With a growing demand for independent brands and investing in local business; there’s no better time to start thinking about using your talents to make money. The American public is becoming more and more savvy about where and how they source their products which has resulted in a fresh need for smaller enterprises to emerge and grow steadily. The internet age means consumers have access to and knowledge of a plethora of smaller, independent companies, that they’re choosing to buy from instead of the bigger corporations they’re used to seeing on every billboard.
However, the market is a saturated one, and there are new startups popping up across the country every week. Places like Oklahoma City could be a good area to take note of; it ranks top of the list for American entrepreneurs looking for a successful beginning to their company, according to CNBC’s list of the top 15 cities in America to start a business in 2017. Other contenders include Salt Lake City, Charlotte in North Carolina, and Austin in Texas; showing there’s plenty of opportunities available for a fledgling brand nationwide. If you’re thinking of taking your creations on to the market; you’ll need to ensure you’re able to compete with the others that have a similar idea. The following are some ideas for those at the beginning of their startup journey and who want to get off to a great start.
Testing The Waters
Before you quit your day job and beginning the production process and spend your savings; you’ll need to ensure that there’s going to be enough of a demand for your brand to sustain it. Like most smaller artisan businesses; you should begin in your local area at markets, festivals, and pop-up events. Seeing your potential customers in person and gauging a general reaction, will be a valuable way to conduct your market research. If the reaction is positive at your targeted events, and consumers are buying your items and taking your contact details; it’s a great sign of things to come.
Make sure you know who your consumer audience are and head towards places they’re likely to frequent to test the waters. After the markets and festivals; you’ll be able to do some strategic planning regarding the cost and time it takes to create your products, and the resulting turnover and profit you can make, and potentially increase in the future. Be realistic and give yourself a contingency; quiet times and peak shopping times of the year always hit small businesses hard, so you’ll need to ensure you could withstand both.
Once you’ve figured out your business plan and feel confident in moving forward with our new brand; you’ll need to start thinking about any investments you’ll need to make. You’ll probably need to lease or build a dedicated space to create your wares, or perhaps you’ll need to consider the import costs of your materials, tools, and budget for new equipment. If you don’t have a large sum of money to pay for your brand’s investments; you could look into a cash advance lender and work out a repayment plan that suits your small company. As long as you’ve done your sums correctly, can afford your outgoings, and have some money set aside for quieter times; there’s no reason your startup can’t get off to a successful start.
Doing your research before you pick any suppliers and buyers for your brand is a vital part of its success story. Make sure if you’re importing anything that it’s from a reputable and trusted supplier; the cheapest option might seem appealing for a small business, but it could cost you dearly in the long run if products are of low quality or don’t show up. The same goes for those who want to buy your items; ensure you pick companies with excellent results and reputation so that you don’t become the victim of any scams or are taken advantage of in your tentative first year. Work hard to build trusting and strong relationships with those who provide you with great service and supplies; don’t become the problem in the supply chain and others will begin to take note of your brand.
Promoting Your Brand
As a new artisan business on the scene; you’ll need to ensure all the right people hear about you and what you do. The markets, festivals, and events that were mentioned earlier are the perfect place to start your marketing and promotion. Make sure that you have all your social media platforms set up, so you can grow a steady influx of followers and create a strong online presence, and be consistent in posting content and the progression of your business. Consumers will buy into the story behind your brand, so let them know your process and developments along the way, and you’ll be an artisan success story in no time.