Small Business: Setting yourself apart from the competition

Being a small business owner is not an easy task to take on, especially when you deal solely in online sales. Not only is it a big competitive world we live in, but ONLINE it’s so much more so. With bargain hunters and those of us that have to pinch pennies so hard they make change, sometimes the “cheapest” option is the best. When dealing with handmade items, it’s a different ball game. Often using the same materials and same design, people sell their items for 3x what the “lowest” price of a similar item… so HOW? Why?

I once watched a tv show that did a study on gourmet food. They had blind taste testers taste 3 price points, saying that one of them was gourmet and they had to distinguish which one, more often than not – the lower priced items won in the taste test. In the same study, they took canned food and cheap bottled wine and told people it was gourmet and to describe the food/wine – everyone raved about the low price items, I even remember someone saying the wine had a robust and flowery taste, well worth the price. I hope so, as i believe the wine they described was under $5. It just goes to show you that when it comes to luxury or “gourmet” people are willing to pay more, even if the quality isn’t there. So how do you set your price point then? If you price too low you’re seen as “cheap” in the market, and therefore your product has no value or desire, if you price too high – you’re overselling your products WORTH. I’ve been told that I sell my items too low, and if I raised my prices that I’d get more sales. I haven’t done so, because I know what I pay to create the items and don’t want to overcharge just because I made it with my hands. Maybe that’s silly, but I too shop bargains and sales and use coupons because money is not always flowing. Instead of raising my prices, I’ve included more luxury items into my shop. If you want to spend more, I give more. For me it isn’t about making money so much as someone choosing to buy my handmade items instead of hitting target and getting machine made mass produced stuff that won’t stand the test of time. Well handmade items far exceed the life of those poorly and quickly constructed items. When you order from me, you’re buying hours of my life and creativity, a part of my inspiration that I took from the world around me and made a tangible item with my own two hands. I wrap them as a gift, because I want whoever opens them to feel the love that I put into each one of my products. I include a hand written note, and a coupon for their next order. Target doesn’t do that, do they? 😉 It’s one way that I try to differ my shop from others, as well as the big open market world we live in.

Every week for the Hippie Peaceniks team on Etsy (I’m a leader there, it’s a lovely team – stop by sometime!) I pose a question to the group on facebook and guest blog on the Hippie Peaceniks blog using the teams answers. This week I asked everyone to choose their favorite item currently for sale in their shop, describe it, tell me why it’s their favorite, and tell me their inspiration in making it, or how they came to own it (if it’s vintage). I thought since today on my blog I was going to discuss setting yourself apart from the competition and my shop, I’d answer my own questions.

 

So, my favorite item is….

Image

Pink Rose Victorian Wrap Bracelet with Button Closure

The reason I like this one so much is because I love the color combination. I fell in love with a set of “old victorian” style buttons and just really thought they were romantic and whimsical. I imagine someone wearing this and having a cup of tea in the morning, dressed in their Sunday best… or maybe putting it on with a fun sundress and going out to brunch. I love imagining the people who own my items putting them on and smiling, remembering the note I sent with their item, or it making them feel pretty or special. At least, I hope that’s how they feel when they put them on. For most of my bracelets, the buttons start the inspiration. I see a button I love and picture what would look great around it. The button is the focal point but the rest is just as important. A picture is only as beautiful as it’s background, right? For my gloves and scarves, I usually see a color combination in my mind or see yarn that I think feels soft and BAM inspiration hits and I have to make what’s already in my mind. Lately my inner muse or creative flow seems to have wandered off somewhere, I know it will be back – so in the meantime I’m following my own advice and sitting back and looking at what I’ve already done. I love hearing back from readers, so tell me  – what’s something you’re proud of yourself for? 🙂

I hope you all are starting your week off feeling recharged and ready to take on the world! I know sometimes it’s hard to wake up on Monday with a smile – but remember your feelings lead to action – so do you want to have a grumpy gus day or an awesome day? Awesome, of course! So smile, it’ll be like a boomerang the rest of the week and keep coming back. As Lady Gaga would say, “show me your teeth!”

X’s and O’s,

Lulu of DivineLuluCreations

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Small Business: Setting yourself apart from the competition

  1. Pingback: Hippie Peaceniks: A few of our favorite things | HippiePeaceniks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s