When Things Start to Stagnate

Early spring is a slow time for most businesses, especially those like mine, who basically sell non-essentials (crap no one will ever really NEED.) People have to WANT my things enough to buy them for themselves, or have an occasion to give them as gifts (which is why Christmas is such a busy time of the year for everyone.) In any case, such periods of stagnation can be disheartening. What am I doing wrong? Why does no one love me? Do my things just suck THAT BAD?

No. My things are awesome. I can beadweave some truly unique wonders. It’s just a matter of getting them in front of the right people who would be interested in them, and then persuading them to take the next step. Instead of falling into a pit of self-doubt and immense depression as a result of my lack of sales revenue and other such first-world-problems, it’s times like these that are exactly right to double-done put forth even MORE effort.

Try Something New
I’m going to focus on some new designs and the implementation of them. If what I’m trying to sell now isn’t what what people are looking for, then it’s time to add a few new things. Sometimes it takes a little experimenting to see what will work better. If a certain bracelet design has been sitting in my shop for over a year without any bites, it’s probably not the best idea to make 10 more similar bracelets and list them along with it. I HAVE gotten feedback that people would like to see designs similar to my barrettes in bracelet form. I’m thinking that would be worth a shot.

Cast a Wider Online Net
We all have our comfort zones, even in the online world. We all have the forums and groups we’ve belonged to for the longest time and feel the most comfortable with. However, by not reaching out to other groups and audiences, we are restricting our net to those who have probably already seen our shops and had the ability to decide whether or not buy anything from it. I love my handmade groups and forums filled with other crafting sellers. However, because many of these other people are sellers, it also means they aren’t as likely to want o BUY anything. I’m not going to abandon these groups that I have come to grow so fond of, just reach out more towards other groups that my cater more specifically to my buying audience. For me, this means wedding vendor and bride marketing groups, as well as fashion blogs and forums.

Have a Spring Sale
I place my more “simple” jewelry into my Glamour365 shop. These pieces are fun to make, but don’t really have an audience outside of Etsy. Spring is the perfect time to run bargain sales, as it isn’t quite yard sell time but the clearance hunters are itching for a good deal. It’s also just far away enough from Christmas that some people will finally be catching up on their bills (unless you are me.) So for a limited time, I’m running a whopping 50% sale in my Glamour 365 shop. Feel free to take advantage of some of these great deals before someone else snatches ’em up!

Find Local Outlets
Selling online is great. it means that someone on the other side of the world can buy a pair of handmade earrings from me, and I can have it shipped to them in less than 2 weeks. It’s a great feeling knowing that people all over the country and the world are wearing the things I have made. Nothing compares. However, when online sales are as slow as they are at the moment, it means it’s a great time to explore some more local options. So I’m looking into selling at some local art galleries, and perhaps some boutiques and salons if I can get around to it. Despite the increase in people buying things online, it’s still a great experience to be able to hold and try on something before you make your purchase. I would like to give people the opportunity to do that with my items. If I get any local gigs lined up, I’ll keep you posted so you can check them out if you’re in the area.

These are just a few options to try during the down-times. I am sure there are many more. Is there anything you like to do when sales are slow? Spring cleaning of your work space, perhaps photography re-do’s? I’d love to hear about it!


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11 thoughts on “When Things Start to Stagnate

  1. Heather March 19, 2012 at 9:09 am Reply

    This is usually the time I also like to try something new. I just bought a mountain of sari silk ribbon and I’ll be implementing more of that into some new designs. Since I typically work with only metal, this ought to be fun! I also take the time to “spring clean” my online shop and put all of the items I’ve renewed too much on clearance. It’s a good time for me to also re-assess my item tags, descriptions etc since I have time before any late spring craft shows along with figuring out my spending budget for spring/summer. If I’m a good girl maybe I can finally afford all the supplies and tools for metal stamping ;)

    • MegansBeadedDesigns March 19, 2012 at 11:19 am Reply

      Sounds like you’re using your time wisely! This is a great time for you to be doing everything you have decided to work on! You’re an awesome example to follow Heather. :-)

  2. Rebecca March 19, 2012 at 10:46 am Reply

    I’m so glad that I clicked on the link to your blog just now :)
    I was literally scrolling through my Etsy page thinking ‘what’s wrong with my work?’ It’s just gone so quiet this month. But your blog post has really knocked me on the head :) In a good way! :)
    I’m ready to take more steps now, try something different!
    Thank you! :)
    And I love your bracelet!! :)

  3. Megha Silvano March 19, 2012 at 11:08 am Reply

    I was also feeling a bit low…but this really boosted in some energy back!
    Lovely bracelet, Megan:)
    thanks for posting:)

  4. Mari Hill March 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm Reply

    Your work is beautiful without a doubt. Don’t start getting down on yourself. We are in Mercury retrograde and everything is screwed up for a few months. But and I say but, it is also a time to refresh, think up new ideas and move forward..

    Now go put on your BIG GIRL PANTIES/or THONG and start producing those beautiful white bracelets, and items for weddings for the next few months.

  5. catbird365 March 19, 2012 at 6:32 pm Reply

    Oh Yeah! I can see those gorgeous bracelets at a lot of weddings. Go get ’em!

  6. Rene' Husakow March 26, 2012 at 9:02 am Reply

    Great tip about selling locally. I used to sell dog clothes I made at a local dog boutique until the economy caused it to close. I think it would be easier to sell my cards, but I don’t know if I would need a seller’s license for that (I didn’t need one for the dog clothes because I new the owner). Thanks for all your tips Megan. I love reading your blog!

    • MegansBeadedDesigns March 26, 2012 at 9:16 am Reply

      Your welcome Rene. It was a major bummer what happened when the economy practically collapsed. I was selling at 3 local art galleries at the time, and they all went under. I took a break from it for awhile since then, but I think that now that things are starting to pick up, it’s worth another shot! :-)

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