Why does it feel great to know you’re ‘normal’? I don’t know. I know that it feels great to be yourself and do your own thing, but I also know that it is sometimes nice to know that what you are experiencing is normal. I guess we don’t care so much when it comes to things we CHOOSE, but when we are on the receiving or experiencing end of something, we want to know we aren’t the outlier.
Either way, I hope this episode helps you feel better about some of the realities of doing business in the maker community. These ended up on this list because we find ourselves regularly combating negativity surrounding these experiences.
Business isn’t always a roll down a dandelion hill, but you can and should feel confident experiencing very typical, day to day ups and downs!
Let’s get started on understanding the things the maker community would greatly benefit from normalizing.
Days without making sales
Going a few days without a sale is so normal I don’t even know how or why we somehow got it in our head that it isn’t. Or that a few days without sales means we are not succeeding. Your purpose is NOT just to make sales. (Listen to episode 112 of The Merriweather Council Podcast for more on this.)
We hear from sellers every day that they feel disheartened because they opened shop or launched their site a few weeks ago and haven’t made a sale yet. It’s so normal to start slow and quiet. It’s so normal to have to put in a lot of work upfront without any reward. You have to give your work a chance to work. Trust me it’s part of doing business in the maker community.
Not ALWAYS seeing an increase in your revenue.
Please hear me out: it’s not plausible for most small business owners to scale 20% (or whatever amount) month over month. Or whatever other crazy amount people think they should be growing their revenue by consistently every single month, month after month, forever. Most sellers would probably hate it. Your revenue will fluctuate month to month; it’s normal for every business. Look at year to year, not day to day or month to month. It’s more meaningful but still be realistic about what is possible for you and your business and your life.
Every person you admire and who you think has all figured out struggles with these things, too.
The next few are one big mash-up under the umbrella of normalizing DOING BUSINESS.
Fees + Seeing other businesses do business
Sellers, we NEED to accept that fees are part of doing business! The reason I’ve joined this up with “seeing other businesses do business” is because fees become a big point of contention when discussing Etsy. It took twelve plus years for Etsy to increase their fees, and despite it being one of the most affordable platforms to sell on, sellers feel a lot of negative things about Etsy’s fees / fee increase. Etsy increasing their fees, is Etsy, as a business, doing business. Just like we all want to be respected while we do our business, we need to extend that courtesy to other companies. I don’t want to do business with a company that doesn’t evolve. We need to respect other companies if we are going to ask and expect for people to respect us and our business.
When doing business in the maker community, there is a lot of contention about pricing. The short story is that we need to all get on board with pricing appropriately and not judging each other for that. Underpricing is the issue we need to unite around, not sellers who have sorted out how to charge appropriately to be profitable and reflect their value.
What do you wish was normalized in the maker community?