I read a post about a blog who had this long rant on how "It's Not the Economy". Well that's a half truth. Honestly it's a little bit of me and a little bit of my target market which IS hurting from the economy. Not trying to be Debbie Downer but like the title says let's be frank and see if we can't pinpoint my selling issues.
My target market isn't super great on the money end of things right now. They are hurting, collecting unemployment and generally feeling angsty 90% of the time. Because that's what people do in bad times, they dwell and get angsty.
Since my market isn't exactly up to the challenge of buying pincushions or stuffed cats at the moment I have to somehow figure out how to make my items more appealing. I have to figure out how to make them "need" what they see in my shops. Be more impulsive and be completely thrilled with their purchase.
This might require a list.
In any case the blog post I read went on to mention how it's "all you". Again not entirely true. I mean I'm not in total denial here, but let's be frank. The suggestion from this poster was become more visible and try things. Okay great. So that might mean advertising on other sites (money), Facebook / Myspace (no money), magazine ads (money), blog posts (no money), general word of the mouth (no money), Flickr (no money), business cards (money), reorganizing shop (no money), re-writing content (no money). These are all things I've tried over this past year so I've run out of things that are obvious things to try.
I haven't done any craft shows because i honestly do not have the inventory to support that kind of endeavor or the money to sign up for one. And there's no way I could afford to hire a business coach :( Never mind the fact that I'm paying for my own wedding and that I've been working OT for the past month and a half at my regular job.
To that particular blogger saying that stuff just means I'm making up excuses. But how? I really DON'T have that kind of money to spend or inventory. And I won't till next year, if I'm lucky and my company doesn't lay us off. It's hard to make inventory when alot of your "free crafting time" is consumed by everyday work, plus OT, wedding planning, household chores and general exhaustion. Does this mean I need to manage my time better? No. What it means is that I need to stop working so much OT and get married. That's not the economy, but my wedding is more expensive NOW than it was a year ago because all of my vendors have raised their prices thanks to inflation. More expensive means more sacrifices on my part and working more OT to pay for the vendors we are still using. There's just no way around it.
I do have a budget plan for my shops which helps. I do still sew in the hour or 2 hours I have left out of my day, but at what cost? My personal relationships? Sometimes yes :( That's not a good sacrifice in my book. I also can not afford to loose this job mainly because we have a mortgage and a car payment now (thanks to a car accident), but if it happened I could make more things work for me on personal level. I would have more time to craft, to do those household chores, to promote, to spend time with the people I love and generally live. Of course that might mean having to foreclose on our house and loose my car should we fail to make a few payments due to job loss. And that's the downside, the real side, and that's not an excuse.
It's not the economy all the time, but right now it's playing more into my reality than I'd like to admit.
So while this isn't a happy fun post, it's a truthful one. I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon of commentors saying how helpful and insightful that post was because it really wasn't that helpful. It was just stating facts and generally saying don't make so many excuses. If you weren't doing that already then do you REALLY need a blog post to tell you that?