I forced myself to finally publish this post.. it’s been both exciting and scary to be blogging again… I’ve missed it though. Enjoy!
After sending out so many Cv’s looking for jobs without getting any, I sat down and thought of what I could do in the meantime. It had to cost almost nothing but give big results. I googled online businesses with zero capital, I baked muffins only for my aunt to use the money for her daughter’s transport for school. I’ve asked my aunt to teach me knitting, she just never had time. So I taught myself crocheting . I didn’t want it to just be a hobby, I wanted it to be a business. I was so naïve to think it would be that easy.
Here are some to the stuff I had to face up with:
Time it takes to learn
Crocheting is easy but it can get complicated as time goes. Making sophisticated bags that look stylish and classy has got to be complicated and use a lot of time to learn.
Getting funds or capital.
I am broke, I need money and business needs money. But at least I could work with the little money I had, ( Don’t tell the social grants department).
Had to learn with little resources. Using my aunt’s crochet needle and recycled her wool/ yarn- had to rip my her knitted pillowcase apart. I watched youtube videos and started learning and posted online. Thanks to YouTube and Pinterest, I posted a few things on my facebook and got some orders from those who liked crafted stuff.
Not knowing how much to charge.
At the beginning I had no idea how much my material would cost, how much yarn I was going to use, how long it would take to make and how much I’d actually make. I ran out of material halfway of my first order and had to ask my customer to put in more money. She was nice and I love that she believed in me. I didn’t mind not making profit. Now I do, trust me.
Even after knowing how much everything costs and how much I would like to make, I still undercharge. I get it, sometimes people want to buy your stuff and support but only if if costs less. I fell into the trap of trying to bring in customers by charging peanuts. I’m still struggling with this. I guess I had to learn the hard way. It’s important to know your worth, even when you love what you do.
Not getting the material I need
I use wool for my stuff and Im a sucker for tshirt yarn. I had to search online shops closer to me that sold it. I found one, It was too far, I take 2 taxis to get there and I don’t always get the colours I want. But I’ll always have to make it happen.
Not paying myself
A friend suggested I should always take out my own salary from the cost. I haven’t really paid myself but Im getting good and customers are coming, still have a long way to go.
As with many other departments in my life, I had to make it out on my own. I had friends who were
supportive and constantly giving me business advice some of which I took and some discarded intentionally, I’m grateful. But the struggle is real when you do business on your own. I wanted it to be my baby so when it grows, I’ll be the one ripping the benefits. 😂
Dealing with Customers
Yes, people skills. I’m bad at dealing with people. I may be kind but I don’t like being taken for granted. One complained the top I had made did not look the same as in the picture she gave me. I had to calm down and help her with what she wanted. After this, I started doubting myself as a business person and stopped making any crochet projects. It took me an order from a close friend to bring me back. I’m grateful to that young lady.
Not knowing which strategy to use
I don’t have a schedule or budget put into place, I just do it as it comes. I need to up my business skills. Tips welcome!
Putting myself out there
Im still scared and it takes time to convince myself to try and post my stuff online. You know how black twitter trolls can tear you down to pieces. But eventually I had to take the chance. I was happy I got likes and retweets. It meant I was on to something. 😊😜
Not making much profit
I still haven’t made much from my products, I’m also still learning. I want to charge larger amounts when I know I’m really good. I took a chance with this one clutch bag I made for my friend, it looked gorgeous and it’s good quality, and posted it on twitter for the first time. As meantioned above, the response was positive, though comments stopped when I mentioned the price 😂. Oh well…
Saying No to money
This can be a challenge too. I learnt to not take orders of stuff I had never made or have no pattern of. I only take a chance when I’m certain I can make it.
Im still going to face even more challenges – business is hard- the best thing I have to do is to push forward. I need that paper! I got a kid to feed.
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