The top 3 reasons most handmade shops fail and how to avoid them

Oct 18, 2017 | Handmade Business Tips, Online Shop

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Today we’re talking about the top 3 reasons most handmade shops fail and I’m going to give you a few tips to avoid that. This is not about shaming you and telling ‘Oh, you’re doing this! You’re definitely going to fail!’ I’m just here to give you a bit of insight. It’s all about learning from other people’s mistakes.

You can watch the video, or read the post below.

#1 – Dreading numbers (01:41)

Most creatives don’t really like the idea of numbers, but numbers are the foundation of a successful business. It’s something we usually just want to push aside and not look into them (‘maybe next month! Surely it’s not that important!’). Well, numbers help you get CLEAR and they literally are the language of business. If you’re in this as a biz not as a hobby, then you need to speak that language.

There are a few key metrics that would be good to have a habit of sitting down one hour each month to take a look:

  • Pricing – you can read more here and here. Make sure you’ve done it properly. Can you break down with great precision the price on each of your items? Or did you just guesstimate it?
  • Sales / Traffic / Conversion Rate – it doesn’t take long to check and it should give you great insight.
  • Google Analytics – if you don’t have that installed yet, go and get it, because it will get you great info on what your audience is doing on your website and helps you tweak things to earn more.

This gives you precise insights into your business and what’s working/not working. Guesstimating business is not the best way to make it work 😉

#2 – Exhaustion and overwhelm (05:57)

It’s really just being tired of trying to work it out but not knowing how, when you have too much work and not enough return. When you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel: giving it all you’ve got but not really getting anywhere. I know it’s not a practical thing like pricing, but it’s something much bigger when you can’t organize yourself to be able to do it in a long run.

If you feel like you’re drowning in a to-do list that is NEVER ending and barely crossing anything off of it I would love for you to just scrap some things off that to do list right now. For sure there are things there that you don’t need to do right now. Take a hard, cold look at your list and ask yourself what is the number one thing that you need to do and just get rid of the rest. If you have too much on to do it feels like you’ll never be able to do it all and it’s exhausting. Don’t do this to yourself! Don’t feel like you have to listen to all those advise that you find everywhere on the internet. Take things one step at a time and don’t exhaust yourself.

#3 – Not doing things in the right order (08:40)

There are so many examples of that:

  • starting with setting up a shop and pricing before thinking about strategy and customer avatar. It should go the other way around – start with strategy, customer avatar, branding, niche etc. before you start implementing the practical things like pricing. Again, this is not to point fingers and tell you will fail. If you’ve done that, just make sure to come back and work on those things.
  • jumping into social media before you create your collections, branding, have product photography etc. It doesn’t mean you can’t be successful when you do it, but doing it in opposite order can be more efficient, and we all know how exhausting social media can be!
  • pricing before packaging – if you set a price and two months later you decide on different packaging – where is this new packaging reflected in your price?

The Maker’s Roadmap (12:31)

After talking with a lot of you and seeing those mistakes I’ve created The Maker’s Roadmap to help with all of them. It’s a planner that comes with videos to help you work through the activities in there. It follows a roadmap so it helps you fight the overwhelm and grow your business in a most efficient way possible while also organizing your daily life and family activities. You can join the waitlist here:

It’s a powerful tool to help you fight exhaustion, overwhelm and make sure you’re doing things in the right order. It also helps you keep track of your numbers because at the end of it there’s a number tracker for you to fill in every month.

If anything that I’ve said today resonated with you please don’t feel like I’m pointing fingers at you and saying ‘oh, you’re doing this, this is bad!’. Just take it in as a way to make your business more efficient and more productive.

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