By Sarah Sewell
Are you setting the scene for success? I believe the fact that you are here reading this post means YES you are ready to take your artisan business to the next level. Success can look different to different people. What matters is what you think success would look like to you. You may want to earn 6 or 7 figures a year selling your work, you may only want a side hustle to supplement your spouses income, whatever your reason for wanting to grow your business it absolutely is and should be an exciting endeavor.
Doing what you love and earning a living from it is an amazing feeling. My personal idea of success is simply having financial freedom and living my best life. This may be your idea too! The feeling of supporting yourself from something that you made or designed is a feeling that is hard to beat! I am here to tell you that this IS possible! I earned just under 7 figures in my handmade business before growing into my current career now. In my Flourish Craft Commerce Community we have a thousands of makers living that dream now and still wanting to grow further. It is not only possible but probable if you believe that it can happen for you. You must have a vision of success formed in your mind in order to adjust your sails to take you there.
The makers in our Flourish community are more than likely not all AMAZE-BALLS at business, sales, marketing or entrepreneurship. Many creatives see themselves as hobbyists and NOT as business owners and that creates doubt inside right from the beginning. They are highly skilled in their craft but not necessarily in how to run or grow a business.
I have something to share about this… You DON’T have to be an expert in business in order to find success. You don't have to have a MBA or a background in marketing. What you do need is a belief in yourself and a belief in your craft. If you have a desire to make and a desire to sell what you make you are already half way there.
Tips and Tricks to set your Artisan Business up for Success!
1. Goal Setting: Set up some clear objectives. You don’t need to know the end game or even what that would look like. Start simple and small if you like. Ask yourself questions like how much money you would like to earn in your first year? What online marketplaces would you like to see your goods sold on? What products will you create for the holiday seasons?
If you are more of a seasoned seller already perhaps you can ask yourself bigger questions like "am I ready to build my own website"? "Is wholesale right for my business"? Etc etc…. having some clear objectives can help get you headed towards your path of success.
2. Create a Space to Flourish: Many makers craft or create from their dining room table, or even the living room couch. You do you boo! Many successful craftpreneurs started this way and now have multiple warehouses they are utilizing for their business. START where you are, but spend some time thinking how you can maximize your creativity within this space. Fill your surrounding with inspiring things. Make use of the space you have to work with and get organized.
Creativity thrives in spaces that feel good. Take some time to clean out, repurpose and organize the space you have to work in. You will find when this is done the creative juices will be flowing!
3. Get Inspired. It’s hard to find success when you don’t have a dream or the excitement to get to that dream. Inspiration and Excitement is the heart and soul of a creative business. If you are feeling down, (which happens to us all sometimes) get out of the house, let the sun shine on your face, breathe in some fresh air, listen to feel good music, take some classes, go to a museum, spend some time on Pinterest whatever it takes….find some inspiration and stick with it!
Creating a vision board is a great way to stay inspired. Pin visuals of your goals & dreams to this board and look at them daily! This will help you stay focused on your dreams and inspirations.
4. Improve your social connections. You have probably heard the saying that you are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with, I am not sure if that is true but I do know we are influenced by the people we surround ourselves with. Take an audit of the people around you and make sure you are spending your time with those that are encouraging, uplifting, positive and supportive. Sometimes we can’t get away from those who suck our energy but try your best to reduce face time with people that aren’t aligned with your ideas of growth and success.
If the people we surround ourselves with influence our behaviors then it makes the most sense if we want to have success to surround ourselves with those who are successful and those who believe that we too can succeed.
5. Be Flexible. It is important to be aware that life doesn’t always move us in a linear motion. Sometimes it’s a step forward and three steps back….then 20 giant hops ahead only to stumble and lose 10. It is LIFE. The more flexible and fluid you can be the less you will be knocked down for any length of time. You must remember as a business there are seasons, there are slumps, there are highs and there are lows. If you have a growth mindset you will be prepared for this and will have a plan of action to work on something else when the slow downs happen.
Those who find it hard to succeed are usually those commiserating with others about why everything bad is happening to them. They play the victim and when they do this they are giving away their control and power in owning their business. Successful business owners are in it for the long game. They know there is a natural ebb and flow to things and they adjust as needed to move forward.
Remember life has peaks and valley's! You will have up days, you will have down days, don't take it too seriously. Follow the tips above and you will be off to a good start!