There is so much planning and stress going on behind the scenes at Sew Crafty right now, I wish I could share it all with you, but until decisions have been finalised it has to stay a secret, I promise I will tell all when the time is right. Whilst I have been planning and stressing my lovely H has been keeping me motivated daily with quotes and business articles (love her!) One of the articles she sent me was by James Caan Entrepreneur and BBC Dragon, talking about U.S.P. or Unique Selling Point.
You need to find that thing that you can offer that makes your business unique.
The article talks about a delivery company who are revolutionising online delivery to make it faster and more convenient for the customer, they have done such a great job that their company has just been bought by Ebay! Why this company you may ask, simple, they had a great idea and made it work. They had a Unique Selling Point. They created a company that solved a problem. Not every business idea is going to be golden, you only have to watch an episode of Dragons Den to see that what you think is going to have mass appeal doesn't always translate into a fortune five hundred company. However if you have an idea for a business, take some time to figure out what your USP is going to be, it can make the difference between success and failure.
If you are planning on starting a business there are lots of things to think about, one of the biggest to consider, that lots of people forget is to do market research.
- Check out the competition, Google for businesses who do similar things to what you want to create and go and visit them, email them, make friends with the owners, they may be able to give you some incite into what they have found easy/difficult in their business, but don't be offended if they don't want to share all their secrets, you are going to be in competition with these people, not everyone takes that lightly.
- Work out who your target customer is going to be, you need to find out what they want from a business like yours, and what they think is wrong with other businesses or products like yours that already exist.
- Find online forums in your niche and get on there and post questions. Find local groups that may have an interest in your business and ask to go along, see what problems they have and think how your business is going to solve those issues.
- You may find that the genius idea you had is actually already on your doorstep, maybe you can adjust your plans to work alongside the existing company to grow both your businesses together.
Most importantly, you need to find what is special about you or your product, the thing you can offer that is better than the rest. This may be a product or a service or even yourself. This needs to be the thing you promote over all else, the thing that will set you apart from your competition. Whether it is bespoke millinery or life coaching, you need to find that thing that you can offer that makes your business unique.
USP is one of the things we are working hardest at for our own business at the moment. We have heard that another business very similar to ours is moving into our town. We have been doing lots of research into how we can set ourselves apart from them in order to keep our business going. It will mean a lot of changes for us, but hopefully all for the better in the long run for ourselves, our customers and our community.
Check out James Caan's article here.
There are also some awesome articles and links on the Sewing Directory's Website if you are thinking about starting your own craft business, and this post on Rock and Roll bride has some great advice.