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

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More Vendor Planning Lessons Learned

When I did Vendor Planning years ago the market was such a different market. For one we did not have Facebook that people would expect to message you on and reach out to you. Honestly I wish I could turn off FB Messenger just for that reason. It is not a viable way or means of reaching out to someone as not everyone uses it and some people never look at it.

Also, back then everything was handwritten contracts and checks. Now I am happy that the internet allows us to use Paypal and Square to make that more seamless as I can’t even tell you how many bounced checks I would get or how many people would show up saying they would pay me on that day and then never would.

But still, even with those issues, I would rather be back in that time of Event Planning. I used to plan Weddings, Birthday Parties, Office Parties, Launch Parties and Vendor Parties. It was so different then. The people were different, the expectations we different, and for vendor events, the vendors were different.

Nowadays we have the younger generation of vendors who have entitlement issues expecting that they just show up, paly on the phone and people should WANT to stop by their booth and buy from them. This is not the case. You need to be proactive. Just showing up does nothing. Stand up. Greet your customer. Look ready to do business with them. If you are playing on your phone you are not prepared to meet or greet them and they often will just walk by you. The person next to you who IS engaged and proactive will end up then getting that business. That is not the vendor next to you’s fault that you don’t know how to get a customer or a sale.

Every vendor show I have recently done has allowed me to learn a new set of rules, ideas and thoughts abotu teh shows tht I want to share with you because I feel honestly, maybe people just don’t know these things.

None of these are a personal attack on anyone, it is merely lessons I learned and things for you to take note on.

Vendor Kids and Babies:

Having your child stop by, having them sit with you for the first hour, or the last, this I understand.  Vendor kidlets need to stay home otherwise. If your child is old enough to have their own mini booth or help you do sales, that is a different issue. I used to go to the Swap Meet at 8 years old and help my grandpops. Children get ancy,  babies cry, these are all human nature for their age. I understand about them being children.  However, a vendor show is not the right venue to bring them because it stifles that child in them. Even a 4 hour show is a LONG time for a child to have to try and be quiet, most especially a baby.

I understand there are issues and reasons why you can’t, but professional courtesy is to tell the planner your situation if you really have no one else or if the husband is away. It makes it easier for the planner to combat off remarks from guests or vendors.

Replacement Vendors: Even if you have everything covered with the planner, it is up to each new vendor to reach out and connect. Not only is it professional it assures you and the planner that you and they have everything ready for you and there are no surprises with tables  not being there for you. Another planner I spoke with this week said she doesn’t even allow replacements. I think this rule is something I need to adopt as well. This last show I had THREE replacements and one didn’t even tell me it was going to be someone else until they showed up.  As a planner, make it clear what you allow because this can get sticky. Believe me, I know.  I have had to deal with the aftermath of this situation since this last show because of it.

Toil Trouble or should I say Toilet: If you are at an event, don’t use wads of TP. Also, don’t use a vendors toilet for your Teet from the Seat time or (sorry to be so blunt) use it to take the dump of a lifetime. And if you clog it up, be mature enough to say so. A floor full of water and an out of order toilet doesn’t help the rest of the vendors, or the guests who are trying to enjoy the show. Guests have to go home to or someone else to facilitiate themselves, they walk out with the business they were going to give you. 😦

Be Prepared: Not every vendor or craft show has tables and chairs. It is up to you to have those items for yourself. Always bring them with you EVEN IF the vendor says they have one for you. Then in case there is a mishap, one doesn’t get held for you, or there is a miscommunication,  you are covered. Also make sure you have your tablecloths, swipe card and a back up if wifi isn’t working or if they don’t have it. Have receipt books, or use the new Offline Mode. It is up to YOU to make sure you have all the things you need for business.

Vendor Space: Abide to your vendor space. If you pay for one spot, don’t bring a load of stuff and push your way into another space. If you need to bring a drill and two men to set it up for you, then you might have too large a space for a small event. That style of setup is more geared for an EXPO not a small Craft or Vendor Show. Also, if you have to move things around so you can fit, please be respectful and put things back they way you found or at least let the vendor planner know. I spent a lot of extra time putting things back because vendors moved them around. Your booth should be able to set up and take down in one hour. Planners often have to pay for the extra time for set up and tear down and often that cost is nto relayed to you. If it was your $25 booth would have been, $50 or $100. Please be respectful of their time and respectufl of other vendors space as well.

Spot Reservations Special Needs or Issues: If you have a tall banner, a tall back drop, are allergic to scents, or need or desire any special access, please make sure to tell the planner of that ahead of time. Showing up the day of and asking to be moved creates hardships. It is better to know beforehand.

Not happy with your surroundings? If you say nothing then you are not allowing the planner to help alleviate the problem. Please be open with the planner and talk to them about your issues. If you feel like you are not being heard, SAY SO! Say “I feel like I am not being heard” Then we or I would at least say ” What may I do to help you feel you ARE being heard?” and then we can try to alleviate it. Please don’t drone on complaining. Complaining for the sake of complaining gets no resolution accomplished. No one ends up learning anything and then both parties feel frustrated and harsh words can be said on either side.

Also, please go directly to the person you have an issue with. do not go to your upline and complain. Go to the planner. If you are mature enough to have a booth and sell at a show, you should be mature enough to handle the situation on your own. If not, do me a favor, don’t come to my shows. Seriously. I expect vendors to be mature and respectful. I expect them to be able to handle their own battles. I expect them to get their own sales. It is not my job to sell their product for them. That is on them.

Lessons, Classes, Training: I realize some people don’t know how to sell, are just starting out, don’t know things like standing up at your booth looks better than sitting down, I get it. You may be uneducated when it come to how to run a great booth. I will try and have some suggestions and such on my blog, but also consider there are MANY resources at our disposal now and MANY for free. Google things, research, take E-Courses, learn from Kat Rocketship at Make/Break classes, or look on You Tube. go to networking or local seminars where they teach you those things. It will make a difference in not only how you present yourself, the brand you are representing or your own brand, but it will also change the amount and value of your sales.

I apologize if this post in any way seems snarky. I have tried to re-edit it as many times as possible. This last show wore on me so much that I seriously am thinking about getting out of the Vendor Market after my next upcoming show. The positive I got out it was the lessons I learned that I am trying to share with you. Perhaps I am not coming across the best in this post because it was quite frustrating to me. I am not trying to offend anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings. I feel these things need to be relayed and said so others can learn from them too.

I wish you all well and hope these things are helpful to you in any way possible.

Until Next Time,

XoXo Trisha Trixie