Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pricing for our Skillset - Part II - why we had better be doing whatever it is we are doing very, very well

Skillset is the tricky part of a maker's pricing formula.

This is probably why no one talks about it very much.

(skillset can sometimes be offset with the uniqueness of the maker's makings and their presentation and, yes, I know that kind of offset can annoy makers with practiced skillsets over thousands of hours, but it is just the nature of business right now - unique trumps better but unique lasts about 5 seconds and then you had better get yourself some more unique - or some better skills)

If we are not continually improving our craft, even the best marketing and sales skills won't save us in today's competitive environment over the long haul.

Wait- what the hell are we hauling? Forget I said it. Let's just call it building a sustainable business - no long hauling here - I am way too lazy for that.


We need to stay on top of our craft and be learning new things - this means taking courses, reading books, experimenting, exchanging ideas and best practices with trusted peeps.

Skillset matters. Producing something of quality matters. Producing something that matters matters.

And lots of other stuff that goes into crafting a successful product and creating a successful business matter, too, but we need some maker chops for people to take us seriously.

We need to know what you are talking about. We need to know what we are doing. We need to be doing good work - no, we need to be going great work (not flawless work - because where's the soul in that) - and we need the skills to do it.

(And yes, we also need to pay attention to developing trends - where is the market heading? Are customers' budgets shifting? What are we being asked about the most? What's being talked about? This is not always something we need to take action on, but we do need to be aware of it and a huge plus to being a small business is that it allows us to be fast on our feet and pivot and change direction and even move backwards if we do want to take action)

Now at a certain point our skillset will start to matter less than our reputation and the uniqueness of our offerings because life is a giant circle after all or a spiral really, bringing us back again and again to the same place at a different level - a place where we bring our experiences to bear on a similar situation allowing us to choose differently. It is no different for our businesses.

With a maker business our most important asset is us. So making a commitment to invest a reasonable percentage of our energy (time and money) into improving our skillset will sustain us over the long haul (I can't seem to escape the pack mule verbage - ugh).

Back to tie this in with our pricing models in Part III - for the maker who needs (ie heartful yearning) to make stuff and Part IV - for the maker who needs (ie heartful yearning) to use certain skills

* surrender print by the talented jessica grundy of solocosmo

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