Micro Entrepreneurism, Simple Living & Art
If you are, or someday came to be, a small business owner, would you want to know an outsider’s opinion of things? Things like new marketing ideas, dysfunctional systems, poor customer service experiences, confusing verbage, etc.
I ask this question, because mom and I would welcome someone willing to do this for us. Feedback, particularly of the negative/constructive variety, is a huge help. And we know that we have an inside view of things, which is different then the outside view of things, and as much as we try to get outside and see what it looks like out there, it’s impossible to completely take away the context of being inside.
Feedback is the reason we’ve progressively changed our labels, making them ever smaller and more
conspicuous. We started out with a big giant ribbon label simply because that was what we’d seen on other sailcloth products, and then people started telling us they loved our stuff but would never buy it because they weren’t into wearing the brand, so to speak. This had never occurred to us, and yet, when we thought about it, we realized that we aren’t really those people either. So we made tiny rubber labels. And while we had less comments/complaints about those, we still got them. And we also learned that they don’t hold up that well. Plus they kinda ruin the sleek look of the outside of the wallets. So now we have teeny tiny little tags that go on the inside. And since making that switch, we haven’t gotten one email about our
So back to the question, would you want to know? I know from my own experience that delivery is important. We got many a rude email about our label situation, and sometimes it was hard to see past the rudeness, but amongst the rude, there were also kind, explanatory, patient emails. And those ones were easier to listen to.
I’m asking this question, because the dynamics of running and evolving a small business is intriguing to me. I love the differences of how we all go about doing things. Its fun for me to talk about these things. Its fun to consider the possibilities of someone else’s business. So I want to do it more. And I’m trying to figure out how to go about it. I’ve experimented already, and talked to Haden over at Red Rooster Coffee Roaster, first about his Etsy shop, and then as I got to know him better, about some other ideas like coffee greeting cards and holiday/seasonal roasts and bag designs. I was worried about stepping on toes. Worried that he’d take offense about somebody that doesn’t know anything about his business telling him things to do. Which I think I eventually straight up asked, but he wasn’t upset at all. He was actually pretty excited, and I’m pretty sure he’s trying it out and releasing an awesome Father’s Day Blend coffee “greeting card” bag/blend.
But there are other businesses I’d like to help, or at least try to help. So I’m thinking about starting with teaching an Etsy workshop series at the Jacksonville Center, and hoping that that feeds my addiction, and maybe even dovetails into some one on one marketing/business development consultation type things.