When we launched 28squared in 2009 We specifically targeted expanding the businesses of creative entrepreneurs from around the globe we reached out to local designers across the globe and Queen Esther of Kuumba designs was one who volunteered to be a part of the exploration. In 2003 I officially began exploring creative entrepreneurship in 2006. I’ve been exploring using video to help locals sell, In 2009 I started using tele-presence to teach, show sell.
Esther in this image is a master dressmaker and designer, her skill took years to develop. She had considerable experience serving her consumer base a strong sense of her style and what sold and well advanced in sales and marketing. She operated in St. Lucia yet served an international market. Understanding technology and how to use it to expand may have been her initial motivation, however we worked in several facets of her operations. Dealing with the reality of her business needs. Today she is able to s self fund, has distribution in several markets and has identified a new local market. Now stable she has the choice to delve deeper into the technology!
Creative Industrialism focuses on issues around making a solid profit from your creative properties while creating job opportunities for others. Talent is not enough to guarantee success. Skill and passion are not enough to guarantee success. However that skill makes a huge difference in long term success.
Frankly helping Esther move forward was easier than helping those without skill sets. Had she not had these skill sets I would have opted for hiring locals who were skilled. In comparison a new contact from Africa lacks the skills and gaining them would not only take time, it means leaving her family and young kids. In New York skills training is not the challenge. There are a slew of schools, new “incubators and many freelancers and unemployed professionals. I recently heard a young woman, graduating one of the new quick start learn to sew programs popping up in Brooklyn ask at teh end of the course.
“What am I supposed to do now?”
Therein lies the problem we aim to solve through a “learn as you do’ approach and we use technology to enable and facilitate this. I explain new technology & explore strategies to take new tech enables Local cottage type businesses Global !
In the old “guild system” that supported the traditional cottage industry went from Apprentice -Journeyman- Craftsman – Master, a journey that took several years.
Today the Creative Entrepreneurs journey for Makers, Artist, Crafters, Artisans, Designers, is required to shift from – Novice – Enthusiast – Hobbyist – Apprentice -Journeyman- Craftsman – Master and eventually to Business owner- Startup. in less than a year. Not always realistic but with the Global economic situations necessary.
I’ve also seen
“I’m not selling Tell me what I’m doing wrong.”
I get a lot of messages asking for help. I see many requests asking others to look at a web page, as well as post in groups asking others to take a look at Facebook pages.
The first step is a product review. Many creatives HATE this they take it personally. It is not. A great product is having the sales effort.
I recently met a lady with a great product she wants to take to market. She then indicated that her son would help her set up a Facebook business. A Facebook Page for many in the Cottage industry is the new “Business Page” This is not something he does as a business, nor did she indicate that he had training running a business. She cited that her “friend” did ‘well” on Facebook hence she thought this the venue for her business. First up “well” is relative, and taking in cash is not the same as making a profit.
After ten years exploring this sector I’m leaning towards addressing those who have mastered techniques.
This series will give some insight into what to consider.
Small mom and pop businesses Globally need to make the same choices as fortune 500 companies , it’s just mom & pop doing it all! Regardless of how complicated the business plan model or strategy is, the basic issues are.
- Your product
- Where will the customer meet you
- How will they find you
- What makes them buy…
- How do you get them to tell others
- How do you create a profit from that interaction.
- How many units do you have to sell a year to have a sustainable even lucrative business.
For our site member I will go into depth and address eac, for nowh let’s take a look at the relationship between them.
WHAT- I have $30. what will I get if I handed it to you. answer the same for $40, 50, 60, etc… now ship it and send it to me… Oh… you need shipping. It will arrive in six weeks. I’m in a cold climate you’re in a warm country. Does your product serve my needs. do you have it in my size, what does it look like.
WHERE will the customer meet you, or rather how will they find you
Referral by a friend
They saw you in passing
They went searching … offline and online there are still 3 core ways to “find” info how many times have you noticed a business on your way to work… only to take the time to stop by when you need them and they are closed. Or you cannot find them. How many times have you passed by a business and NEVER noticed it… was never “drawn” in. Only to find they had exactly what you needed. How many times were you searching for something and someone mentions they know exactly where to find it.
Why should they buy your product?
Is it something they need. Is it better than your competitors. It is simply the best thing they can spend their money on. Does it solve a need or add pleasure. Is it a value.
How easy is the procurement process? Even if they did not purchase, will they be back. If not why not? Have they been willing to tell others, why not?
After 10 years I’m leaning on three levels
- www.Bonniesandy.com now has a Membership that allows for general access to detailed topics relation to creative industrialism. Become a member today 
- A virtual Incubator with weekly group as well as direct email/skype one on one support. Fill out the form
- One on one individualized session in person or via telepresence. Use the Contact form for details 
But All I Need is…
Asking a consultant to take a look at your website and/or social media pages is not a simple answer to your business’ problems. A “backer” is not a simple answer to your business problems. “Making” the front cover of a leading magazine is NOT the simple answer to your problems. The hole that may be causing the leak can be at any point in the process. You need to find it and plug it. With all this you can get your website going and still not answer the question… Do you create a profit from this interaction.
It is not easy…
At first they fight you, then they scoff, and finally they get it and then they win!