Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Business Chat - Dreaming with your summer brain


There’s a slow and lazy feeling about the last half of August. Humidity is high, cicadas are buzzing and kids are dragging their feet around knowing that this is the end of freedom. No matter how long we’ve been out of school we all feel the laziness now. Add to this the traditionally slow sales of August and we’re all tempted to let the business slide for the moment.

Wrong.

Now is the time for you to work ON the business, not IN it. When you are working IN your business you are making product, selling product, taking photos and listing online, packaging work and doing all the work of making money.

Working ON the business is when you take a step back from the day to day details and think about why you are doing what you are doing. It’s about thinking of where you want this business to be in the future and how you can get it there. It’s also about creating marketing plans, social media strategies, and financial systems. That’s some big thinking.

Fortunately there’s a lighter side of working on the business which is just perfect for this time of year. I invite you today to kick back in your favourite patio chair with a beverage and let your mind wander with the sunshine. Grab your notebook, and your favourite pen, pencil or crayon, it’s time to doodle and ponder.

Vision time.
Think of what a perfect work day would look like. Imagine your perfect work space, is it at home or would you like to have an outside studio? Do you want to work alone or share a space? How about an assistant, yes or no?

In an ideal world where do you want your business to be in 6 months? 12 months? 2 years? How much money would you like to make? How can you make that money? What’s the most awesome thing you’d like to happen in your business? Dream big and silly and write it all down.

Work on your marketing message.
Marketing is communicating what you do to your customers. Before you can tell them, you have to know yourself. What do you make? Now is the time to work on your elevator speech. Think about new marketing materials, do you have postcards yet? A new business card? Take a really good look at your packaging, check to make sure it is the best that it can be. Check to see that it matches your business cards, and your website and your work. Do they all have the same style and tone?

Work on your story
Our customers are awesome, they have deliberately chosen to buy handmade work and support artists. One reason they buy handmade is because they like knowing who made the work and why. People are buying more than a pair of earrings, they are buying earrings that were inspired by the sunset you watched on vacation, or the sunlight on your rosebushes that you tended faithfully all year. They are buying your story, they are buying your magic. Have your magic ready to share in advance. Doodle out why you do what you do. What makes you so special?

Dreaming, scheming, reading and pondering are just as important to your success as making a fabulous necklace or knitting a gorgeous sweater. When the cicadas are buzzing let your thoughts buzz along with them as see what your summer brain can cook up. 

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