Tim is returning to study postgrad law in August, which I am utterly proud of him for. Though it means he can only manage three days of work per week after then. He currently manages a bookshop that's so hectic the job can't be done in three days a week. The best offer they could give him instead was a hefty pay cut and a demotion (which, if I may say, I find quite ridiculous given his experience and skill there). In any case, he resigned and will no longer be working there in four weeks time. This is worrying in two ways: what if he can't find another job, and even if he does find one, how will we manage without a steady full-time income?
The best way out is for Heidi & Seek to start earning a steady income to make up the difference. I really don't want to have to start applying for jobs elsewhere, because as bloody difficult as it is to run your own business, at least it's mine and runs on my own terms. It's flexible for when I have to be home for Ellie, and since I work from home I don't need to waste time commuting. I don't want to put it on the backburner, as it inevitably will be if I get another job.
So, I've been trying to figure out how to step up my game. I worked out how much I'd need to sell per week and per month, and honestly, the figure feels so far away it's not funny. I'm half moping at the futility of it all and half planning (and continuing to sew winter stuff in between) because I can't get these issues out of my head. Things I want to do:
- Get to know my market better. This is the one that's troubling me the most, and also what I think is the most important. There is a difference between the things I make and the things people buy, and I have no real idea what that is. I just guess and experiment, and while that's cool some of the time, it's not good enough for every time. I'm not sure how to go about this yet.
The survey I put up a while ago wasn't as helpful as I anticipated, maybe because I didn't ask the right questions. I need to understand the difference between people saying 'that's cool' and people actually buying something. Maybe it would help to study what things of mine have sold quickly and gotten attention, and try to mimic their features in new pieces, but that's harder than it sounds: How do I know if something sold because that one customer liked it a lot but most people wouldn't?
- Post new listings every day. I've been good with this the past couple of weeks, though to be honest I'm not sure it's helped sales. But I do think in theory it's better to give lots of choice. What do you think?
- Open up my Made It shop again. I'm trying to make enough winter stock so I can fill my Made It and Etsy shop. I'd like to try Made It again because it's smaller, therefore easier to get seen, plus it's local and I seem to have gotten mostly Aussie sales recently.
- Start doing a market. This idea freaks me out a little because it's new and I've never done one before. Plus it involves me spending a whole lot of time finding display things, making signs, arranging the stalls, and so on and so on. But, given my previous income calculations, I don't think I can rely solely on online sales.
- Work on wholesale accounts.
P.S. Heidi & Seek is in the new Frankie mag, out tomorrow (squee!). Check it out, there's also details to enter a competition to win one of five Heidi & Seek tops! I don't have a scanner, but I'll try to grab a picture of it soon.