Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I had a great laugh today compliments of this article

I think that this cartoon really hits the nail on the head. How many times do we have communication issues (see what the customer wanted first and last frame: tiered swing instead of tire swing), under budget for all those great projects, and get caught up in crazy marketing strategies or sales pressures?

We all must live in a media saturated world. Everyone must promote themselves be they doctors, lawyers, tradesmen, or small business owners. The big questions are, for me and anyone with a small business: How do we compete with big business? How do we market ourselves? How do we gain exposure? How do we show the value of what we do for a living?

I'm personally not a competitor. I'm a fighter if I think I (or my family and friends) have been wronged( my husband would say tenacious, driven, protective). But I hate competing with others. A competitor is defined as any person or entity which is a rival against another. I hate rivals. I like friends. I hate being a business rival of my friends business. And yet that is where I find myself. So I looked into many venues when I started. Some have great exposure, some have great tools for the sellers and others have great people.....can you guess which is my favorite?

I am lucky to be in a selling venue where people not profits are valued most. Don't get me wrong everyone is gearing up for the holiday season and hoping that sales increase. What I mean is that while I sell jewellery and so does the next person we work together on problems, marketing, sales tactics. There is still competition but not at the expense or detriment of another. So, I am learning how to be a competitive business. I am using a unique yardstick. I am competing against myself. Can I design a better piece? Can I bring up my sales? I am a difficult boss and I am not very good at all of the technological aspects which irritates me as I am usually pretty okay at most things that I attempt to do. Maybe that is why I get bored with them so quickly. So here I am lousy at marketing, a technological newbie, hates being in competition with others, and I start my own jewellery business one of the most saturated competitive areas of the handmade movement. Not to mention the competition from low quality, inexpensive (dare I say cheap), mass produced big box store offerings. For me there is no competition. A handcrafted one of a kind unique item is worth a packing box full of mass produced offerings.

So what do we do when we are pushing for that sale, gunning for that promotion, wanting to get ahead? Do we mud sling, defame, undermine others? Or, do we employ honesty, camaraderie, and support? Maybe the mud slingers and defamers will get ahead in the short run but there is no better way to be able to look yourself in the mirror than to show honor and integrity. Let your work speak for itself, work harder, work smarter, and don't get caught up in the" I have to be the best to be happy at all costs mentality."

1 comment:

  1. I think what a lot of people neglect to realize is that groups of people - like the street team for example - succeed in groups. Success, like failure and misery, is contagious.

    There are plenty of people around to buy awesome, well made crafts. The market for poorly made, low priced and mass produced bits is always going to be tight as the two don't compete for the same people.