Free Preview: Learning About You & Your Business


Fast Start Your Paper Goods Business


Lesson Info

Free Preview: Learning About You & Your Business

I'd like you to answer these questions. What do you already have that you think you need? That is the main one and that's a question that I've been asking myself a lot lately that I really like a lot. I learned a lot about myself and how, like cuckoo cuckoo I could be when I ask myself that question, how much time can you invest in your business? So we were just talking about that quite a bit, but it's important to be realistic with yourself about that from the beginning, how much money can you invest? Having a business isn't isn't free, so you need to be prepared to spend some sort of money, whether it is your paypal fees that we've already discussed or the listing fees that you have for listing your products in your online shop, whatever that may be, being in business is going to cost you some sort of money hosting your web site the hours that you spend blogging. If you were paying yourself on hourly wage for working on your business, you're going to spend money and, um and saying I ...

don't have any money, tio invest is another way to procrastinate because while you may not have enough money to buy something very big or very fancy, you have a way to to find what you really need in the moment. And so that's, what you need to focus on rather than a lack of investment funds and we're going to talk about that a little bit more how formed or your ideas? So this goes back, tio, working through workshopping your vision and really coming up with solid action steps. What are you going to do now? What are you going to d'oh next month? What is your path or your trajectory for the next set amount of time that you get to determine and that you get to focus on if you start with smaller chunks, you might feel a little bit better or you might be the type of person that needs to see a twelve month action plan for you to feel like you're know what? You know what you're doing, and we'll talk about that a little bit more. And then this is something that we have to forget about what would you need from your business? And this is such a great question because it actually starts with why do you want to be in business? So there's like a hidden meaning behind that question? But that is why do you? Why do you need this business? What do you need it to get back to you? Why do you want to have it? So we're going to start back up at the top with what do you already have that you know, need? My guess is, is that you already do have tools that you think that you need to buy, or at least you have suitable work arounds for the time being, so this could be you think that you need a really fancy computer, but maybe what you just need as a better monitor? Or maybe there's some way, tio, if you have a high definition tv or something to connect one of your programs to tv and work that way, like, what are your work arounds? You may think that you need a two thousand dollars camera when in fact, perhaps if you did a little a few tutorials on using your smart a phone camera, you might find that you can get by initially with the quality of photos that you get from your camera from the camera on your phone. So you might already have more of what you think you need to get your business started, so if you were making a list of all of the reasons why you couldn't start your business today and you were listing things like well, I need a computer that handles a different kind of graphic or I need photo shop, or I need, you know, whatever it is that that you think it is imperative for you to have, but that is not within your budget. See if you have a reasonable work around available to you. Now, do you have a friend whose computer you could borrow that maybe has the program on it that you need? Do you know somebody who has a paper cutter that they're not using anymore, that maybe you could borrow for an afternoon while you batch any work that you have that needs to be cut? Is there a resource center if you live in a big city that has a bunch of tools and equipment that crafters, sewers, designers, makers, paper artists need to have available to them? I know that. And the past three cities that I've lived in, there's been access for me, teo. Go to a studio that, like, has a laser cutter and to sign up into rent the machine for certain amount of time where I could get anything laser cut if I was interested in that same goes for letter press machines. Lots of times if you if your vision for your business involves a lot of letter press, but you don't have a letter press, you don't have ah waited to do your own letter, press there's oftentimes workshops or studios that rent out that kind of equipment that you can go take a class, you could meet an instructor, you can use the machine for a little while. What are some reasonable work arounds for you to have access to the things that you need to make your business successful right now that you're just not quite in touch with are not paying attention to you are not counting towards what could what could help you out. So take a really good, hard look at your community, what you have around your home, what people you know might have and what is available to you, and I bet that you'll be surprised that you have a lot a lot more accessible than then what you're imagining. We got some great answers for what it is that attracts people to oh, good, I'd love to hear that secret treehouses, same wolf it's, the tactile nature of the pieces, the sentiment you concerned, even if it's just a cute image that's what really attracts such of this particular business? Hi, honey, is saying it's, really papers still remains an avenue to connect with old friends to send thank you's to get clients attend attention accepted that's what draws her to it on dh lots of people there saying, explaining what they they are struggling with, some of saying they need a printer, someone saying they they haven't, you know, just got the time just yet, but they're explaining, you know, the reasons that are holding them back right now, so I'm really interested in and what those reasons could be n if it truly is time that maybe you can take a look at your big vision and when you find yourself with a spare moment or you're on a long commute, or whatever it is, is that it takes up a lot of time for you that that would sort of be a barrier for you working on your business figure out if there's anything, if there's anything you could work on for your business, that doesn't require you to be making because you will eventually find when you start your business and when it's up and running. But you spend a lot less time making than you ever thought you would. So are their sneaky little ways that you can work your business into your everyday life. Can you read a great business book on your commute? Can you if you drive, can you record your ideas into your phone while you drive? I happened to do that a lot just hit the voice memo button on my phone, and then I just chat away to myself all the way to the grocery store and back or whatever it is that I need to dio if I have a lot of e mails I need to write or situation, I need to work through those. They're all like little ways that I speak my business into my daily life when it's just not possible for me to be sitting at my desk and working on dh. What are what are some of those solutions that maybe you could've employ with your life in your time? Could you at least just commit to drawing one design a day if you wanted to make cards or to sketch one idea a day at night while you, you know, catch up on? Your voice mail or whatever it is that you d'oh like, what are some small, tiny ways that you could have an impact on what you want to create right now, that don't necessarily take you away from anything else you're doing so well, you know, advocate being like a big multitasker. I do advocate for using your time wisely, so if you love to listen, tio podcast and you need some inspiration or you want to learn more about time management, find some podcast that talk about that and listen to them while you're in the shower or whatever it it's like, find find your little holes where you can plug with something that's beneficial to you and then work toward that because challenges aren't going to go away and as a business owner going to have to constantly be thinking of solutions and ways to make things better. Fella blue press is saying what attracts me to the paper business is it's being able to combine my art with entrepreneurship? That's a good one? Yeah, absolutely. So if you need a really good printer, that was one of the things that somebody brought up that they feel like they really need a good printer, you see what you can do about it for a certain a period of time working with a local print shop. I mean, you can find you don't have to go to the big chains that have printers around you if you don't want tio, although they certainly do have printers at those places, but see if you can call a local print shop and ask for samples, or you want to test what your product looks like on a certain weight paper, whatever it is, and then figure out initially what you're going to have, tio, what you're going to charge for your product and include the price of that printing in that, and see if you can find some work arounds that way, if you don't have the printer that you need. But the fastest way to get that printer that you need is to set a goal for getting that printer, and to start putting money away for it. Maybe you design something that we're all of the profit from that one particular card or product goes towards the printer of your dreams. Maybe you start looking for deals around those now or rebate programs, or maybe your credit card miles can be applied towards some sort of store corporation that carries the printer you want, what are the workarounds that you have for that? But if so, that could be an action step for you, how am I going to get this printer? And by when? And if you determine that that's one of the things you're going to dubai say march, how are you going to make it happen by march? And if you get really creative, you'll figure it out, I think, and I already know that you're really creative because you're in the audience here, so you know that you have the ability to think outside the box. I know that you have the ability to see things that other people can't see. I don't know that you have the ability to take risks and chances, and teo express yourself, and if you pour some of that energy into the goal of getting yourself that printer, I bet it will be here in no time. So we did talk about how much time can you invest in? So that goes back, teo the time map and I really want you to that or what that looks like for you so that you can set up some realistic expectations and goals for the paper business that you want to create. How much money can you invest? So we have touched on this a little bit here and there, but you can invest how much money you have to actually invest, so I know that that sounds crazy, but if you only have five hundred dollars, or if you only have five dollars, that is how much money that you have to invest in your business and that's why making the smartest buying choices that you can from the get go is a great way to go. I know a lot of people who start out with older equipment, vintage equipment, used equipment. Look at craigslist, look att ebay, lots of different people have creative crafting hobbies or creative art, hobbies and that's all that's what it is to them as a hobby, so they just need to get rid of stuff after a while. I mean, I have found so many good deals on things that I would not be able to afford if I was purchasing brand new, but that I've been able to get at a ridiculous price because somebody bought themselves ago, karl, and then thought, oh, I never want to do that or, you know, I only did that once that I'm not going to do it again. So really be thrifty being investigative reporter find out where things are that you need, like that printer and see, you know, see, you see what you confined by refer bish, do what you need to do to get what you need to get. Um, how formed or your ideas? Oh, I think that that's where he left off on. So you know, that is your plan turning into action. And then what do you need this business to get back to you once? You know, once you know what you want your business to provide, it's going to be a lot easier for you to get it if you're not sure what you want this business to dio, then it's going to be a lot harder for the business to do it for you. Just like anything else you do in life. Your boss. When if you go to a day job, have expectations of you, your family has expectations of you. Your landlord or your neighbors have expectations of you. You need to have expectations for yourself. And then you need to figure out how you can most realistically follow through with them. This isn't something that somebody else can do for you. So what do you need this business to provide to you? If it's not providing for you the things that you need, then what do you need to change? Be hard on yourself when it comes to this. What do you want this business to give back to you on? I know that at the end of the day, that sort of boils down to money, so that's a topic that you need to get a little bit more comfortable around, probably, and that you need to be a lot more aware of. So we want to fast track to your success, I want you to get in business, and so this is part of patricia's holiday paper quote, which I think is really, really amazing. It's what we have a picture of their all of the pictures in this presentation came from patricia's. What site? So be sure to check that out, because she's going to be on next, but I want you to fast track your success and order to do that. One of the best tips and tricks I have is to imagine who is going to buy your stuff. This could be one person, this could be five people, but get really down deep into what this person is like get to know your ideal customer, what kind of products do they need and want? What is their style? How does that connect to what your style is? Because you're going to have that in common, because you're making things for this person, how much are they willing to pay, and how much do how much do they want to do themselves like when it comes to their paper stuff? Do you think that they're people who want to buy kits? Do they want to inscribe their own messages inside of cards? Or do they want cards that come with those messages? Are they willing, tio, be a part of the process? If you were to make paper wreaths, do they want to punch stuff out themselves? Like, how much involvement does your customer want in your particular paper products? Once you get to know who this person is and you can zero in and focus in on them, it's going to make everything that you do a lot easier, it's going to make designing your work a lot easier. It's going to make writing your copy for your products a lot here, it's going to make setting their prices a lot easier. So if you want to sell a card for twenty dollars, then you need to have a customer in mind he's going to spend twenty dollars on a card so that's a very particular person. So you would really want to target you're marketing efforts and your design efforts towards the person you is willing to do something like that, so knowing who your customer is this one of the quickest ways? That you could start your business off of the being that I know of because it makes all of those little chores that you need to dio toe have an online shop or just set up a proper booth to be in a craft show. It makes all of those decisions a lot easier if you're trying to attract a certain person to you and your work, then you want to match up all of your efforts to make what you're offering to be something that they want to connect with. So that's my favorite tip for really getting your business going right off the bat? I want to stress this that there's no reason why you can't do this, I know that you have a lot of concerns, I know that you're worried about things like time and money, and I want you to know that that's all normal, you're not alone that's not unusual that's not that's that's not that's, not crazy thinking, you know, so that the best thing to do if you get really worried about this is tio build a community around yourself, which we're going to talk about coming up, but this is the best reason to do all of this this is, you know why? Why you will do all of this work there's no reason that you can't do this or make any of this happen coming from the line carry his everywhere somebody a few of our viewers have said they're stuck. I want to start my business and I feel that I am ready, but I'm really held back on deciding what my name should be. How do I know how to come up with the best name from my business will pull my business? Well, this is a pretty individual this's a pretty individual question and I should you get us an awful lot. I think it is important, tio really be comfortable with your name because it's something that you're not going, I want to change if you can help it even as your business evolves and grows, you want your name to stick with you, so I think it here's a couple of different parameters that I like to offer people when they're trying to determine this. Don't box yourself in don't call your business kerry's fantastic wedding cards for brides because that's really limiting what I might dio in two years if I want to sell wedding guards, two grooms or if I want to sell divorce cards, or what if I want to change my direction and now I'm making a million dollars by selling divorce celebration cards nobody's going to come to my wedding card business to find to find that kind of product, so really don't box yourself in with your name it is a good way to start if you have any kind of inkling that you might want to do something else with your paper, good business, that you might want to go into office supplies, or you might want to go into party supplies or whatever it is, but you're just starting somewhere, then try to keep your name nondescript about what you are very try did not make it very specific about any particular kind of product or customer that you might want to serve now that maybe, you know, you want to add to its future pros on if you want to make your business your name than be sure that yet on some level, you can detach yourself as a person away from your business as a living thing. So if your name is, um, fred, and you make things, and you are not going to like people saying online, like fred sucks, or whatever it is, if that should ever happen to you, which I hope it doesn't make sure that you can detach yourself from the feelings that you get from those name from, from anything that might come back with your name on it, because this is something that I'm going to talk with a different guest about actually, whose name is her business, and how that feels for her when she gets feedback that has her name and it it feels too personal to her so make sure that maybe you could handle that kind of pressure if it should ever come if you do if you are truly truly truly stumped I think putting your name as your business is actually fine because what you can do down in the future is you can add a tagline to that and then eventually as your brand grows and shifts and changes you khun just segway into your tag line as people get used to it and as you feel more comfortable with it so if you're truly truly stuck just come up with something basic but that you also and give yourself a tagline that describes what you d'oh so if you wanted to be like blue sky paper goods you know the paper goods sort of sort of clears it up if people are wondering what you're doing but also practice saying your name out loud how does it look written down? Is it going to fit on a business card? Is it already taken? Is somebody already using it? Is it available for an instagram handle for twitter handle is it available on facebook? Do you have access to this name and is your ideal customer sort of going to connect with it on some kind of level so if you called yourself you know heavy heavy metal maker but you know your ideal customer was a flower dissed. Then maybe there would be some disconnect in people play. The flute would never think to look you up because they would assume that you were something different. So make sure that you're not boxing yourself in that it's available, that you're comfortable saying it out loud, and that you can really use it, and that it has a room for you to grow. I think those are the best parameters to sort of start with when it comes to naming your business.

Class Description

Handmade cards, prints, and gifts make excellent gifts, but not everyone has the patience or skills to create them – that’s where you come in. Learn how you can turn your design skills into a thriving paper goods business in Fast Start Your Paper Goods Business with Kari Chapin.

This course will encourage you to take a wider view of your paper goods business, beyond just printing cards and shipping them. You’ll take a behind-the-scenes look at a thriving stationery business as you learn about selling a range of products, both online and in stores. Kari will talk about:

  • Developing multiple revenue streams for a single product
  • Forecasting trends and staying current
  • Working with printers
  • Preparing for annual sales cycles and the holidays

No matter what kind of paper goods you make, this course will inspire you to build a thriving business.

Check out Kari's other Fast Start Classes:
Fast Start Your Jewelry Business
Fast Start Your Sewing Business
Fast Start Your Beauty Business