. We had a question was saying do you have any suggestions for ethical supply sources? Is that something that you've ever thought thought about your business? Ah well, you know my business just really comes at it comes out of my mind so I do not I am not a jeweler by trade I am a business person by trade so I do not have any ethical sources for some for sourcing jewelries price but I would love to ask alexa that I think that that would be really important a really great thing to ask her maybe the community could chip in for that sort of maybe show that in the charms of you do know that I think it's a great question but because I don't have a jewelry business I do not need to purchase those kinds of supplies so I do not have the answer for that now designed nine was saying they've recently took looked into expanding their jewelry and business into boutiques but many of the boutiques in their area are asking for thirty five percent commission not just that that's how standard tea or do you feel there's room for negotiations to get that down I think that there's always room for negotiation and I'm not a huge advocate of selling your work on commission to begin with but I do know that that is a standard in a lot of places I am or pro as rather than I would look for wholesale accounts that would be would want to take your work as is and whether those air local or not I mean I would try tio dio is biggest possible as I could my my friend betty who is better unitedhealth this wonderful story about how she used to load up all our jewelry in the trunk of her car and twice a year she would drive from portland, oregon. Tio like atlanta, georgia and back. And she would just crisscrossed the country, stopping in at boutiques and selling her jewelry on the thought to be carried in whatever store she was in and now she's in, like over two hundred fifty stores worldwide. And, you know, that's. Not, I'm not. Sometimes we can't help but to enter into commission relationships that I don't really think that they're the best. If you feel like that's, your only option or it's, your only way to get into a story that you think is going to have a big impact on you, then I would definitely try to negotiate terms that you were more comfortable with. If you are going to sell your work on commission, then you need to have a clear understanding of the partnership agreement. You're entering into between your business and the store and what that looks like. And you need tio be very detailed and thorough about that and really feel comfortable with what you're getting into. Um when do you get your work back? What windy they pay out and how are you going to know what? How is the jewelry going to be handled? Because often you can get things back that you leave into store that you leave in stores with a commission based relationship in the wear and tear that it just comes that it just gathered from people looking at it or trying it on can affect the resale value of your work so you know if you want to take it to another story but it's been handled a lot, so absolutely be sure that you understand fully what you're entering into with a commission based relationship and that that's where you want your business to be fantastic. Now we also have a question regarding branding on this is something you've already touched on this came from markham are jews saying they started a business as a hobby, but they wanted to make that jump to being professional and they're asking you if you can, how any tips you haven't re branding your brand successfully? Okay, well, I would definitely say start slow what people know that you're making a change and if the change has to do with the way your jewelry looks or the way you're making it, then be sure to incorporate that unless if you have a large customer base that already knows your work the way that it is then try to find out from them before you make any big changes. What are the elements of your branding that they're really responding to? Because, obviously, you wouldn't want to get get rid of those parts. If it's, just if you want to go and a whole new way, it was a hobby before. But now you feel really ready to tackle your, you know, passion of macaroni necklaces, and that has nothing to do with what you were doing before. Then, I would say, just start over. But be sure that you understand what your what your audience is going to think about your rebranding before you make any big across the board. Huge changes.