What made you decide to take the big leap into business? And what piece of advice would you share for anyone considering turning their hobby into a business? (Tamara Sirl)
When my poppet started full-time school I just dusted off my lovely old bernina (mum's from when she was young) and started to play with a basic softie pattern i had drawn up. After a couple of re-drafts I came up with a shape I was happy with and gave it to a friend for her baby. I made one for another friend, who showed a friend, who showed a friend. Suddenly I was receiving orders!
I started sharing photos of my 'work' on Facebook and more friends became interested. From there I decided to start a separate business page, came up with the brand name and registered the business. My liker numbers leapt quickly from 50 to many hundreds and took me completely by surprise. I wasn't expecting people who didn't know me to be joining in my page. It just took off.
As for advice?
Don't dawdle. Develop a strong product (not too many items to start with) and be confident in the quality and uniqueness of it. Take some good photos, grab a business name and get on with it! Consider doing a market, but don't look at is as a source of income, it is a form of marketing. Facebook is a great place to start online. Social networking IS my marketing. To date, I have never paid for advertising. Like-minded people have supported and promoted me and I try to return the favour. It's that simple.
Don't splash yourself all over town looking for a quick sale. Build relationships with customers and business associates, one person at a time. That is the path to success in my opinion.
Really. Just do it.
Image from here.
If you don't have a go you will never know what you could have achieved. You may just surprise yourself. I certainly did!