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Old 01-22-2017, 10:43 AM   #1
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Unhappy Need advice on starting a business

Hi, I lived in Alabama and tried to start a vinyl business, it was not a very business friendly place so I got a job and put my business on hold. We moved to South Dakota a year and a half ago, I don't have much job experience so I wanted to try and start a business here, in the past I have made handmade soaps, made embroidered and vinyl shirts, and vinyl decals. I have done some research and there are already successful businesses in my town making bath products, embroidered shirts, vinyl shirts and car decals. There aren't many jobs I am qualified or experienced for available here. Would you still try and start a business doing one of those crafts? The ones that are already established here have stores and I can't afford a store to try and get my business going .

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Old 01-23-2017, 07:40 PM   #2
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The question I have is where do you intend to sell your work? Online or at craft fairs?
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:49 PM   #3
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Sherry,

Forget your in town "competition". There are 300 million people in America. Go online. Even with thousands of online craft businesses, there are still plenty of folks looking for what they consider a good deal from someone they want to work with (you!). GoDaddy and others offer free website hosting for small sites. Dream up a good name, make your own website with their wysiwyg software (reflecting your personality), and get started. I started my business 17 years ago in my closet (literally) using Microsoft Frontpage. Today, I have a 52,000 square foot factory and 70 employees. We do $6 million+ in business and we are growing. I never once worried about "the other guy". Just develop your own approach, your own products (even if they are like the others), and start going national. Let your local shops compete with each other for local business. I do very, very little business in my town of 250,000 people. In fact, I probably do more business in Canada than in my home town. I hope that helps in some small way.
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Old 08-13-2017, 05:58 PM   #4
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The internet is a fantastically vast place, you don't need to limit yourself to your IRL market, which might seem saturated with other crafters making the things you do. Even so, it will help to look at what those people are making, and see if you can design things that are a little bit different - there's a thousand things you can do with vinyl, after all - that other people locally don't seem to be doing. Market research is also very helpful: ask around or make a questionnaire to share on Facebook and find out if there's anything people wish the other crafters were selling, but currently don't. It's a good place to start your brainstorming. Good luck!
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:53 PM   #5
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I absolutely agree. You'd better use Internet for your product sales. I think you should start with a website creation. It is not that much complicated, especially with ready templates. Personally I built my site using one of the makeup shop wordpress themes. After that you can work on promotion (I started with social media) and expand online. I hope it helps. Good luck!
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Old 09-23-2017, 12:03 AM   #6
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Online is the best place to run a business these days. It is just too hard to have one offline like works that is niche selective. You can start on somewhere like etsy and then branch off of that when you have enough fans.
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:48 PM   #7
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A number of people say online is the best way to sell your work. I shut down my website because if I had to rely on it I would go bankrupt.

I like doing face to face craft shows. I just did a 2 weekend show in upstate New York and when all was said and done I had just under $5,000 in my bank bag. That would take me 2 months to make online.
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