Saturday, 28 July 2012

Olympic Ideas - Business Tip

From: Handmade Silver Jewellery UK

This week (and next), I won't be running my usual feature of handmade items from fellow creative artists as I'm going to be participating in the Dorset Arts and Crafts Association annual exhibition.  It runs from 3rd August - 7th August (click the picture for further information)
I therefore thought this week I'd provide a couple of business tips for fellow artists. Plus, with the Olympics and the gorgeous sunshine - who going to spend hours at their computer?  So, quick business tips will be 'just the ticket' to read and keep in mind for when you have more time to think about doing something with them.

Bovington, Dorset. 3rd August - 7th August
 Business Tips

Re-evaluate your products
When was the last time you thought long and hard about the designs of the products you offer? Do they still meet the needs of your customers or do they need an overhaul? As technology, competition and your customer’s fashion change over time; be sure your products keep up!

Test before you roll out your handmade craft
Wondering if a new product idea will sell? Consider testing it out before making several. If you attend craft fairs – take along just a couple of variations and ask customer’s opinions – ask for their thoughts and would they like to see something different within your item?
Online cost-effective testing vehicles include email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising like Google AdWords, and social media like Facebook and Twitter. PPC advertising is one of the fastest and easiest ways to test a new market niche or product, but you'll need to invest a bit of time writing your ads
For the creative people – this market research is a worthwhile task and you'll learn a lot about your customers thoughts and your markets in the process.  A good time to test is now, ready to have some lovely tried and tested ideas for the Christmas season.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Saturday Showcase and a Small Business Tip

This Saturday's Showcase of UK handmade goods is here!
For the people who appreciate that with handmade comes quality - you're really going to love this selection.
For the artists amongst us, who appreciate handmade because you know just what goes into it - take a look at my tip for small businesses at the bottom of the blog.
I hope you enjoy my amazing selection this week.

1. Brooch - iCandy Crafts
2. Card - Zuleikha's art
3. Hair Clip, Fimo - Pretty Little Tings
4. Beanie - Rainbows'N'More
5.Bag - Crafty Bags
6.Glossy Print  - Crystal MoonCat
7. Silver Pendant - Handmade Silver Jewellery UK
8.Pincushion - RuthDesigns
9.Cushion - MinXures Clothing and Accessories
10. Head band - Zoe's Shop

Business Tip of the Week
People buy from small businesses because they often receive a personal touch. They buy from handmade artists because they know that overall the product is better!  However, all businesses make mistakes - we wouldn't be human if we didn't.  The key is not to compound your mistakes. Delivering good customer service means quickly and accurately fixing those mistakes and you'll earn loyalty.  On the other hand, compounding one mistake with another is a sure fire way of driving away your customers.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Support Handmade in the UK

This week's blog is for all to guess my chosen theme.
Once again, I've search Folksy and found some stunning items - but at least this week they're still all for sale as I haven't beaten you to it and bought one of the featured items!
So what's the theme? - send a comment telling me what you think it is

The talent in the UK is amazing and for people who don't craft - there's some real delights for you to see this week.

Considering that the artists who make the items each week all run their own small businesses, I'm adding tip each time for which will I hope prove useful to the artisans too.

1. Sailing cushion - Jenny Harris Designs
2. Felt picture on Linen - Dollydoo
3.Silver Boat  Pendant - Silver Jewellery
4. Badges - CraftsCouncil
5. Canvas Bag - Handmaid
6. Art Photograph - Paradici
7. Vintage Fabric Picture - LouTonkin - Artist
8. Art Card - Megan Claire
9. Coaster - The Mosaic Garden
10. T-Shirt - Rusks and Rebels

Tip of the week
Respond promptly to requests for information / posting your sold items
Many large businesses lack the personal touch and this is where small businesses have the upper hand.  However, the key is to ensure that you don't leave your customers waiting.
When customers request information/ have bought one of your items, they expect a quick response.  When you fail to to do - due to poor organisation, incorrect contacts or a busy schedule - customers are left feeling abandoned and most likely won't do business with you now or in the future.

All the work and designs on this blog are copyrighted to the artist and any infringement of this could result in action being taken.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Brightening up your Day....

It sure is pouring down with rain in the South West of England, so I decided to brighten things up a little this week with my choice of the ten artisans this week.  Again, going to be fairly obvious what my theme is - but I'm not sure if anything can brighten the floods down this way!

I do hope if you're a fellow artist you enjoy my choices and if you're a non crafty person can see the love and dedication which has gone into every piece that I have selected for my blog this week

Number 6 is particulaly apt at the moment and is absolutely gorgeous! So much so, that I've just bought it, ha, ha - I'm sure you'll find some other lovely things from Handmade by suqiz in the shop as I've amended this link so you can visit the main page for this artist.

1. Yellow Skies, Mixed Media  - Sue Coo Art
2. Yellow Finch, Paper - recycled found and purchased - Rae Welch
3. Yellow Rosette - Hand rolled Felt - Hooperhart
4. Yellow Flowers - Silver and Epoxy Resin - Handmade Jewellery
5. Yellow Rose - Sinamay and metal hair clip - The Millinery Studio
6. Yellow Duck - Card - Polymer Clay - Handmade by suziq
7. Yellow Peas - Linoprint  -LaLishDesign
8. Yellow Bear - Crocheted -  Monique Boutique
9. Yellow Light - limited edition print - Betty bay design
10. Yellow Shawl - Chrocheted - Pushek

Please be aware that all the rights to the designs belong with the artists.