Monday, July 26, 2010

You're the Boss: Part 2

Today I am going to start breaking down my list of my

Top 10 Tips for Starting a
Successful Home-Based Business

So let's look at the first one:
Sell a Product that you Love to Make

Notice it doesn't say Sell a Product that you Love.  Remember that if your business thrives, you could potentially be making this product everyday for the next several years.  If it frustrates or bores you... you will wish you had decided to sell a product that you love to make!

Last year I put on a boutique, Much Ado About the Holidays, to introduce the 2010 line of calendars.  I had several friends that volunteered to help me that evening, in exchange for their 2010 calendar.  It was a win-win.  I decided to make aprons for each of them, so that the guests at the boutique would know who was there to assist them.

Here we all were, right before heading over to the boutique:

Aren't those aprons cute?
I thought so... and so did many people at the boutique.  You wouldn't believe how many women asked if they could order one of those aprons.  I had people offering me $100 for them.

But you know what?  I hated making those aprons.  I cursed my way through that entire project.  I was completely over it after the first one... and I made twelve!

I knew that if I started selling those aprons, one of two things would happen:
1. I would throw my sewing machine out the window, ruining my screen and possibly killing a child playing innocently below,
or 2. Nathan would kick me out of the house.

Calendars people... I sell calendars.  That's what I kept telling those women at the boutique.

I didn't even let my girlfriends keep the ones that I made them because I didn't want to have to make twelve more this year!

So really take the time to assess how much you enjoy the process of making your product.

If you are not passionate about what you are creating, then how can you expect your clients to be?


  1. I will be staying tuned for the other 9. I am starting my home based business this year and I love advice.

  2. Thanks so much! I'm looking forward to the rest of your post! I started my "business" unintentionally in the beginning and now I'm having to go back and reconstruct some things so the advice is greatly appreciated.

  3. these are such great tips!! i love this. i had an etsy shop and it was sort of a catch all for anything. we moved and i haven't sold anything since. i'm trying to work on getting it up and running, but can't seem to find my niche product. I mean, there are things I LOVE TO MAKE but i guess i need to hone in on just ONE.

    i am loving your blog!

  4. Truer words have never been spoken! My well meaning friends send me 'ideas' of new things I should make all the time and then can't understand why I dont want to do it for fast money??!?!!? seriously! You must love it or it's a burden = no fun! Thanks for this post! XO

  5. Great advice. I will visit your blog more often. Love the tips here.

  6. This is very good advice. I recently took four orders for Happy Birthday banners that I made, and I was soooo sick of it at the end that I told the women who bought them: "If your friends ask, tell them I just doubled my price."

  7. haha thats funny about the aprons. but it's true. if you hate it, it's not worth it.