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Understanding The Different Types of Customer Behaviours

Kerri Tutton

Handmade Business Planner - Understanding the different types of customer buying behaviours

Understanding the buying behaviours of people is a really interesting world and requires just a little bit of observation. By listening to your potential customer and watching their body language, paying attention to the details of them as a person, (the way they speak, their clothes, topics of discussion), watching what products they touch and asking them questions, you can eventually assess whether or not this person is going to buy from you.

Yes this sounds incredibly manipulative however don’t be blinded, look at the world around you. Businesses pay big money to sit their product at eye level so when you walk through the supermarket you see them. Other companies research the sweet spot in food products so they know on a physical cellular level, you will love it so much, you will come back for more.

Its the same with music, clothes, fast food even the website you clicked on will now appear in your social media feed, did you notice that? The world is watching and paying attention to you, so pay attention back.

The Early Adopter

We all have a friend who just loves to spend money, I’m not saying its a bad thing, its just your awareness of your friend is so spot on, that if a group of you ended up at a product party, you could put money on your mate walking out the door with at least 1 or more items.

Your friend is what is commonly known as an early adopter, one of the first people to purchase and they will persuade themselves (and possibly their partner) of the benefits of having that product and how it will effect their life. These types of purchasers are open to you selling to them and will listen to offers and the reasons and why your product is so perfect for their life!

These purchasers are great for advertising as they are very social about what they have purchased and the experience they had, they generally have excess to larger amounts of money (or credit), because let’s face it, taking up the first of a product usually means a higher price tag.

Just be warned though, if they have an experience that is less than satisfactory, they are going to ‘Poor Me’ that all over social media too! So make sure your customer service is on point with this buyer!

The Considered Purchaser

This is the customer that reviews the product, who possibly checks 2 or 3 items from different places and weighs them up against a criteria that speaks to them about functionality or value. I have to admit I am 80% one of these purchasers, this has come about since I met my partner - until then I would have definately been the ‘see it buy it type’.

Considered purchasers are slow to purchase, for example they don’t take the first version of a new smartphone that launches, they wait until the bugs have been fixed and will perhaps take the 2nd, 3rd or 4th option when it becomes available.

You will need to make a great impression on a considered purchaser to encourage them to buy from you straight away, you can even have a conversation with them about the options they are choosing as generally they are quite open about the reasons why they are looking at a variety of products. You will work that out, when you notice them asking lots of questions.

If you do not feel confident that you will make a purchase from this buyer type, then you need to focus on them having a great experience and ensuring you both get contact details of each other, so a future spend can happen. This type of customer is highly likely to come back to you, because you helped them feel that they had a great customer experience.

They are also the purchaser that will buy from the same sales person, because they have integrity and would wish the sale or commission to go to the person that gave them their time.

The Bargain Hunter

We all love great value, we see constant advertising in our world of discounts, specials, money off, points and rewards programs. There are even days named after a retail event - think about Boxing Day or now Black Friday. The world of retail has actually made itself quite transparent in that we are all being overcharged. Seriously think about it, why on earth would you pay full price, knowing that if you just wait - you can get up to 75% off the price?

People even sell their items online higher that what they actually want, in a bid to get the price they would be satisfied with.

I have even seen it in major corporate companies, think about all the bills you pay - INCLUDING your utilities that will price match just to get you as a customer - so where is the real price? It makes almost everything negotiable and yes - I know people that will not take the first price and will negotiate every single time.

I have also seen handmade artists out there that do not operate sales and specials and believe that they offer a fair and reasonable price and I totally believe then and completely respect that.

Unfortunately thought, It is a line of trust that many consumers are unable to connect with as they are constantly being programmed by sales related marketing, plus there is a behaviour of many that will not purchase and will not treat themselves to what they may consider a luxury product, unless it is on special.

It’s almost a permission basis, where some purchasers block themselves as they have programmed their own minds in such a way because deep down they believe they ‘should’ be spending the money on their children or more useful function things for the household, or they don’t deserve it mentality.

I believe there is room for a bargain and it appeals to a large subset of purchasers, especially if you create a product that is more of a ‘nice to have’ than an everyday need or functional requirement.

The key though, especially when it comes to developing trust, is to ensure that that there is a balance and a fairness and there is an acceptable pricing for your ideal customer what ever their buying behaviour.

Kez x

Everything You Need To Know For Your First Handmade Market Stall

Kerri Tutton

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YAS! You have made the brave decision to take your handmade business to the local markets. That is absolutely AMAZING, well done you! I know how excited and super amped you probably are whilst at the same time flipping the freak out thinking ‘Eep! What do I need? OMG I need EVERYTHING!’

Well Biz Planner, just relax, I have been where you are now and I’ve got your back, let me help you save your time, money and worry with a list of really useful things to take, things to prepare for plus a few handy little biz tips for a successful event.

Aheee, I’m so excited for you! Right then, let’s get started…

First Things First

The Kezza pep talk!

Please, please, please be mindful that you are starting right at the beginning and it can be hard to get going, so I recommend that you start off small, just to see if you like it.

Be gentle on yourself, because the art of running a market stall successfully is totally based on consistency and development by learning through practice.

Try to avoid aiming for perfection on day one and definitely steer away from any crazy ambitious profit goals, that have the potential to leave you completely deflated if you don’t make them at the end of a very tiring day.

You may disagree with me and that’s okay, but I can make a sure bet that you are emotionally attached to your product, simply because you made them. So be mindful that your products may receive criticism at your stall and it won’t be personal, it will be about preference.

Also, (yep not quite finished) Consider that you may go home on a number of occasions without making any money and all you will take with you is the experience of that day. So make the experience worth while just in case the $’s aren’t.

Okay? Pep Talk over - let’s REALLY get started!

1. Research

Okay, before you sign your life away for a permanent pitch at a market, pay any fees or register for any exhibition stand, do your research.

You need to be able to answer some good quality questions to ensure you attend the right event for you, even better if you have completed the ‘DEFINE YOUR CUSTOMER’ eBook as this will give you the ammunition to really pinpoint the perfect event based on the customer you want to get in front of.

Is this the right styled event for your product?

Put simply, you don’t want to be selling high end luxury wedding products at a stall pitched in a bohemian music festival, the style won’t match, nor will your customer and potentially the price point will be way off. Check the style of the event, ensure it suits your product range. Consider this research as part of a branding exercise as well, as it may help you to step up a little in your game if your business is a little rough round the edges, or it may inspire you to tone it down a little to match the customer you want to sell to.

Is it the right age group for your range?

A little like the style concept, ensure your products suit the age of the customer at the event. You don’t really want to be selling baby products at an antique and vintage market. Yes you will stand out, but your products won’t be relevant to the audience.

Does the price of your products suit the customer at this event?

This is a tricky one, because pricing is forever a hard subject to be confident with in the handmade industry, this is one to research by way of analysing other merchants and their offering and through monitoring how your price is received. I wouldn’t suggest pricing your products to suit the event, ensure you find the event and the location that suits your product and price point.

I have experienced selling baby shoes at a Mumma’s market in a town on the Sunshine Coast, and the audience was really receptive to my products, loved the styles, loved that they were different and had no issue with the price, however the same themed market in another town in the same region, the audience deemed them way too expensive, so monitor the reception and be open to learning new things.

Are there any environmental factors that could effect your product?

Rain and humidity can ruin fragile materials, just like sunshine can tarnish jewellery. Think about the conditions you will be working in and how that affects you, your products and your display. Do you need to consider indoor markets only to protect your range in Winter? How does that effect your business if there are few in your area?

Is the event well advertised?

If you are paying a significant amount of money to attend a larger event, check to see if the event organisers are advertising it because you will want the foot traffic to help you get more sales to cover your inflated pitch. Check to see if there is any free advertising on social media you can take advantage of too and let the audience know you are going to be there, show off your product and promo’s pre event and most importantly tell them where you are located or what to look for to find you. (note later tip about big red love heart balloon)

Location

Is the location of the event doable? It’s great that you have found an awesome event that suits your niche, your customer and all of the above, but if it’s 3 hours drive away - is that okay for you? Make sure you check the obvious logistics before signing up. Consider doing a drive to the event to check transit times, and check things like loading docks / entrances and parking.

Affordability

A simple one, but can you afford it? This is why I suggest starting off small. Paying hundreds of dollars for a space at an exhibition does not guarantee you lots of business, it does guarantee that you will need to sell more to cover costs of the event.

Consider also, the price of the stock you have just made, the materials you bought for your stall, perhaps the marque, table, storage boxes, the fuel to get to the event, your morning coffee that you purchased off the stall holder down the way, the food you ate from the one opposite - what I am saying is it it all adds up - and you haven’t had a paying customer yet. So be mindful.

2. Product

Okay, let’s get this one knocked on the head. Before you go off buying up raw materials and making product until your fingers bleed, just wait a moment. All you actually need to do, is make one or two of your products.

I repeat, one or two. I promise you, remember you are in the handmade industry, it is totally acceptable not to have 50 items lined up on the shelf like it came off the factory floor in China! That’s what commercial retails shops are for.

Learn to get comfortable with the fact that it is totally okay for your customer to wait for their product and that they will need to order it through you. (PS remember to add postage).

Focus on getting a healthy amount of stock that makes a great display, presenting at least one (or two) of the variables from your range. The more style ‘options’ you have the more likelihood you will sell one of them, rather than having a massive quantity of just a couple of choices.

If you have images of products you have made that were custom orders or one of a kind - consider displaying them on a gallery on your laptop or iPad for your customers to see.

3. Display

The fun bit! Time to get creative, this is something you can easily find inspiration on via Pinterest, here is a board to help you get started XXXX and here is a list of items to get your creative juices going, with the assumption you have brought or hired a table and chair.

  • Material for your table

  • Different levels of display, boxes and shelves,

  • Hanging displays (eye level)

  • Props such as plants, flowers, crystals and timber

  • Colour and texture

  • Lights

BIZ TIPS:

  • Do a practice set up, time how long it took and take photo so you can replicate

  • Use a really obvious, large and bold eye catching prop for when you are at a large event so people can find you. I used to take an inflatable red heart balloon to every event + give it away at the end of the day - This was one of the smartest things I did.

  • Be sure not to add too much to your display, give your audience a place to rest their eyes. You do not want you customer to feel overwhelmed as it will hinder them making a purchase decision.

4. Storage

Your product needs to be stored for the travel to and from the event, so consider carefully something that will be suitable to carry, that will protect your products and be easy and functional.

Also consider the set up and set down time of your stored products and build it into your ready time so your stall is ready when the doors open.

5. Payment Methods

Offer your customers the ability to pay by a range of different payment methods. You may notice that more and more people these days do not carry much cash and often pay by card, be it Eftpos, Credit Card, PayPal and even Apple Pay or via their smartphone banking app.

There are so many easy ways to set up the ability to take payment, I used a few different methods… back in the day I used an ANZ EFTPOS offering that I would charge and use with an App. It cost me $10 a month + different rates for taking $’s. Years later I ended up purchasing a SQUARE unit, quickly, cheaply and was set up in moments, that was a winner! The app was super easy to use too. Shop around, I’ll pop some links below to help.

Remember to make the effort to carry change for those that have the larger cash notes and also consider an order form for a unique request, OOAK customer design or for an item you don’t have in stock.

BIZ TIP : If offering a sale item is part of your business model, consider including a little bargain bowl near the pay area for an extra treat that the customer may purchase last minute.

Also consider a sale offering, where the customer can purchase 3 for 2 to shift old stock.

6. Mailing List

It is not a loss if you find that someone comes to your stall and is completely smitten with your work but doesn’t buy on the day as they may be a considered purchaser (Different Customer Purchase Types). What will be considered a loss is if you let them go without engaging with them and taking their details so you can connect with them again in future.

Consider offering something absolutely wonderful to encourage customers to part with their email address and register to enter your random draw or competition for that special something.

You know that they are interested in your work this way and this builds up your potential customer mailing list for future new product releases, behind the scenes emails etc. etc..

Be sure to advertise and promote your WINNER across your mailing list and social media channels to encourage trust with your customers and help your winner feel special.

There are lots of ways of taking a customers emails, a simple pen and paper on a clipboard is perfect however, I recommend you write the details down yourself so you do not have to decipher your customers handwriting.

Another create option if you are a bit tech savvy and that is to have your customer type it into your spreadsheet on your laptop or I use Chimpadeedoo, which is product related to Mailchimp and it collects all the inserted email and back it up to mailing list that you have already created. A massive time saver!

BIZ TIP: Email your audience that visited you that day and give them a reason to come and purchase from you, be it online or at the next event. A discount voucher would be perfect.

7. Business Cards / Contact Flyer

So, I am a little bit of a stationery geek, I have to have stern words with myself before entering shops like Kikki K so I am not a great person to offer advise about Business Cards and flyers as I have spent lots of money on them. This is an area where you can save money, so I will give you an alternative as well.

Firstly though, you will get asked for a business card at the event, you have a couple of options you can go armed with businesses cards and have them displayed, you could make them function and incorporate them into the design of the product packaging, as a tag.

You could also skip purchasing biz cards and encourage people to FOLLOW your instagram or facebook, this way they have all the information they need about you on their phone.

I’m all for business cards, however I prefer functional business cards, you can read more on my thoughts here.

8. Run a Promo

There are heaps of people out there that love a bargain, they also love to win things. it makes them feel special. If you want to make it part of your business model to have a promo, offer a discount or run a comp this is an awesome way to encourage people who are interested in your work to part with their email address.

The thing is, a promo doesn’t work unless you talk about it. So make it part of your mission in every conversation you have with your potential customer that you have a promo / comp happening - all they have to do is register.

Be sure to follow through, this cements trust with your audience, and advertise who wins - and if you can get some product photo’s off your winner of them using or wearing your prize. Then you can use this for your social media updates.

9. Labels and Pricing

Now, I’m going to give you a couple of spins on this one as I have seen 2 approaches work in retail.

So having the price available helps the customer to make an informed decision. Personally, I like to see the price of what I am look at generally because my purchase behaviour will naturally reason with the value versus the product. However, there are emotional purchase days when I am blind to the number on the tag and I’m happy to purchase anyway (within reason).

Note that this buying behaviour is subjective to each customer - everyone has a different opinion on good value, which is why you need to take the opportunity to educate your potential customer on the story of your business and the detail, material, time and effort it took to make the product as this will impact the buying decision.

Now, not advertising the price creates a few outcomes, either the customer will make an assumption that they cannot afford the item (as there is no price tag, so it MUST be expensive), or they will assume you forgot to put one on and ask, or they will not think about it and naturally engage and ask the price.

The benefit of the customer engaging with you, is that they are showing you a buying sign and they are opening up the door for you to engage with them - which is great! Cuz that’s always the hardest bit. I’ll talk more about sales technique later, but its up to you if you want to advertise your prices or leave it to the customer to engage with you for that number.

10. Marque

So if you are considering running stall at an outside local market, you may be able to hire your marque and table from the event organisers. If you were lucky like me, they may even have it set up and ready for you when you arrive.

Hiring or borrowing a Marque is a great idea when testing out your resilience to the ‘Market Stall’ approach to selling your product.

The reason why I say this, is because doing the markets does sound very romantic, and fun and creative however the reality is, if you are working full time in the day job, which most of you are, then you have to get up super early on your day off to go ‘market’ - the newness of this wears thin on the rough days when you socialised the night before (or didn’t because you have to go to market), on the days when it raining or windy and especially on the days when you didn’t make hardly or any money 3 markets in a row.

So, trust me when I suggest you borrow or hire your marque until you reach the line in the sand when you know you are doing this for the future. Or perhaps there is a need for a marque in your home and the value is a given.

When it comes to buying one - I went cheap and I wouldn’t go cheap again. You don’t just need to consider the price, you need to consider the ease of putting it up by yourself at 4/5am in the morning when the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. Some are easily to put together than others. So do your research.

11. Sales Process

I’ve done a lot of sales in my time, face to face and over the phone and in order to get good at it you need to practice, be confident and stay out of your head. It also helps to have a bit of a plan coupled with a big dose of positivity, a dash of fun and sprinkle of ‘crazy’ - what can I say it helps take the edge of EVERYTHING!

Yes, most people don’t want to be sold to however whether they realise it or not people want to connect, so the key to being successful when attracting customers to your market stall, (I believe) is generating a feeling of fun and familiarity , in essence that means laughter and trust.

Being a English gal, self depreciating humour is a thing for me - I’m a down to earth gal and can laugh at myself, generally because some of the things I attempt to do is laughable, sarcasm is also typically English but can go wrong so go careful with that one, generally having a good laugh to remove the seriousness of life (because you never know what is going on in the world of your customer) - really does help connect us.

So does finding something familiar with your customer - this is the powerful connection of trust. Whether you have been through a big life experience, seen something amazing or awful, a place a person - we connect and feel relaxed because, well we sort of know what each other has experienced. That sense of familiarity naturally creates a level of trust - that is what win’s customers relationships.

So when you go out into the big wide world with your stall, think about what you are trying to create - a sale? or a relationship with your customer? Which one is going to come back and visit you? Which one will follow you on social media and look forward to your new product releases?

Connect with your customer, remember why you are there. Show them your work, share your story, find their problem they have where you product is a solution, then when they are ready to buy offer them options.

Now when I recommend options, I mean at least 2 product but no more than 3. Otherwise your customers will get confused.

Here is my reasoning…

  • Offer your customer 1 option - their answer is either yes or no.

  • Offer your customer 2 options - its either A or B, it may likely be the cheaper option.

  • Offer your customer 3 Options - its either A, B or C - and it is likely to be B or if your luck all 3!

If you want sell a few items and you can see your customer is really keen on a variety with one in particular - tell them that if they buy the range they were looking at, you’ll throw the favouright one in for free.

Always be prepared for someone to ask for more discount - have a deal or a promo to hand out or get creative with what they are interested in.

Build relationships, share knowledge, share your story, share your details and if your customer doesn’t want to buy, that is okay, just get an email to communicate to, they may want to buy from you at a later date.

The number one thing to remember is to observe, watching and listening are the simple keys to understanding the different types of customer buying behaviours.

12. Insurance

Keep an eye out for something called Public Liability Insurance, this is insurance to protect you if a member of the public is hurt or damaged as a result of your product or injury at your event stand. If any of those things happen, the injured party may want to make a claim against your insurance policy to help with medical costs or loss of income. If you do not have an insurance policy to pay for this, it means it may likely come out of your own pocket. So - research insurance for your stall and find out from the event organisers their requirements as they may wish to see a document (called a Certificate of Currency) to prove that you have insurance up to a certain dollar value. Generally it can be up to $5 or $10 million, but check first as you may be able to pay a little extra and sit under their insurance for the event.

Insurance is really affordable as it is possible to purchase monthly, quarterly as well as annually and if you do your research, you will find market stall specific insurance. If you need clarity on what some of the words mean, refer to what is called the PDS (this is a product disclosure statement) it sound very boring but it’s super helpful and basically tells you want word and event used in the insurance document means.

Before Your Event

Here are a few items to do or check the before the event:

  • Drive to the location to assess drive time

  • Practice the display set up and take a photo

  • Check location loading / drop off area and parking

  • Do a Tech Check and charge all Phones, Apps, Ipad, Eftpos, Laptop

  • Pack your car the night before

  • Advertise the event and where you will be located

After Your Event

First things first, you may well be shattered, so before you have a little nap, make sure you unpack your car, because then you can truely kick your shoes off and relax, then when you are ready:

  • Complete a Retro on your day (What was good, what was bad, what you would change)

  • Review your stock inventory and list items that need to be made and replaced

  • Send an email to the newest members of your mailing list and thank them for coming to visit

    • Perhaps offer them a promo to give them reason to visit again

  • Create an announcement on your social media channels of the promo winner

  • Send an email / text to thank the event organisers

  • Notes/journal this for the next event

Right that’s it for now, I think I have dropped a heap of useful items for your first handmade stall, if you are interested in a coaching session before your event, send me an email and we’ll book a time in - if you have read this as an experienced market and events attendee and you want to add another item, definitely drop a note in below to share the knowledge and help the newbies coming in.

Kez x

How To Find Time to Side Hustle - When Your a Mum & Working Full Time

Kerri Tutton

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Yep you got it, I work full time, I’m out the door at 7am and generally not back until after 5pm, I have an amazing partner (who also works full time as a teacher), a beautiful, strong willed and funny 16 month old daughter and this is our family.

“But you have a website and run the Handmade Biz Planner?”

I hear you, Yes, I do, however because I am at work full time earning money for toys, my HBP biz time is very limited.

Please don’t think for a minute I am a super mum, I have my learner plates on in that department and I am still adjusting after 16 months to the understanding that my time is not my own any more and yes I get really bloody frustrated that I can’t do everything. I am adjusting, but I just wanted to let you know - you can too.

Now before you go there, don’t think for a moment that I am a super girl boss either - I am still learning in this biz world too. I have created and run a few different businesses yes, but not one that I am proud enough to say has replaced the day job…yet!

Let’s be realistic here and get on the same page, we both know that the dream of just stopping work and running a business to an instant lucrative income and overnight success just doesn’t exist, especially not for a first time business owner with no experience of online business development anyway.

It takes a long time of continuous effort, climbing over brick walls, making heaps of mistakes that either drains your time or your money or both. You might stop your dream boat and jump on another one, I have - 5 times and I am still - YES STILL coming up with new idea’s for new businesses, still learning new things and still battling to be consistent - but I am most definitely still driven to replace my day job with my own business income.

“So how do you find the time to side Hustle?” Well, I make the time, set the time and plan what I do with it.

I value my time, however my primary objective is to assign a fair chunk of it to putting food on the table, this leaves the rest of the time for my family, relaxing, exercising, domestics and biz planning.

I will share with you a typical week for me, its not pretty and I have to be flexible (you know Mum’s - when the Daycare calls and you have an extra hot baby to take home).

Feel free to take my dashboard Copy & Paste it to yours and work it like you mean it! (To Copy & Paste in Trello: Select Show Menu.. / Select More / Select Copy Board)



Make The Time

Have a look at my Trello Dashboard - HBP The Weekly Planner to view a 7 day week running from 4am to 9pm. I made the time to sit down and review all the things I need to do in a given working day, so I could see where the opportunities lay for me to spend time on HBP. Once I had completed one day, the rest of the week was replicated to match.

The key is to ensure your non negotiable items are listed first, in my case it was my day job, dropping off and picking up Woo, Dinner & Food Prep times and you will see I have included my Gym time in there. (otherwise I don’t have enough energy to function + I get grumpy if I don’t get active).

Set The Time

Setting the time to spend on your business is important, it gives you a goal, a plan and if you have to set a reminder in the early stages to ensure you keep to this time - do it. For me I have to choose a time that I will not get interrupted. In my world with a 1 year old, the best time is when she is asleep.

Plan The Time

Okay, so the alarm has gone off, its time to sit at your desk, work in your workshop - but what are you going to do? I know it sounds crazy, but you need to have a plan for the time you will spend on your business, because if you are anything like me you will get woo’d by the pretty colours on social media, get caught reading an interesting blog - yes - Shiny objects moment - and BANG - you just lost 2 hours of your life!

I appreciate it sounds like a meeting to organise a meeting, but do it, make a meeting with yourself once a week to plan your work for the week. Create that list of what you will you do in your allotted time - and be reasonable with yourself, don’t expect the content for 10 blogs on your first morning - maybe 10 blog post IDEA’s maybe.

Like I mentioned, feel free to copy and paste my board to your Dash - then make a date with yourself, make the time to spend time on your biz.

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Procrastination to Productivity in 6 Steps

Kerri Tutton

Handmade Biz Planner Blog Procrastination to Productivity in 6 Steps

As a creative developing your own business, it is totally understandable that at some point, sometime soon even, that you will get totally distracted and overwhelmed by all the things that you want to get done in your biz.

You might find yourself

  • spending more time writing your to do list than crossing it off

  • bouncing between unfinished tasks then bouncing on to another one

  • creating more and more ideas and trying to work on them

  • procrastinating about what or how to do the next task, but not actually doing it

If this sounds like you, then it may be time to invest in a system / method or process to help you experience the satisfaction of completing a task and boosting you to get some actual work done.

In my continuous search for answers to 'How can I do this better', I discovered an article by James Clear which inspired me to test the 'Ivy Lee Method' a repetitive cycle of 6 steps to assist in reaching peak productivity.

I'm testing it now, this is my Day 1.  These are the steps:

The Ivy Lee Method

  1. At the end of each day, write down six tasks you need to accomplish tomorrow

  2. Prioritise these task in order of importance

  3. When you start working the list, focus on only the first task until it is completed

  4. Repeat with the rest of the list, in order

  5. What is not finished on this day, move to the task list for the following day

  6. Continuously repeat this process

This task list method is basic enough to prevent you from getting too overwhelmed with the enormity of having to complete 'all the things' and simple enough to avoid getting too detailed about the work ahead.  

There is another benefit of this approach. How many times have you written a to do list and one or two items always seem to get trumped?  Which means by the end of your working week, you still have the 'filing' or 'expenses' on the to do list?  Well this method ensure that tasks are not forgotten and that they are all completed.

If I get to the end of today and I have 2 tasks left on my list.  They go to the top of tomorrow's list and I then add 4 more tasks in order of importance. Nothing is left.

There are a couple of key behaviours that you need to make this Ivy Lee method work for you.  The first is that you need to commit to attending to your list as a daily event, until it turns into a habit. The second, is that you ensure you prioritise in order of importance, rather than preference.

If you are running your handmade biz tasking yourself what you prefer to do, rather what needs to be done, you are not running a business, you are still in hobby mode.  If you are not sure how to prioritise your tasks, then create a criteria for your business, these should be influenced by your Mission, Vision statement. 

Have a go at the Ivy Lee method, or share with us your top method for avoiding procrastination and getting productive in your handmade business.


Want to road test the Ivy Lee Method?

Join the Handmade Biz Planner Library subscription and use the Dashboard created in Trello to list and manage your 6 tasks for the day. 

Hashtags for handmade jewellery

Kerri Tutton

Okay so you have kicked off your handmade biz, you are on Instagram and have learnt about the trusty hashtag for your feed, but goodness which ones should you use?   

Well Biz Planner, I have created a super organised list of hashies for handmade jewellery businesses to get you started, plus a few tips on how to use them.

Register your details below and I will send you a FREE PDF List and a link to my HBP Instagram Hashtag Board in TRELLO where you can copy & paste the cards, the list or the whole board.

Register for Handmade Business Tools

* indicates required
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WAT you don’t have TRELLO - omg, you have SO much to look forward to my OCD jewellery addicted friend! I will pop a small info blog here soon, in the meantime - Register for TRELLO FOR FREE and have a play. It is super easy, super nice on the eye, your organisational skills are going to go through the ROOF!

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Get amongst the list, I’ll be growing it - so pop back and help yourself when ever you like.

Love your work

Kez x



Fancy some FREE Downloads to get your biz started?

Handmade Biz Planner - Define Your Customer FREE Download

Handmade Biz Planner - Define Your Customer FREE Download

 

5 Tips on How To Use Your Business Card

Kerri Tutton

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One of the most popular items that you think you may need at the beginning of creating your business will be a business card. The question is, do you really need a business card when you are working in the handmade industry?

With a fair few boxes of business cards in my cupboard to match my previous business ideas (plus quite a healthy addiction to stationery), I am probably not the best person to be advising you, in fact I would recommend you halt the purchase of the 500 pack of business cards and ‘Define Your Customer’ first however, if you prefer to ignore this, I can share with you some productive ways to use a business card and some electronic alternatives.

Now before technology became what it is today, I used to watch business cards flying around all the time, especially in my young London years working in the executive firms.  Dependant on the company and the ego's I was working with, the presentation of a business card sometimes became laughable.

Apart from representing your company and being quite possibly the first impression behind the brand, there was a purpose to that card.  We needed that number or email because we didn't have a smartphone to record all the details or look up the business on Google.

Business Card branding has really taken off also , just look at the amazing cards that are being designed today via this Business Card Pinterest Board

Here are a few other ways to use your card within your business...

A Customer Order

I received an impeccably wrapped order when I purchased a ring holder via an Etsy seller and within the packaging was the business card + another discount card.  Of course I don't really need the business card as Etsy has my purchase history, but I can forward the card now to someone else as a recommendation.

Market or Event Stall

You don't want to work your fingers to the bone preparing for an event or market stall, only to be requested for a business card and not have one.  That is of course a potential sale gone out the window as more often than not you will come across customers that fit into the 'Considered Purchaser' category. (learn what that is in the blog: 'What purchase type is my customer?')

Don't fret though, as I learnt last year at a local Business Womens Network by the Digital Marketing expert to 3 Ingredients - don't worry about not having a card and simply get your customer to follow you on your Facebook or Instagram account. (after all, all your contact details are linked to those accounts anyway).

Thus increasing your popularity on social media and providing your customer the opportunity to look at your old and up and coming products.

Product Cards/Tags

When I ran my handmade jewellery business I created myself a multi purpose business card, not only did it display info about my business as well as represent my brand with it's colours, logo and design - it doubled up as a jewellery tag and holder for displays.

Business Meetings & Networking Events

It is always handy to have a card to represent you and your business when heading to a meeting, especially if you are going to be networking with others. It's a quick hit to pull out a card and leave it with someone, especially if for any reason is not appropriate to be jumping on the social media wagon straight away.

Another option is to have your business card set up in your phone with a photo and sending it to your new business pal.  This way, not only will you have their details, but they will have yours plus a face to the name. (Because we always remember the face - just not the name).

Business Prizes

You can't put your iPhone in the fishbowl can you? But you can put a Business Card.  Yep you will find after going to a few networking events that there is always a prize where a local business will donate something sweet for a little bit of advertising.  

You will definitely need a card for this!

Do you use your business card in a different way? I'd love to hear them. Share your idea's below.

What Are My Customer Touchpoints?

Kerri Tutton

Handmade Biz Planner - Business Foundations - What are my customer touch points?

A customer touchpoint is defined by where your customer touches or experiences your business. It is the journey they take when they engage in your company.

By stopping to analyse your customers touchpoints starting from the beginning to the end of a transaction and beyond,  you will begin to see opportunities on where to improve your customers experience.

This valuable information can assist you to make decisions that could improve the quality or the speed of your service.  As a result you may find that you sell more products, receive more references, gain new customers, make a bigger profit and become more successful in different measures in the business.

To truly understand touchpoints for your business you need to think like one of your customers and consider the experience they are having before, during and after their transaction with you.


Examples of Customer Touch Points

  • Company Website
  • Social Media
  • Online Market Shop
  • Invoicing/Billing
  • Order Process
  • Advertising
  • Promotions
  • Telephone Calls
  • Word of mouth
  • Testimonials
  • Surveys

These are some major touch points which can be broken down further, during the purchasing process and even extended after (to encourage return customers). Below, are the stages in a customers journey with a business, where you can find these examples:


Customer touchpoint Stage 1 - Before Purchase

This is when your customer first discovers your business, be it through friends, advertising or searching for a solution to a problem.

  • Advertising
  • Social Media Feeds
  • Blog
  • Word of Mouth
  • Product Reviews
  • Testimonials

Customer touchpoint Stage 2 - During Purchase

This is the point of sale for your customer depending on how you choose to sell your product.

  • Retail Store
  • Online Store
  • Market Stall
  • Sales Representative

Customer touchpoint Stage 3 - After Purchase

How do you care for your customer after they have purchased your products and do you have any touchpoints there?

  • Billing/Receipt Confirmation
  • Thank you Card / Discounts
  • Customer Survey 
  • Marketing information relevant to their preferences
  • Birthday gifts

Once you have spent the time to identify all the touchpoints in your customers journey, you will have a clear customer experience map of your business.

Analyse this map and check if it is all working as you anticipated, are you customers happy with the experience? Can it be improved? How could you make it better?

By ensuring this is a smooth and seamless experience for your customers, with them knowing you have them in mind - it will lead to greatly satisfied and loyal customers.

What to do when someone says your products are too expensive.

Kerri Tutton

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It is inevitable that at some point your handmade creations will be criticised and price will be the target. What happens after you receive this feedback is key to your future successes and mastering a confident mindset about your product range.

It will be easy to take this feedback personally.  This will be because it is your business, these are your products and you have made them yourself.  Remind yourself, this is business - it is a material, a product not a dig at you. Try not to take it personally and instead ask questions.

"It's too expensive" they say, so in your mind ask yourself, "what they are comparing my product to"? 

Are they used to purchasing imported, mass produced products from the high street, made from cheaper materials?

This happened to me when I ran my jewellery business.  A friend told me that my prices were too high and that she considered my range expensive.  When I dived deeper into where her feedback was coming from, I realised she was comparing my product to the $5 and $10 earrings she was buying from a national jewellery retailer who imported all their products in from overseas.  

Not only that, they were not in any way shape or form, unique.  There was at least 50 of the same item on the shelfs and I anticipated more in stock.  The materials used were light plastic and acrylic with base metal components, compared to the Swarovski glass pearls and sterling silver I had used to make my product.

Are they comparing your product price with their lacking in financial confidence?

More often or not the use of the word 'expensive' arises when someone doesn't have enough funds to purchase what they really want or they may be prioritising other needs first. They may use the words, 'expensive' when they actually mean: 'I can't afford it at the moment'.   Your customer may have financial commitments that they need to prioritise and they are simply window shopping.  Wouldn't it be silly to get upset thinking your product was too expensive then slashing your prices after this type of customer had unknowingly to you compared your product pricing with their bank balance? 

Some people hold emotions with money and items that are considered a luxury so it is also possible that whilst your shopper can afford your product,  they may not find themselves worthy of purchasing your product. (perhaps they don't think they deserve it).

They are not familiar with your craft

This is your opportunity to share a story on how your products are made.  People love a story and when they realise how much love and effort has gone into making your product a new level of appreciation is created.  

They are not your customer

Customer profiling is super important.  If you haven't defined your ideal customer for your product and business yet, consider doing this sooner rather than later.  

You want to ensure you are getting your product in front of the right people. By analysing your customers behaviours and hangouts, you can get your product in the right environment.

Getting consistent feedback of 'too expensive' may indicate that you may need to consider changing 'where' you are selling your product from. For example: Perhaps you are attempting to sell $75+ items at a market stall where the average market spend is $25?  Would your products be best suited to a boutique / exhibition shop / high end retail outlet?

In summary, try not to lose hope or allow your confidence to be knocked by such a comment. Return to researching your ideal customer and ensure you are in the right place presenting your products to them.

Have you experienced someone labelling your prices as too expensive? How did you deal with the situation?

What Should I Charge For Labour Costs In My Handmade Biz?

Kerri Tutton

handmade-biz-planner-what-should-i-charge-for-labour-costs-in-my-handmade-biz 

This is a SUPER DOOPER question and one that challenges many of us creatives.  

Firstly though, the fact that you have asked this question is fabulous so give yourself a pat on the back, as it means that you are thinking about your business product pricing seriously and you are not giving away your handmade products as a labour of love. (which is also fine btw - if you are running a hobby not a business).

So where to start?

For those of you that already have a job and your goal is to replace the day job, you may choose to use your current hourly rate to start with.  For those not earning what they want to earn, you may jump to calculating the hourly rate from a salary that takes your fancy.

Some of you may feel a bit awky about choosing an hourly rate, so your option is to add on a profit amount - go careful with this though as some of your handmade creations may take longer to make than others, you do want to have some consistency with your pricing to encourage your customers to trust they are getting a fair price.

Another option is to research what it would cost your business if you were to take on a staff member. Especially if you have a longterm goal to grow, you may need to consider at some stage paying an hourly rate, GST or VAT and Superannuation contributions perhaps.

Which ever way you choose to select your rate, the most important part now is to ensure you are incorporating the charges for the time you spend creating your product into your 'Cost Price'.  

Now for some of you, you may have lots of different techniques that you may need to consider.  As a jewellery maker I would often find that the time I spent on a new technique/design would often shorten the more I practiced, so be sure to re-asses the timing of your labour, to ensure you are charging correctly.

Then when you feel that you are more experience, you may decide to increase your rate (you are after all the boss now, so don't forget to give yourself a pay rise).

Once you have established your business and you want to move to the next phase, it would even be worth your while to consider other labour costs to your business such as time spent on:

  • Packaging
  • Quality Assurance Testing
  • Taking Product Photographs 
  • Listing Products
  • Delivering Products to the Post Office
  • Financials
  • Procurement of Business Materials
  • Conference and Meetings

Remember your day job, there is someone being paid to do all of the above, don't think for a minute that just because you are running a handmade business that you don't qualify to charge for it as well, just remember, who would you be paying if you had a staff member to do your job!

That's right - make sure you pay yourself and know your worth.


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