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Coffee Date - Let's Talk Business

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

{Introducing: New Weekly Series!} 

In the world of business-y stuff, my next favorite thing to sewing is talkin' shop.  From the get-go, I've loved chatting over the ins and outs of creative small businesses. The mistakes, the lessons, the successes....mine and everyone else's. It's why I gathered up the smarts from others savvy entrepreneurs and crafted my e-book. It's why I started business coaching. 

Often, I wish we could all just meet up for coffee, chat, and discuss businesses.  Ask questions, admit our fears, share our stories. And of course, a fair bit of celebrating. 

While we won't have the cozy get away of our local coffee shop, I invite you to brew a mug and join the conversation!  

Here's what I'm thinking -> entrepreneurs, makers, dreamers, & shop owners...this means you!...post your business related question or topic you'd like to cover. Each Wednesday I'll post one of the questions (though I'll try to address them all) with my thoughts, resources, and perhaps invite a guest to share their perspective.  No topic off limits (well, within reason I suppose ;) and we'll keep it general so it applies to everyone.  

Ready? Go ahead - post your burning business question now!  I'll meet ya in the comments. 


eamylove said...

I'm interested in selling my own tutorial style PDF patterns. I'm starting with my Etsy shop. How would I approach online vendors to sell them on their websites as well? Thank you for any advice!

JennyGoLightly said...

I've had this burning desire recently to open and own my own fabric store and sewing studio. I have no background in business or starting a business (for real). My question is, how do I go about doing market research without showing my cards? I want to ask my local quilt guild on Flickr to fill out a survey that would help me figure out where my shop should exist, what I should carry, hours, etc? but I'm afraid that doing so might open me up to some competition. Is this just an assumed risk?

Another question is how do I even start with trying to figure out how much capital I would need? How can I find out the cost of bolts of fabric and display furniture if I'm not on the inside with easy access to wholesale prices?

Any help is much much appreciated!

Ooh Leela! said...

I have decided to take the plunge and start my own line of pet apparel and accessories. I have had a shop on Etsy for the past two years and I feel Etsy is so saturated.

I actively participate in team events, chat sessions, circlemanias, BNRs, etc, but I feel that there are probably better channels out there.

In addition, one of my goals for the year is to get local pet boutiques to carry my line. I am pretty scared about that.

So I guess my question is: how does one establish its presence on Etsy as well as outside of Etsy?

Salinda said...

Love this idea!

I have two burning questions right now: 1) I have a shop on Etsy. I would like to have my own site, but 95% of my sales are custom. How could I do this? The standard shopping cart sites don't seem to do the trick. 2)What do you think about Etsy's direct check-out?

Tania said...

Hello Allisa,
Thanks for inviting us for coffee. I don't drink any myself but will gladly join you for a chat.

I've read some of your older blog posts and found that you started out selling mostly bibs. I guess what I'd like to know is: how much time passed before you found your niche? Did you just keep putting different products out there and see what people like best or did you feel that you had to take a new direction yourself?
It could be that this information is already somewhere on your blog, but there are so many posts to go through (all lovely though!) so I thought I'd just ask here.

I look forward to seeing these weekly posts. Now I'll have coffee chats on Wednesdays and OMHG chats on Thursdays. Yay for having a social life! ;)

Ooh Leela! said...

I'm loving Tania's question! Happy Friday!

allisa jacobs said...

Thank you everyone for the fantastic list of questions! I look forward to discussing them in the weeks to come. See you in the chats :)