Mary Moreau

Friday, February 4, 2011

You Gotta Start Somewhere

I'm in the idea stage of starting a business. One should spend a bit of time in this stage - this stage doesn't cost much money (it doesn't earn you any money either) and is very important. This is the time where you figure out what your goals are for your business. This is where you realistically assess whether you can open your knitting bar, or if perhaps you should start smaller and online to keep the costs low as you figure out your business as it develops. This is where you develop a plan to achieve what you want. I like the idea stage, but the danger is not moving out of it. It's very low risk, you see.

While I'm excited about thinking about my business, it would be a lie to say that I don't find it a bit daunting. Here are just some things that I need to develop at least a working knowledge of: marketing, sales, accounting, statistics, shipping, taxes, pricing strategies. The thought of conducting a direct response marketing survey makes me queasy. There are people out there who are experts in these things, genuine experts! I am no expert. And these are the things that are not the business idea itself - they are the tools to promote success in your business.

I humbly acknowledge that I'm not even an expert in what I want to base my business around, which would be knitting and yarn. I'm very enthusiastic and willing to learn, but I'm not what you call an expert. A book I currently have checked out of the library, for example, is filled cover to cover with techniques I currently do not know. There is a whole history of techniques out there, not to mention new developments in the craft yet to happen. This leads me to conclude that I will never be a fully formed, completed, expert. Ever. That this knitting thing, this business thing, heck, this life thing is a journey. And as with all journeys they must start somewhere.

I'm going to open an Etsy shop and list three items within the next week (I will share the link when I do). I don't want (or expect) to make my living by selling my original hand knitted designs, but I'm knitting anyway, and it's a low risk way to start while I learn a bit more about all those other things I listed above, not to mention building relationships with prospective fibre farmers whose yarns I want to sell. I was afraid at first that selling my original stuff online would be straying too far from the concept of selling small farmer produced local yarn. But lately I've heard more than a couple of stories of businesses that start out one way and end up being successful in a different way.

You can think and prepare till the cows (or sheep!) come home, but there is really only one way to find out if your business will be successful. Start. Just place one foot firmly in front of the other and propel yourself forward.


Anonymous said...

I think it's brilliant that you're going to start a business. Everyone learns by doing, and enthusiasm is necessary. Good luck!

M.R. White: Portfolio said...

Your business should be your blog -- a blog about knitting. Just attract sponsors.