Sunday, June 21, 2009

Marketing YOUR Products

Lots of crafters out there have fabulous hand-made products. We set up shop, load our inventory, and then it sits. No traffic... few sales...and then the frustration begins. I look back into my shop and wonder, "what is it that I'm doing wrong? I know I have a great product but my shop is collecting dust on a weekly basis." With this all being said, I've come to see that writing a business plan is a must.

  • Products and/or Services and your Unique Selling Proposition
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Sales/Distribution Plan
  • Advertising and Promotions Plan
Products/Services need to be unique. Make it different from everyone else! What makes your product different from your competitors? You need a unique selling proposition. What is the message that you want to get across to your buyers? The marketing plan is all about communicating this central message to your customers.

Pricing: What is the cost for your product/services?? What is the cost of materials and labor? Include the cost of mailing, selling fees and other administrative costs as well.

How does the pricing of your product or service compare to the market price of similar products or services?

If your price is lower than competitors how are you able to do this? If you charge higher, how does this benefit your customer? These are things that come into play while planning your pricing.

Sales/Distribution Plan: What costs are associated with distributing your item? How long will it take until your customer receives their item?

If your business involves selling a product, you should also include information about inventory levels and packaging in this part of your marketing plan. Explain how your products will be packed and shipped. What methods of payment do you accept? What is your return policy? What type of product warranties does your company hold? Is there an area on your site for customer feedback?

Advertising and Promotions Plan: When advertising your product, which media outlets are you going to use? ie: internet, radio television, billboards, flyers etc.. Sales promotions are a good way to lure your customers in. Offer coupons, free gifts, product demonstrations etc. Marketing materials are always a huge plus- business cards, pamphlets, brochures etc.

How do you get publicity?
  • product launches
  • special events, including community involvement
  • writing articles
  • getting and using testimonials
Craft fairs are a good place to start! Find out about local craft fairs in your city. Check city websites for this information or visit www.eventlister.com to sign up (for free) and get a list of upcoming events in your area.

Start up a business website! Godaddy.com has some great offers to get you signed up. Microsoft Office Live has a free hosting/website too. There are other paid sites to use, however when starting out, sometimes its just not in your budget at the time.

No business is too small to have a marketing plan!

2 comments:

Amanda Fall - PersistentGreen said...

This is a great list. You definitely gave me some things to consider here, since I still don't have an official business plan.

Thanks!

Pumpkin Pye Boutique said...

aw thanks Amanda! I really hope this can steer you in the right direction! Im still working on my marketing plan myself!