Casa Adalia

July, 2016Archive for

The issue of marketing and generating sales is a HUGE piece of any small biz

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Any biz of any size, actually. That’s where most businesses fall-down-go-boom. Sure, we go into business because we can make X gizmo over and over again and have it come out really well. But can we sell it? And can we find a big enough flock of people, to sell enough of it to live off the proceeds? There lay the difference between success and failure. And you’re well on your way now to figuring out how big a role that plays. My decision this week to go back to hourly work for awhile is exactly due to this conundrum. We can make the bacon. But we can’t sell enough of it yet to live on.

Taking a step back from the “list an ad here vs list an ad there”, have you considered consulting with a small biz advisor in your area? There are a lot of different programs offered for small business owners, for exactly this type of question. SBA offers a lot of workshops and classes through various community colleges. You may have a chapter of SCORE nearby (Service Corps of Retired Executives, www.score.org), which are retired yet successful business owners who want to mentor new biz owners like us. I just went to look up that website, and it looks like they’ve got online classes now too.

Even talking to other shop owners or crafters like yourself, but making different products, will give you some insights into what works and what doesn’t in your area. They’ve already gone and tried a lot of the things you’re thinking about.

For me, we’ve consulted off and on with other small farm owners, we have mentors who have successful small farms, and we’re on email lists like this one, but for various farm categories. Joining up with like-minded folks trying to do the same thing, but in different communities, gives you access to a huge volume of information without directly competing with them on sales. It can create a lot of camaraderie. I know I’ve learned a lot about how to market and sell farm products that way. We just need more $$$ coming in first so we can go DO some of those marketing ideas.

Hang in there. You’re feeling growing pains right now and that stinks. For that matter, so are we. But an hour spent with someone who’s been-there-done-that can save you days (weeks, months, years) of effort trying to blaze that trail for yourself. Hopefully you can find someone who can help you sort out options, choose the ones you’re going to go for, and make the most of it. Onward and upward!