Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Business Chat - Let's go for a drive

Hey, i know what would be fun, let’s go for a drive today! 


We get in the car, start the engine, put the car in gear and go.... where? ... which direction do we turn from the driveway? How long are we going for? We have half a tank of gas... so.... where do you want to go? 

Well we could just aimlessly drive around for a while until we run out of gas. And then we  have a choice of filling up the gas tank and randomly continuing on or stopping. 

Hmmm, does this sound like fun? 

This is how a lot of people run their “businesses”. 

They have an idea that sounds like fun so they hop aboard, buy some supplies, start making product and then.... maybe they sign up for a craft show because they think they should. Or they start an etsy shop and frantically list 20 items and then never add anything new. Or they use up all their initial supplies and keep buying more. Or they run out of supplies and have no money to buy new ones so they stop.

Random is not fun. 

Random usually doesn’t lead to anything sustainable. 

Random means that you will get somewhere but you have no idea where that place is or if it’s where you want to be. 

How about this instead?

Let’s go for a drive. using the side roads we’ll drive to that small town on the lake where there’s a great chocolate shop.

Or, this.

I want my small business to make $5,000 a year profit so that I can pay for a month in Paris next year. I want to make this money selling online because I hate dealing with the general public. 

Aha. Can you feel the difference already? You’re heading somewhere you want to be. you’re in charge of your destination. 

A small business is a very personal thing, because it is YOUR small business. Your goals will be different from mine and from your colleagues. That’s fine. 

So before we get into the car and start driving let’s decide on where we’re going.

Grab your handy notebook. (by the way, this is an excellent excuse to buy a lovely new notebook). start scribbling, pondering, doodling, and deciding. 

What do you want your business to be? 

As you write this you may notice a little voice in your head saying stuff like “you can’t do that, you don’t know how”. Or you may finish every sentence with a “but” and a reason why you can’t. Do not listen. This is an exercise in possibilities. Your inner critic has no place here.

Try this exercise. 

Write a letter to yourself dated December 31, 2014. 

What happened with your business this year? Where did you go? Did you learn some new skills? Get your own website? Start an Etsy shop? Do a craft show? How much money did you make? How? 

Write your own map, it’s your road trip. 

ps. for those in interested in doing craft shows in Ontario,  the 2014 CraftSource - the Ontario Craft Councils' show listing guide - is now available here

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