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Help with new business start up!

(8 Posts)
monobrowmum Mon 08-Oct-12 19:28:57

Hi,

I'm a stay at home mum of 14 month old twins and have recently started up a small crafting business from home making children and home items. I've only been running for a few months and so far things have been going fairly well but I still need business to pick up a bit. I'm wondering if there are any other mums out there that might help me with some feedback with my online store. Please note this is not a "oh look at me and buy my things" advert, I genuinely would like some help knowing whether or not my pricing is in the right ballpark and whether there are other items I should be thinking of making that might appeal to mums.

Also if there is anyone out there that knows anything about approaching small independent shops (boutiquey types) about stocking my items any advice would be most appreciated.

www.loubrowndesigns.etsy.com

Thanks in advance,

Lou

TalkinPeace2 Mon 08-Oct-12 19:46:18

Where else do you sell?
Etsy
notonthehighshtreet
ebay

as those will give you visibility - but its a VERY competitive market and its worth getting the tax and business side of things sorted as early as you can

monobrowmum Mon 08-Oct-12 20:38:49

Hi TalkinPeace2 - thanks for your feedback, I'm already on etsy and following your response have applied to notonthehighstreet, I've not tried eBay yet but will give it a whirl.

I will try and get my tax etc sorted asap.

Thanks for your help,

Lou

Jellykat Mon 08-Oct-12 21:42:12

Hi Lou, i sell to shops.. This is how i approach it - I chat to manager or whoever is working there at the time, describe what i make and if they think the owner would be interested, find out when the owner is in, what their mark up is, and get shops telephone number (as well as best time to ring)..

Then ring owner at that time/day, explaining what i do and could i make an appt to show them my work/samples.

Then comes the tricky bit! If they're interested you'll need to say how much you want per item.. You need to work out what they'll retail at with the mark up, and if its viable - theres usually a bit of negotiation at that stage.. if its Sale or return i stick by my guns, if they're willing to buy i drop the price a bit.

It's a bit scarey, as there's always the possibility your things will be rejected (i luckily haven't yet) trick is to not take it personally, to be confident, and show them your things like they're the best on the planet! smile

HTH.

monobrowmum Mon 08-Oct-12 21:50:33

Oh thank you that is just great advice, right, I'm going to be super confident business woman! Brilliant, I know what to do now. Thank you so much.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 08-Oct-12 22:18:27

monobrow
and if you really go for it you'll be like a friend who started on etsy and is now a seller on John Lewis .....

tax stuff - read my ebayers guide - feel free to print it out
members.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewUserPage&userid=talkinpeace

Jellykat Mon 08-Oct-12 22:32:23

Ooo - Another bit of advice, when shops take your stock, go in after a month or so, talk to the owner if its quiet, and find out how it's going, what the feedback is .. It's good to get a feel about if the price is too high/low etc as a reference for your next conquest smile, and you never know they may want more eventually! I feel its good to build a relationship up.

Good luck! smile

broodylicious Fri 12-Oct-12 22:59:38

Ooooh your stuff is gorgeous!! Personally I think the pricing is right too. I wouldn't be surprised to see your things on notonthehighstreet.com as they have that lovely funky, can be bothered/do care vibe going on - have you approached them? I'm not sure about zulily.com too? No other advice other than keep up the good work! gringrin

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