Friday, September 23, 2011

The Business of Doing Business

I'm calling this entry a design element, mainly because the topic of business can be tailored to any industry, any project.  In essence, you're designing a business.  I'll be doing a few entries like this, mainly to show some of the process I'm going through to create my business plan.  Yes, I'm buckling down and writing a business plan.

Why talk about business?
Simple, I love the little nuances of running a business.  What you may not know about me is that I have a Master's Degree in Business Administration (aka MBA) with a concentration in Health Care Management.  I have done some business consulting, planned events, and even taught courses to business students.  I have been a manager, assistant manager, and a line worker for over a decade, and the actual idea of running a business is virtually the same in all sectors, except a few...  And with a health care background, I've seen a lot of crazy things!

When starting my own business back in 2008, I did not think I had what it takes to be an entrepreneuer.  I lacked a lot of confidence in myself, and I wanted to quickly make a lot of money.  I made the mistake of thinking that my degree inherently warranted that.  Boy was I wrong.  Starting a business is harder than getting a job and learning how someone else does business.  Why?
  1. You have to set your own way of doing business.
  2. You need to research all aspects of yourself and the business you want to go into and put it all down into a coherent plan (i.e., you have to write a formal or informal business plan).
  3. You need to make sure that your idea is unique and viable for continuity of the business.
Craft businesses need a plan too!
In the early days of toying with the idea of starting a craft business, I thought I could just continue knitting, and just sell my products however I could.  Nope, nope, nope!  Even as a crafter, you have to pick your niche.  Ask yourself these questions:
  • What market do you want to target?  (Men, women, children, all ages, etc.)
  • What kinds of sales do you expect?
  • How much can you realistically invest to start your business?
  • Do you want a brick and mortar shop or want to sell online?
  • Who is your competition?
and the list goes on... 

What does all of that mean?
You've got to do some good old-fashioned research on your industry.  Whether it's woodworking, knitting, painting, or any other craft, start with a simple Google search and see how many viable businesses you can find doing what you want to do.  Find out how successful they are.  Find out how popular they are amongst other crafters in that niche and go from there.

So what are you waiting for?  Let's get this business started.  If you'd like a little free advice on starting a business or writing a business plan, leave a comment and I will get back to you ASAP. 

Coming Soon
Some fall and winter design ideas!


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