You want to be small fry or a big fry?

You wanna make $10 or $10,000?

That is the ultimate question.  Indie sites, like Etsy, Farmer’s Markets, and Vendors shows as well as many of these other small handmade businesses are great. You are making money here and there. But after talking with a mentor this week the big question loomed out there.

do I want to do my passion and potentially make no money or do I want to be in business? This is the difference i the $10/$10,000…seriously.

Making money on Etsy is fine for some. It’s $10 here or there. If you are fine with that, then great. I have no problem with that. Maybe you only desire to have a little spending money. Or maybe you just want to earn something for what you love to do.

However, if you want to play with the big kids here is a few things I learned yesterday I actually had no real awareness about til now…

Today I am doing research on Business Models. This is not a model like walking down a runway. I am talking about the Business Model for your company or Brand…aka what you are selling.

  • For every product you make you have to look at it as 1,000 items not one.
  • If Modcloth, or Rebel Circus or QVC Lori Greiner from Shark Tank Modcloth wanted to sell my product I would need to make 1,000 of the same item to be sold in their inventory. That is how it works. (Ok I kinda knew a bit about this but not as much as I learned yesterday)
  • Every product you decide to make you have to ask yourself if this product is worthy of 1,000 of the same item being made?
  • Is this product something you want known as your brand?
  • Is this product something you desire to make 1,000 of?
  • Then there are the channels….
    • That is where you are selling your product or item
    • Retail
    • Consignment
    • Drop Ship
    • Etsy
    • Goodsmiths
    • Square Market
    • Shopify
    • Other
  • This is all alot to take in even for me and I know there is SO much m ore I am not even touching on because well, honestly, I don’t know it all. 🙂

I found this online and really like the explanation of it so I thought I would share…

  • I also found this explanation of Goods on Wiki that I think is helpful as well http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_good 
  • Learning about your Goods and what you have and where it fits in this stream is a good thing to know.
  • I think it makes a difference in how you move forward…
  • I am currently looking up Business Models of brands I like and that inspired me.
  • Uniqlo is one of them. Here is their model

I am a lover of Modcloth. So when I was doing research for this blog I found this little diddy and fell in love with the story. Check out how Modcloth made it here http://mashable.com/2013/08/13/modcloth-scaling/

I am going to drop off this subject with this little board I saw and think this might be a good thing to find inmy notes from Leonie Dawson and Right Brain business Plan…I have something like this from them..Might be a good place to restart my engines..

Now we move onto to channels (or what I am learning about them anyway)

This is the old way

This is the new way (or so it seems to be the most)…Shop Channel sites like ones I mentioned earlier

  • Etsy
  • Goodsmiths
  • SquareMarket
  • Shopify
  • IndieMade
  • other (What are you using that I don’t have in this list so I can update my list…please comment)

My mentor challenged me to a couple of “homework” items to make some changes to change my thinking and how I am doing business based on the answer I gave him..

Which was..

I want to make $10,000, be in business and get off this presipus I am on.

Step one:

I need to make it easier for my customers to buy off my website. I have a lot of people who say they love my site www.trishatrixie.com 

but the feedback from my customers is they have a hard time finding out HOW to buy things and WHERE to get things, HOW to order a custom Apron or Accesorry and so forth.

So I have to fix that.

I have these channels:

Brick and Mortor Stores:

Inspired Locally

Burlesque Hall of Fame

Green Goods for the Home

then I have two channels for online stores

Goodsmiths for my Comic Creations (Actions Aprons/ Superhero Inspired pieces etc)

and

Square Market for everything else

(I have two because Goodsmiths does not currently have an Andoird Swipe and Square does. However I have an Itouch and am going to test out if I can use the Swipe on the Itouch and that might alleviate some things)

then I have a Fashion Question Form for them to order Custom (but yet even that form is still unclear)

However people aren’t getting it…which leads to step two

Step Two…

Clean out old inventory if it did not sell.

Post pictures of current inventory ON my website and lead /drive them to the online channels

Have the picture DIRECT link to the BUY page of that item (why didn’t I think of that!!!?)

Step Three:

Take time to focus on my Residual Income idea now that I have the time because the third challenge is gonna be the hardest for me as a designer…

DON’T CREATE/MAKE ANYTHING ELSE

I whined…

so he said “Okay, don’t make anything new until something old is sold”

I can do that. 🙂

Now driving business to the page..and I learned it should be one page. This again, was a nice reinforcement as I somewhat already knew this. I used to have a apge for one thing, and then another page for another type and I had one prifle for one thing and one profile for another and so on. When I noticed Danielle La Porte and Susan Barconi Moe and many others were consolidating and turning everything to ONE palce to find it all, that’s when I started adopting this. I may have a few FB pages, but they all lead back to me.

My website it the same. I know (and listen up if you are not following this rule) that all your products should be able to be handled and found on ONE page. It is not good to have a page for one type of product and one page for another type. You WANT people to get to know YOU, your BRAND, who YOU are and to TRUST that brand. If you throw something new it, add it to your current brand under a different line. If your current brand or website does not embody that, then perhaps it is time for a change and time to rebirth your brand. Make your Business name or Brand so unique but simple no matter what you do could be under that brand. Thus why I am Trisha Trixie. Everything that I am falls under that. PinUp. Model. Fashionista. Blogger. Designer.

To some degree I am doing this, but since my shop sites are separate this has been where most of the confusion lies and why it has been an issue.

This has been a struggle for me which is why I was thinking oh I need a merchant account site or I need to pay and so on. How many of us in businesses like this think that way. But in the long run, I knwo there are workarounds and since WordPress.com offers FREE hosting, I have not wanted to go that route. I stare at pages like Shopify and groan thinking “but I like my site. Others like my site. Can’t I just make it better?”

Hopefully, with these changes and updates, I can.

So back to driving business to my ONE page. www.trishatrixie.com

Driving business I think is easier now that we have Social Media outlets like these…

I have seen a vast amount of upscale in sales since I have been using Twitter. But I do not have measureable goals and stats to prove that.

So that is Step Four:

Start Measuring.

Look at stats.

See what is working and what is not. Remove what is not. Make what is working better.

Hopefully, with all of this I will be able to proceed to the next level of sales. Also in cutting down what I am making perhaps it will allow me more time to work on the website idea I am doing, blog to drive more traffic, have time to write articles for magazines and start generating a different drive essentially thus again upping my sales.

Lastly,

as I said in the beginning. If you are fine with the way it is. Then that’s great. I enjoy designing, making creating,  but I want more. Or, at least I think I do. With these tips we will see if I can do things this way. I think this will also answer my questions on Passion or Business?

I realize this means not as much creating and that is the positive sacrifice I am willing to take right now.

My desire (#CDF) in the end is to be #Profitable (ned to add) and these others listed here…

Desires1Desires

I am for the path that takes me there…

My yellow brick road is mine to color, create, sparkle and lead me to however I desire to go. It is up to me to lay each brick down the right way. Otherwise I could end up in some crazy tree land with poppies that steeer me off my path.

I will find my Oz.

One way…or another…I’m gonna find it…

Xoxo Trisha Trixie

One little tidbit I found for ya as I was looking for imags to add to this. Ways to Make Gobs of Money. Check it out.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/9-ways-gobs-money-seriously-123000074.html

Bootstrapping

I never knew until recently what that word meant. I did not realize it applied to how I run my business. Most people know Bootstrapping to be

By the sweat of my brow” or “By the seat of my pants” type of financially funding for their business.

I was at a network luncheon and overheard the term and when explained I realized, oh, that’s me, that’s what I do. OR at least what I have tried to do. Even that I feel at times is failing. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with failing. IT helps you see what not to do, it helps you see things in true colors and also helps you learn how to manage things and what works and doesn’t for you financially and profitably.

Here are a few places I found some information on “Bootstrapping”

Bootstrapping, getting a lot done on very little cash

http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/bootstrapping

“It’s never easy, and it’s not always glamorous, but bootstrapping will force you to become a better, stronger entrepreneur with a more vibrant business. “

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2013/02/06/8-ways-bootstrapping-makes-you-a-better-entrepreneur/

Entrepreneurs who bootstrap have a major advantage: They can operate in relative secrecy for a period of time, staying off the radar as they fund their own operations. And that can make all the difference in maneuvering around competitors and building a great product

For most start-ups, bootstrapping is an essential first stage because it:

  • Demonstrates the entrepreneur’s commitment and determination.
  • Keeps the company focused.
  • Allows the business concept to mature more into a product or service.
  • Gives the concept a chance to be vetted by the market.
  • Allows some milestones to be achieved.

Relatively early in the process, before you get deeply in debt, decide how far you want to go on personal financial risk (such as by depleting your savings, selling off your stock portfolio, liquidating your 401(k), taking equity out of your home, running up your credit cards, or pledging personal guarantees). This will help you know when to move beyond bootstrapping to finance the business.

Primary sources of the cash necessary for bootstrapping are from the start-up entrepreneur. These include:

  • Cash from savings.
  • Borrowing against assets, such as your home.
  • The careful use of selected credit cards.
  • Keeping your day job, while starting the business in off-hours.
  • Living off your spouse’s wages while starting the company.
  • Doing consulting work to provide start-up cash for the business and for living expenses.
  • Rushing an early product to market to provide for early revenues and earnings.
  • Running extremely frugal operations, allowing the company to grow on internally generated cash earned on the sales of products.

These are some tactics to stretch your bootstrapped cash runway:

  • Lease or borrow the equipment you need to acquire new, such as computers.
  • Buy fixed assets such as furniture used or from “fire sales.”
  • Go as long as humanly possible without paying yourself.
  • Compensate advisers and consultants with equity, good will, and in-kind services. Salaries end up being the largest part of expenses and once you start paying, you can’t cut them off. You will also end up paying FICA and other related expenses which drive up actual cash expenses significantly.
  • Call in past favors and rely on personal relationships to get things done for free.
  • Use lawyers and accountants to help you with judgment issues, not basic education issues. Negotiate the delay of payments for services until the company is funded. Use public sources to learn the basic parameters before starting the fee clock.
  • Be frugal everywhere-drive instead of flying, choose cheap hotels, and use your personal computer and printer.
  • Find out the real, unmet need versus shotgun marketing to drum up unqualified sales leads. Spend money on marketing only if you must.
  • Post job openings and see who applies. Many will be unemployed people that will work for deferred compensation or equity with the hope of someday getting cash payment.
  • Network everywhere to leverage connections and personal introductions by others.
  • Get to know the people from whom you hope to get money before you desperately need it.
  • Keep records of all out-of-pocket expenses. Once you raise money, you may be able to reimburse yourself first before taking a salary to lessen tax issues.

Continue bootstrapping as long as possible, but know when it’s time to seek investors. Postponing fund-raising to the extreme can cripple the company, especially when the window of opportunity is short (as is often the case in technology start-up companies). Potential investors will recognize and value your bootstrapping resourcefulness in starting your company.

http://www.entrepreneurship.org/resource-center/bootstrapping.aspx

Cohesive to this term is “entrepreneurship”

the process of identifying and starting a new business venture, sourcing and organizing the required resources, while taking both the risks and rewards associated with the venture.”

I have been an entrepreneur for a few businesses now. I would have to say the fashion business I am in for the past year and a half has been the most rewarding as well a the most challenging and daunting.

My definition…

Entrepreneurship=Bravery to try it all out in the first place, Courage to try new things, Determination to keep going when those things fail (and they will), Drive to succeed- no matter what, preparation to change that definition of success, the willingness to fail, the strength to get back up again, the thick skin to be tough what other say against your business AND you, gratitude for every aspect of what it takes to run a business, late nights, early mornings, and most of all the passion to smile through it all because it means something to you.

Until next time,

Xoxo Trisha Trixie