The Business Chat – Wear your customer hat!

Last week I did a really long slow craft show. The hours were long, it was horribly slow, it felt like eternity. At the end of the last day people started packing out early. Knowing that the move out wasn’t going to be fun I stayed until the end. And at the last minute I made a $600 sale. She probably wouldn’t have spent quite as much however 2 people she’d come to see had already left, and one woman refused to sell because she was packing. The customer was looking to spend money and no one was nice to …

The Business Chat – 7 ways to get yourself ready to sell

OK, all the packaging is in the blue bin, the curtains are ironed and in the bag, the shelves are counted and ready, and the product is all cleaned and price tagged. Those are just a few of the details on my gigantic to do list for my first holiday show of the season. You know how it is, there are SOOO many details to take care of! It is such a massive undertaking just getting everything to the show floor and getting it all set up isn’t it?  Sometimes when we are so busy taking care of the thousands …

The Business Chat – 11 tips to Holiday up your online shop

You know what’s really nice first thing in the morning? A nice cup of tea while checking email, and seeing money rolling in! Now that makes a day start off on the right foot. Craft shows are great but if you aren’t standing there working, then you aren’t making money. This is where your online store comes in. Your store, be it your own website, or a marketplace like Etsy.com, works for you 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Now is the time to spiffy up your online site before the crazy shopping begins. People are looking, and …

The Business Chat – Let’s ship!

Yay! Someone clicked the Add to Cart button on your website/online store and purchased your fabulous earrings!!! Congrats!!! Now, before you run off to celebrate you still have work to do. You have to get those earrings to their new owner. You have to ship your product.  Of course it won’t be that much work because before you listed those earrings you thoroughly researched how to ship, what packaging to ship in and how much to charge for shipping. And of course you posted all of this online or in your booth (where you took an order for the earrings). …

The Business Chat – Tell me your secret!

Here’s a direct quote from yesterdays email. “I need some help from you. You seem to have the answers, your business is exactly like I want. I’ve been making and selling my scarves for almost a year now and frankly, I’m just not making as much money as I thought I would. I did 2 shows and they were OK but not great. I built a website 2 months ago but haven’t sold anything! What am I doing wrong? Why am I not doing as well as you seem to be doing?” Do you know how many times I hear …

The Business Chat – Go ahead, say it, “I am an …”

How do you refer to yourself? (crafter, artisan, artist, other) Recently I was asked to fill out a media profile for a show and this was the first question on the list. It stopped me for a minute. When people ask you what you do, how do you respond? The answer to this question has a lot to do with how long you have been making your craft and how confident you are in your work. Like many others I dabbled all my life with crafts but I would never have used the A word (artist) to describe myself. Oh …

The Business Chat – How to get repeat customers.

Your best customers don’t buy once, they buy as often as they can because they can’t get enough of your work.  They come back weekly, monthly, and every single time you release something new. Making a second sale to a customer is so much easier than a first sale because they already know you. You’ve established trust and begun a relationship.  But how do you get them to keep coming back? Besides the obvious fact of creating a product that is made with your best customer in mind, have you tried asking?   When someone buys something from you, do you …

The Business Chat – Sale! Discount! Bargain!

“OMG, I love this necklace! But I’m going to wait a couple of weeks until it’s on sale for Black Friday, how much cheaper will it be?” Someone asked me this today in my booth. At a craft show. “I don’t have Black Friday sales,” I replied. “Oh. Well then I’ll come to your studio, how much cheaper are your prices there?” “They’re the same as they are here,” I replied. “But in your studio you don’t have to pay for the booth! Prices should be cheaper!” Now, at this point I could mention that in my studio I pay …

The Business Chat – To tax or not to tax

“Tax? You charge tax? But I just bought something over there and she didn’t charge tax. Why are you charging tax?” Ah sales tax. Grumble whine grumble. We may not like it, (correction, we all hate it) but it is here to stay and if you are going to sell your work you need to make sure you are following the laws. Today let’s talk about tax at a craft show.  What other vendors do is irrelevant to you and your business. Many vendors make uninformed, or bad, or illegal choices and you don’t want to copy them. ALWAYS do …

The Business Chat – 21 things to bring to a craft show that you didn’t know you needed

What is the most important thing in your craft show booth?  YOU!  And as your best sales tool for success it’s necessary to look after yourself. Sometimes we get so caught up in making sure we have all our display and product that we forget about us.  sunblock lots and lots of water (I bring 3L per day) snacks don’t get hangry! Sometimes food isn’t readily available or you’re just too busy to go and get some. (or there is only crap food available).  lip balm.  comfortable shoes this is not the time for those super cute but not super …