Building a business is all about making mistakes. I’ve learned so much, honestly I’m always learning. I love to share EVERYTHING, and want to see everyone around me win. I’m hoping this post will help you make a few less mistakes along the way. This is a lengthy read so grab some coffee, tea or a glass of wine and get ready to learn.
How Do I control/ predict Shipping Cost?
I’ve seen a few post where ladies have complained about loss of profit because of high shipping cost. An easy fix is to use USPS flat rate shipping boxes. They are free to order so order a few sizes. Based on your products decide which box works best for each item. Now when you list your items you can tell your clients ahead of time how much shipping will be.
For larger items the best option is to buy a scale or visit your local post office to ask questions about various shipping options for your business. You should know your items well enough to give clients a shipping cost upfront. Clients don’t like surprises and you definitely want repeat clients.
How much should I charge for my creations?
Know your worth! I see a lot of ladies asking how much they should charge for something they have made. STOP RIGHT THERE. You should easily be able to price your items. Materials + Labor is all you need to take in account. If you don’t know your labor cost….calculate it. How much do you need to cover bills weekly?
Divide that by 5 (days) then divide again by 8 (hrs) You have now calculated your own hourly rate. There are multiple methods but this method has been best for me.
To price your items make sure you know how long it takes to make said item and be realistic.
I use a spec sheet to keep up with the materials I use for each garment. You’ll never order too much or too little materials if you use a spec sheet. Make copies and fill out one for each item you make.
What’s the best way to accept payments from clients?
I use Square to invoice my clients and accept credit/debit cards. The invoice is sent to the clients email and they can pay with a a card. You can also accept cards in person via your phone. The app is amazing and you can upload all of your inventory with prices to make invoicing and sales easy.
Don’t confuse Square with Square Cash. Square Cash is a new wave but in my opinion it is unprofessional for business. Yes then personalized card is cute but remember you’re trying to run a business. Always protect your business by using proper invoices with terms included.
A few rules:
- Don’t take checks or promises
- Don’t use Square Cash
- Always take payments up front or at least half Deposit
- Set clear terms for cancellations, last minute changes and rush orders.
You can view my ordering page and see my terms, that may help you set your own.
Another app/website I have stumbled upon is 17 Hats. It allows you to invoice clients and make contracts simple. You can track all your client orders progress as well. This app is not free but there is a mini free version.
How can Legal Shield help my business?
I see a lot of ladies ask legal questions and mixed answers are always given. Big businesses have lawyers on tap and so can you. Plans start around $20 monthly for your business based on your state. Don’t get the plans confused. They have individual, family & business plans.
When it comes to starting or operating business legal issues/questions will arise. This subscription gives you 24/7 access to lawyers and attorneys. They can help you:
- With collecting debts from clients
- Theft of intellectual property (your designs)
- IRS questions & Audits
You can learn more HERE
One thing I don’t like to see is complaints of low prices. Successful people have tunnel vision. Don’t look left and Don’t look right. This is a simple fix. Buy your supplies in bulk and learn to account for your time.
Getting and EIN for your business is simple and free on IRS.Gov. It allows you to order from wholesalers. Be sure to research the company before you order, look up reviews and check them out on the Better Business Bureau website. If you don’t want to take that route Amazon and EBay are your friend. Buying your supplies in bulk allows you to offer lower prices without cutting into your profit.
How Can I Acquire New Skills?
I love to see those that have a desire to learn more. A lot of us are self taught. Although I have a Fashion Design degree there are tons of things I taught myself. Internet courses are a perfect way for you to increase your skill set. Don’t forget You Tube and DIY Blogs.
Sulky Of America is nationally known for Online Courses, Local Events & Supplies.
Click the link below to check out the details and register if you wish.
I hope this post was helpful in taking your business to the next level! If you need a little inspiration to keep you going, please read my latest post (My Haute Journey) all about my business journey. It was a struggle but I urge you to never give up!
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