To Sell Or Not To Sell?

To sell or not to sell. . . are you contemplating selling your creations and weighing the pros and cons?

Chances are, the pros include your passion for making product, the volume you have on hand and the potential for making money.

The cons may involve a lack of understanding of business, the costs of getting into business and the time it takes, especially with a full household or a full time job and the need for reliable income.

Sure, you have probably read of a successful business owner saying something along the lines of, “I had a lifetime supply, so I decided to sell it,” and poof! A thriving enterprise was born.

Bologna. That is not entirely truthful and she is not telling the whole tale. Instead, this business owner had a vision, plotted and planned, put in the hours, made sacrifices and built a successful business.

If you are on the fence, ask yourself the important questions below; they may help you make up your mind.

  • Do you know your product?
  • How do you feel about selling yourself and your product?
  • Do you know how to set up a business?
  • What will you sell and to whom?
  • Are you disciplined with your time and resources?
  • Are you in a position to dedicate that time and resources to starting a business?
  • Are you ready and willing to learn and follow applicable laws and regulations?

If the answer to any of these questions is negative, the answer is, “No,” or “Not yet,” because they all contribute to attaining the goal.

Indeed, thorough knowledge of product is essential—the ingredients, process and producing consistent results is imperative, as is learning and complying with the regulations and laws that govern the industry.

Learning basic business practices and writing a business and marketing plan will provide focus to avoid the “Shiny Penny” syndrome of dashing here and there in an attempt to fill every potential customer desire or spending countless dollars on supplies that will not become goods for sale.

Selling is the basic job of any retail or wholesale company. If you will not go out there and get business, who will?

Finally, examine honestly the determination to discipline yourself and persevere. Can you and will you work forty, and likely more hours each week on business? Are key people in your life supportive? Are you needed more elsewhere now, such as taking care of family or making a steady income?

Starting a business simply because you enjoy making product or because so many others are doing it are poor reasons and will not sustain you through the tough times. In fact, only 10 – 20% of your time should be spent on creating product. However, starting a business because you enjoy the challenge of conquering the many varied aspects and find satisfaction in selling and making a living will sustain you. Consider carefully your experience, personality and life situation to make the best decision.

Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.
Beth Byrne, for Making Soap, Cosmetics & Candles.