Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Markets for one-of-a-kind things

          Free daily tips, information, advice and ideas
          to help you better manage your small business

     Anyone can create a limited edition product. Artists and artisans do it all the time. Whether or not it will attract a buyer is another matter.

     Paintings, jewelry, and accessories are produced in one-of-a-kind pieces. So are sculptural pieces, special cakes, and motorcycles. 

     It's the market that rules. Artists can still starve in their studios waiting for the buying public. If you can grab the public's attention, then you're on your way. 

     Social media is a great way to reach out to large numbers of people. Take pictures of whatever you've created, post it to Facebook or other social media, and you get lots of eyeballs looking at what you can do.

     Example: Tom had a passion for motorcycles and owned several. But his business was the restoration of antique vehicles. When he had the time, he built a custom motorcycle for himself. At rallies, it attracted lots of attention. Tom began taking orders for custom bikes and gradually transformed his business. Today, he no longer restores antique vehicles. Instead, his shop is entirely devoted to the design and production of custom motorcycles for racing enthusiasts, weekend riders, collectors and others. Tom matched his talents and interests to a market opening and transformed his business. 

     To build your future, be alert to market trends and the interests of customers and clients. If you listen carefully, people will alert you to opportunities you might not otherwise see.

     Example: Jeanine makes gold and silver jewelry in her small home studio. With lots of experience behind her, she turns out rings, earrings, bracelets and other pieces for discriminating clients. Jeanine met Isabel, a compatible business partner, who hand-paints silks, leathers and other materials as accessories. Together, the two women opened a small working studio. It attracted immediate attention. Their combined customer base was similar, but they did not compete with each other. People were drawn to the handmade limited editions offered, and they referred others. The two women maintain separate Facebook pages, and this brought more people to the studio. Recently, they met Ed who produces fine wood turnings that are sculptural displays. Now, these limited edition artists are combining their talents into a single destination for the discriminating buying public. The three artists are discussing the possibility of expanding into a high-end gift shop with other artists. 

     Two or more artists can complement other talents and attract more attention than can any one acting alone. Always remember, however, that while your talents are the vehicles for your creativity, those vehicles are powered by the buying public. You must sell what you create.

     Markets for one-of-a-kind creations are out there. The key is to reach out and find the people who will buy your creations. Social media is the way to spread the word and find large numbers of customers.