I am newly unesmployed and starting a homestead business of selling things that I make. Soaps, Lotions, Candles, wooden cutting boards and wooden toys. I have so many ideas in my head and having trouble narrowing them down. I was hoping to find a business partner/mentor that could help me focus and help me make some decisions. If there is anyone in the Southern Tier of NY state that could helpme, please feel free to contact me. email@example.com
Can I offer some suggestions;
- Business partners at this stage would be unwise, you need to know and trust each other when its so small.
- There may be a Small Business Association near you try them.
- A mentor would be good, maybe ask a local Lions group etc if they can help.
I have many years business experience, and can offer some advice also about business.
- Limit your range to start with
- investigate the market and potential sales methods.
- Do not get involved in a price war or a race to the bottom.
- Offer something different from what is available now.
- Look to see if there is something missing in a market you could meet.
- look at low level promotion.
- keep uptodate books and records.
John Daley Bendigo, Australia
The Enemy of progress is the hope of a perfect plan
Nancy, firstly, welcome to Permies. Sounds like you have an excellent idea that is also a huge task! I would suggest writing all your ideas down and then categorizing them. What do you need to do to make a start? What can wait until later? You don't want to lose a good idea, but trying to chase all of them at once probably isn't a good idea. Do you want to sell locally? Online? Sites like Etsy have tons of educational materials for new sellers. I agree with John about starting small. Do you have one or two things that you can make now that while you learn the ropes? I also tend to agree about a business partner. To be successful, partners need to have the same vision and goals. Don't be afraid to ask a potential partner how they see the business developing and how they see splitting the responsibilities, costs, and profits. Hopefully, you can find someone with the same vision and goals.
Nancy Lear wrote:....having trouble narrowing them down......
The biggest/best advice I can offer, Nancy, is to niche down your offerings. I work within the artisan world and the most successful artists have niched down their products to something very specific. The candle world is especially oversaturated so you have to be able to offer something different and unique in order to channel orders your way. Also, be prepared for a bit of a metaphorical hike. If your business should blast off from the start, that's incredible!! But usually it is a slow, methodical grind for a year or two before enough interest is generated to create a sustained income.
Good luck! If anything, create because it sooths the soul, and to share your love of creation with other people.
Take what you are best at and focus on building a client base around that, don't spread yourself thin with multiple projects. Find a way to make those products unique so you stand out in your niche then once you have a stable customer base introduce them to new products.
Snakes? You mean danger noodles?
Currently looking for work as:
software engineer, 3D artist, business consultant.