Business Lessons 101, 1-5.
|River Girls Custom Soap ~Sierra Sunset|
2. You are not merely selling a product, you are selling an experience.
3. If you fear being copied, you can never be in business. There is no such thing as operating from a remote basement cave in Abbotabad. We all know how that turned out. Once you enter the public square with your goods, be it at a craft show, or on the Internet, your ideas are open to the world. And the world is made up of, not only potential customers, but potential copy cats. Proper copyrighting aside, the best way to stay ahead of the prey is to remain innovative.
4. Customers bring their true selves to you. You are neither their lover nor their boss. They are not seeking to impress you. In time, you will interact with the persnickety, the chatty, and the chronically indecisive. A man who hates shopping will ask you to select his purchases for him--all of them. A woman who makes lists for everything, from her cat's favorite show tunes to her medicine cabinet's contents, may know more about your products' ingredients than you do and have a list of requests to match.
5. Sometimes, there is no pleasing. One year I sold soap at the Christmas craft show of a major Fortune 500 Company. A woman stood at my table and sniffed each bar with the care one might take with a box of Valentines Day chocolates. There were 30 scents, ranging from a romantic white peach lily to a sultry dragon's blood and sandalwood. After 30 minutes, she looked at me and frowning, said, "They're great but you don't have peony." Five years later, I introduced a pink peony soap.