We wanted to provide some insight on how to better build and grow your small business by sharing some of our favorite advise as well as some from our own Jackalope Vendor Community! Here are some tips we gathered:
“I’ve always been inspired by the quote “Success is never final and failure is never fatal. It’s the courage that counts.” (Rumored to be from Winston Churchill, perhaps) It’s the perfect example of the struggle business owners face as they put their passion into the forefront and strive for success, sometimes stumbling along the way.” - Sara Diederich with Jackalope Arts.
“Branding is important. It’s how people will pick you out of a line up and remember who you are. Make sure you have a consistent aesthetic when designing your brand and advertising.” - Dena with Fiber Relics
“Sometimes you may be underestimated, especially being a woman entrepreneur, but remain confident and strong. I always like to remember that I will prove my naysayers wrong!” - Melissa with Jackalope Arts
“Social media is your best friend!” - Chesa with Ramblin’ Woman Silver
“It can be easy to fall into the trap of constantly working hard but don't neglect your wellness during your business adventure. Take time for yourself and reflect on your achievements and the things about your business that make you happy.”
- Holly with The Watercolor Naturalist
“Don't sweat the small stuff, you will make mistakes but that is all part of the process to make your business better. Also, you may never feel "ready" to launch your business or launch a new product or service but do it anyway. There will never be "the right time.” You will learn as you go!” - Kynsi with Kompass Apparel
“Be kind to yourself. Ask for help when you need it.” - Angela with Cute Laces
“Remember that your business and products will never appeal to everyone… but that’s perfectly okay. Focus on daily self improvement in yourself, your business, and the quality of the products and services you provide. It’s okay to receive constructive criticism from others, but no matter what they say, never, ever, for any reason.. undervalue yourself, your work or your TIME. Understand that as artisans, our passion and dedication to our respective crafts are priceless and admirable.. and that your work and your time are worth something. As long as you’re creating the best products/services you can produce, seeking improvements, and researching your market thoroughly, the right customers and crowds will come.”
- Rachel with Atelier Emi
“Take time to decide what you're business is going to be. When I decided it was time to leave the commercial textile world, I took over a year to work on designs and product before I started selling. It's important to have a well thought out product. Also, decide how large you want your business to be. Are you interested in growing it to include wholesale business to stores, are you able to keep up with supply and demand if you choose this route? If you decide to do wholesale to retailers, research this. Make sure you understand how selling wholesale to retailers works. Or, do you want to do as I have done. I decided to keep my business a very small boutique size business where I do shows/fairs like Jackalope Indie Artisan Fair throughout the year and also have my product at several small boutiques around California on consignment. - Donnett with DishRagStudio
“Spreadsheets will become your best friend, it is important to remain organized and notate everything. It makes staying on top of deadlines possible, especially as you grow and things expand.” - Melissa with Jackalope Arts
“Like most folks all of this started as an on-the-side thing I was doing in addition to a well paying full-time job. Once I realized it was going well - money was coming in and it seemed to have potential - I started thinking about quitting the day job and going full time. However, the good thing I did was to sit down with a friend who is really good with numbers.
She had me come up with my true "monthly nut" - an honest accounting every regular bill I had: mortgage payment, power, groceries, gas, etc
Once I had that we looked at exactly how much I would have to sell in order just to make that "nut" which was sobering. And then, almost more importantly, we also broke down exactly how much product I would have to make (not sell - just make) to meet that financial goal.
I realized that I needed to raise my prices. I realized I needed to streamline how and what I made because it actually wasn't physically possible for me to single-handedly produce enough product (let alone sell it). I realized I needed more sales avenues - online, wholesale etc.
It wasn't necessarily a "fun" series of realizations but it was incredibly valuable.”
- David with Cheltenham Road
“Fake it until you make it. The thing that many people don’t realize is that you don’t have to be an expert in your field before you start your business. A lot of this stuff is learned and earned over years of actually doing it.” -Sara Diederich, Jackalope Arts