Running your own handmade business can often feel overwhelming. Business Advisor Steve Carrigan gives us four simple actions we can take today that will help our business thrive tomorrow.
This short piece is less about the specific steps you need to take when starting your own business and more about some of the more general challenges you are bound to face in your creative journey and how to overcome them.
As the entrepreneur, Melody Hossaini once said ‘’ Time and time again, we hear that fear is the number one reason people do not bring their business idea to life.
The only antidote to fear? Passion’’
It will be your self-belief and your determination to succeed that will help to sustain and motivate you in those moments when you might question yourself. Doubt afflicts everyone at some point, but the important thing is how you deal with it.
So here are 4 tips or ideas to consider.
1. Speak to experts, seek their advice.
Absorb everything. Be a sponge. Listen to friends and family, and do not be afraid of feedback. Even if it is critical, it could be helpful. Do not be afraid to seek help and support when you need it. Remember that ’none of us is as good as all of us’ ‘and if people want to reach out and help you, do not hesitate to grab that opportunity and do not be afraid to ask.
2. Research the market and write a plan.
Whilst self-belief and passion are important do not let them take over all your decisions. Passion will move you forward, but knowledge will point you in the right direction.
Ask yourself those important questions such as, who are my potential customers? Who are my competitors? Do people like what I am making or selling? What evidence do I have? It is important too to build advocacy amongst your customers as these are often your most valuable marketing tool. Word of mouth and positive endorsement go a long way.
3. Keep it simple.
Be careful not to let your concept snowball into something overcomplicated. You could end up with an expensive, elaborate end-product that nobody wants to buy. Build your business through small, incremental steps that you can control yourself.
Because starting a business from home will save you money, you can pass on some of these savings to your customers and it will give you an edge over your competition. On the other hand, do not undercharge for the expertise and knowledge you offer.
4. Count the costs!
Once you start to develop your business idea, add up how much it will cost and consider every business expense necessary to launch and operate. It is always better to be over prepared than short on funds. Also, do not forget about your own personal budget, in other words how much money you need to live.
It will take some time to earn a steady income so be patient. If you already have a full-time job, keep it; so, you can earn during those early, first stages. Once you have a healthy inflow of income from your business, you will then be ready to consider the transition from employee to full time business ownership.