how to be successful in small {handmade} business! {part seven}

     So last week I got several questions in regards to small {handmade} business through comments and email.  I thought I would take some time to go through some of those. 

The first question we will talk about is: 
"Is it better to make a couple of a large variety of products or stick to several of the same few to start? I get idea-overload!"

     Now, I can't tell you what a business expert would tell you because I have no idea what that is but I will say that it may depend on the stage of business you are in.  I know that when I was beginning I had no idea what "future" looked like for my business.  I made a lot of random different things because I could.  In the process of that "all over the place" creating, I found what I really loved doing which coincidentally was also what I could make a living doing.  

     In other words, because I was making a variety of stuff to start with, I got a good feel for what sold and didn't sell, what people (who were buying my stuff) loved or didn't love and in a way that a "how-to" manual could never tell me.  Real life experience in supply and demand, if you will.  I learned A LOT in that first bit of my business, things I would never have learned any other way.  Noting can replace real life experience.   

     Once I knew what my best seller was (hohos), I ran off in that direction and eventually settled there.  I still get to make a variety of items but I do try to keep it in a general theme (hohos!).  So I would say, if you're just starting out, making a variety of things can be a good way of knowing what your people want, what you love to make and what will be profitable for your business.  I will add that once I got to this point of refinement, things really began to take off for me!  

     Supporting that idea, in my seven years of experience, I have seen lots of people try to force the issue so to speak, they pick one thing to make and make 100 before they even see if it sells and end up falling flat.  I've seen too many people quit their day jobs assuming that if they follow a certain formula they will be successful.  Their error, I've seen, is applying textbook ideas and not real life ideas, a lot of times what THEY think is an awesome idea, is not something anyone else wants.  They move forward without any real life experience and end up blaming someone else for their failure.  I have found also that real life experience will save you a lot of debt and time too!  Slow steady growth is a good way to avoid both of those things!
    I hope that helps a little!  I'd love to hear any other questions you may have!  You can leave a comment or email me at!   

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