Business is always a gamble. That's why it's important to run your ideas into the gauntlet of pricing and production. Currently, I've been working on a project called SpiritTomb. Started as a form of passive income, it's Coven worthy goods have become an obsession of mine in my free time. Anxious about putting out that next item, I found myself researching for countless hours of the next trend in the market. A week ago, I was designing a pair of socks, just because I wanted to diversify price points in my storefront. I ordered a sample from the manufacturer and as soon as they arrived I told myself, 'I don't even wear socks (sorry mom.) If I won't wear theses, who's to say my customers will?' Not every idea has to be a good one, and that's okay. In order to have a good product, you have to have a good idea (duh). An idea that excites you, the customer, as well as serve a purpose or function.
I told myself to slow down put more effort into conceptual thoughts and ideas, as well as asking for important feedback from customers and peers. Here's a list of 6 steps I use to get a more meaningful product.
Find intention of your ideas and forming a medium to get that idea across. Ask yourself, Does the world need this or do I need this? Join your concept to the chosen product. Be sure to gauge the market for your idea. It's important to understand why type of value your concept has in the market.
Find out what the marketplace looks like for your product. How do you set yourself apart from others in the market? Sometimes, all you need to do is look at the market and do the opposite of that. Other times, you need to dig a little deeper and figure out what other variables go into research and be sure to those variables are added top the cost of the product. Know exactly where your product places in the marketplace. Is your product low end? Is it high end?
Pricing is important. Determine the cost of both wholesale pricing and retail pricing. If you up your cost on products, be sure that you can justify it. Leave yourself room for actual growth. A quick formula I find easy and useful is Product cost x 3 = Price of Retail. One-third for the cost of the product, one-third to pay you, and one-third to grow your business. This is not a bullet-proof business model, but it will get you in the right ballpark. Remember when you're looking at other people in the market you're figuring out what their price points are too.
Two avenues; make it yourself or find someone to make it for you. Even with the formula above, be sure to add padding to your pricing to cover other costs of production. Spending a little more on production can be more useful in the long run. Especially, when it comes to buying items in large quanitity or in bulk. The extra $100 you spend now on production can make you $300 in the long run. Even with low overhead, sometimes it really is worth it.
Sell that Sh*t!
Resist the urge to do pre-sales or crowd fund. Don't just add products online once your product is in hand, have a quality release. Consider factors like what time of day, what day of the month to release a product (i.e. payday), and when it might sell best for the season. Be sure to understand SEO and keywords when selling your product, it can take you a long way for finding new customers. Thumbnails are the most important thing when listing products online, it's the first thing your customers see, be sure it has a lasting impression.
Was it all worth it?
Ah, the post-mortem! Did your item sell out? Do you re-release or keep that 'sold out'sticker on your online shop? Sometimes having a sold-out item on your shop shows that there is a demand for your product, which in turn can offer a justifiable price increase. If your products are low cost and low over-head sometimes it's easier for a re-release. Is it worth more than the price per if it fits into your long-term plan as a secondary objective? That part is up to you and what you want most from your idea and brand.
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