1. Deals with big catalog companies do not always translate into big dollars for little maker companies
2. Stores are not always ready to buy when we are ready to sell - repetition is a key to success with mailings and store contacts.
(maybe with everything now that I think about it)
Instead of moving on to new stores too quickly when a postcard doesn't generate any interest, I have found if I mail to the same store again (and sometimes again) I usually get the account.
(note - make sure your postcard is awesome,
< ---- mine is
the store is a good fit for your work and you mail directly to the owner, manager or buyer and follow-up with a phone call - I always call just to check in that the postcard arrived and let them know about a "special" I am having that week)
3. Store accounts need to be reminded to re-order.
When I started calling shop owners to see if they needed more stock (instead of just assuming my stuff wasn't selling because I hadn't heard from them) - my re-orders went way up.
(shop owners are as busy as we are)
4. Being in control might make us feel safe but that is pretty much the only benefit. Sometimes things fall apart so they can fall together.
We need to let go sometimes.
5. Some of this social networking has got to go. I am becoming less averse to automating certain things or just eliminating them all together.
There are only so many hours in the day.
6. I have been avoiding growth and change (partly because I want to stay small and personal, but mostly from pure exhaustion) but static, maintenance mode doesn't work - no matter how firmly we dig in and put in roots we will be uprooted -
Our business is alive.
It is changing everyday - whether we like it or not.
(we cannot stop this anymore than we can stop our toddlers from becoming preteens, although we would sometimes like to)
Static, maintenance mode will not work for long -
our income will drop, our work will become outdated, the competition will swoop in and undercut us, we will stop innovating -
for our business to survive it must be growing. The good news is we get to decide how that will happen.
It doesn't have to mean more work for us, in fact it has to mean more freedom and more creation because otherwise we might as well all get a real job with a 401K and dental insurance.
(if such things exist anymore)
There is a way to do this without putting in more hours (I don't have any), learning any more techno crap (my head will explode) or losing the personal nature of my handmade, upcycled business - I refuse to sell out.
We will find the way.
(I probably learned way more than this, but my head cold is still causing my noodle to be even foggier than usual and these are the first things that come to mind - hope someone finds them helpful)
*learn more things print by NayArts