I’m from the retail world. I was hired on at a bookstore at the rather young age of 16, and I retired from being a bookseller at the older age of 30. It’s where I cut my teeth, learned the ropes, etc etc. I think retail. And a huge part of retail is change: changing up displays, changing the layout, changing how you reach your target market. You try to read the market, the trends, and adapt to what the next big thing is. I’ve written before how I rather despise following current pop culture in order to capitalize on it (I CANNOT find where I wrote that, but I did), and that’s still true, but some willingness to adapt is crucial to surviving as a small business.
I’ve been thinking about this issue because I follow the etsy forums, am part of several etsy groups, and a common complaint is that what they were doing is no longer working. And they’re annoyed. And many say they’re going to give up. And this flabbergasts me. I get we like to figure out the formula and then forget about it, but many things in life-not just sales-requires tweaking, requires reevaluating, requires overhaul. You HAVE to be willing to adapt to new search/marketing methods, change how you present your merchandising, be willing to try new methods, heck, maybe try a new product line. As an artist on etsy my selling capability is rather small, so I’ve added other things to my shop (and will continue to do so). I try to stay on top of how etsy has configured their SEO, and I go through my listings consistently to take advantage of the things I’ve learned. And I will continue to do these things as long as I am in business.
Thus, my friends, be willing to grow. If you’re a writer/crafter who is just starting, or you haven’t even shared your work, share something on Facebook. If you want to sell what you do, create an etsy shop (it is the easiest way for a crafter to start, at the moment anyway). Once you have that shop, explore other avenues. Start crafting your social media presence, your brand. Look for ways to expand. Don’t give up. Maybe selling on Etsy doesn’t work for you but you kill at craft fairs. Maybe your Facebook business page blows up and you focus on that. Or you decide to focus on building your own website. Or you try all that and go back to what worked before. But you’re not stagnant, you’re not just sitting there complaining that it isn’t working anymore. Because that’s a surefire way to fail (although there’s no shame in deciding owning your own business isn’t for you-I’m speaking to those people who really do want to be entrepreneurs). And that’s simply no fun.
So Art On, my friends. Do something awesome this weekend, enjoy your 3-day (for those of you NOT in retail-and for those of you in retail enjoy your time-and-a-half;).