This view of our back yard isn’t the subject of this post, but it needed a picture 🙂 as I present some cold hard
facts opinions of the realities of our business.
Disclaimer; I am not a business expert or even a former student of business courses. I have worked in both retail and service industries and observed many practices, some that are applicable to our style of business and others that are not.
In trying to analyze our business goals, I am trying to keep a realistic approach to what is possible.
We are in business to make some money, but also to provide customer satisfaction by providing quality handmade products. How much money and how many customers is dependent on many factors, primarily the amount we can produce and finding suitable markets.
Our business is completely handcrafted, limiting our expected growth by the amount of time we can spend creating. As we develop good markets, we need to be able to produce enough to supply them without running too low on merchandise. (With craft shows you’re unlikely to sell what you don’t have with you)(The things we have listed on line are also ready to ship, but custom orders can also be made to requests)
Hiring outside help, besides not being in our present budget, would defeat our premise of handmade by family. If we had to concentrate on quality control and supervision, it would take time away from our own creating. As it is, if a product we make doesn’t meet our self-imposed standards, we don’t sell it!
Having a variety of crafts. I’ve heard the opinion that a craft person should concentrate on only one medium, to become successful and create a professional,cohesive display. This is not our opinion! Throughout our lives, we have become acquainted with and proficient using a variety of supplies and tools. With three of us creating, that broadens our scope of expertise even more.
So when we display our work, at a craft show or on-line, our business will look more like a boutique or department store than a specialty shop. Our products are tied together with an array of colors and completely hand made by us. That way we don’t become bored and our customers mat be pleasantly surprised.
The above is far from a professional business plan, but is beginning to work for us. After years of gathering (investing in our business while we were still working for others) we are at the point of now pushing our business to its limits.
Do you have a small business? Or dream of having one? What are some realities that apply to yours? Would love to hear in a comment.
2 thoughts on “Realism in Business”
Great post! I especially like that you’ve got a boutique approach. I know as a shopper I like to see a variety of things. My husband is a woodworker and someday we’re hoping he’ll have time to make things to sell and we can do craft shows together. Good luck growing your business!
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Thank you. Families working together can be fun! My son and I have been doing the shows for over twenty years. My husband has just joined us in the past few years, since he retired from a job where he always worked weekends, so he is still “in training” 🙂 I think he graduates this year! Last year he was still sharing half a space (I rent two spaces since our variety has increased and that gives all three of us room to demonstrate too). What kind of wood crafts does your husband do? (you may need a trailer 🙂 )