I need help finding a mentor

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I need help finding a mentor

Postby megrit » Thu May 15, 2014 12:07 pm

Please help me hook up with a mentor.
I am in the process of creating a line of cards, stationery and giftware using my original artwork. I would love to find a mentor who has been through a similar process and can give me good information and real-life tips on such things as sourcing my materials, figuring out my price point, and determining my best market.
Thanks for your attention.
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Re: I need help finding a mentor

Postby SquarePeg » Tue May 20, 2014 2:10 pm

You might try contacting a local camera club, even if you use a different medium for your cards.
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Re: I need help finding a mentor

Postby tui » Tue May 27, 2014 2:13 am

Contact your local Chamber of Commerce and see what they can offer. Live people can be useful for referrals and advocacy for you. Plus you can often take ideas from one biz stream and move them to your own area. The CofC may also run training for start up businesses. They may be able to provide you with a list of craft fairs, farmers' markets, and other outlets for your products. And direct you to a useful/practical book-keeper, legal adviser, affordable coach.

This link might also be useful - whatever size you plan to be: http://www.skilledup.com/learn/business ... epreneurs/

And Cheat! There's free advice on etsy, even if you don't plan on selling online just yet. However, stay out of the briars around generalised advice that's online. Don't over-analyse yourself. Be reluctant to say 'yes' until you're sure you know what's in it for you. Not everyone is on your side. :shock:

Pricing depends a lot on your locale, the places where you are offering your products, what your competition is pricing at, and what your ideal customer would expect to pay. Make sure you're never out of pocket, though. And look for wholesale suppliers of your basic materials. Know where the bargains and bulk can be got at prices that keep your profit healthy.

Absolutely do your market research homework before you go much further. Even if you bomb out the first time - the world will still be here the following day. It's sensible to minimise risk and loss, no doubting. But you will have to take a few, measured and sensible risks to get valuable feedback and direction. Do some test runs. Find out about testing - it's not as geeky as it sounds. Promise. Even the smallest tweaks can make a big difference in conversion from looker to buyer.

Also rummage at your local bookstores and library for useful books. Your products may well be different - yet the basic recipes remain the same. When you've mastered those, and you're selling well - then you can modify the recipes. Not before and not without testing.

As one person puts it: 'Success leaves clues'. Find the ones that fit your products, personality, and current circumstances. Be a 'chicken entrepreneur' (as in ultra-prudent) and you'll probably do well.
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