5/11/14

creative talk: designing the product


In previous posts about small businesses, I talked about figuring out your direction and your audience, and in this one, I want to focus on product.

I'm not necessarily talking just about physical product-- a blog can be a product, a photography business can be a product-- in this I'm talking about the exact thing you will offer.

A little harsh reality: no matter how much great marketing or buzz or audience you have, if your product isn't what people are looking for, or has problems with it, they aren't going to buy it or subscribe to it, or work with it. It's a simple as that.

When I first started making bags, I realized that the quality of the product was a big deal. I started using smaller rivets for my leather straps but quickly realized that the larger rivets, (while not as a pretty), were necessary for the bag. I've also changed my leather because I found another kind that worked better for me and the customer. I've also had some interactions with vendors I sell to that were hard to hear, but in the end, have helped me develop a better product.

Making these little changes is key. They aren't huge overhauls, just small tweaks. You could approach a blog or any business the same way. Get feedback regarding your business. What works? What doesn't? Find your brutally honest but loving friend (doesn't everyone have someone like this?) who will give you a critique you can work with. And to make it clear-- I'm not talking the random commenter or customer that you can't ever please-- I'm talking about someone who cares about you and your business and wants you to succeed.

Find the changes that need to be done, and then follow through with them. It may be hard, or frustrating, but creating something that people are drawn to and love will be the core of your business.

Do you have people who can offer you critiques about your ideas? If you aren't sure you have the right person, try connecting with other small business owners on social media. Build a rapport and see if they can be the one to offer advice.

xo, erika

read previous creative talk posts: honing your idea | figuring out your audience

4 comments

  1. Awesome to see behind the scenes, and catch some of your tips for developing : )

    Gemma
    Faded Windmills

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  2. I've definitely tried to figure out what I can do/make that I think people would want. I switched up from jewelry to bags and purses because I like the idea of making something that's useful and utilitarian. These posts are great!

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  3. I love this post, it can be hard to step out & do something different but necessary! Currently trying to dig myself out of stagnating in the comfortable zone I'm in.

    xx
    Here&Now

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  4. I've been in that spot of trying to figure out the best product to make for too many times, and I have to say, I haven't quite mastered it yet. I'm in dire need of that critical eye you were talking about.

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