I braved the horrible cold snowy-sleety weather two weekends ago to attend the StartUp Showcase hosted by Doug Richard’s School For Creative Start Up. When I first heard about it I knew it was something I had to go to seeing as it hosted talks and workshops on professional development as well as a ‘marketplace’ that showcased some of Britain’s creative entrepreneurs. So off I went, accompanied by another creative and talented dear friend of mine! We sadly missed the first talk at 10am after delays in our journeys caused by the adverse weather but got there just in time for Ellen O’ Hara’s talk on ‘The Price Is Right‘ which proved ever so insightful. Understanding how to price your work correctly so that it covers production costs, production time, labour, overheads etc not to mention including some profit has been something I really need to take on board particularly if your work is considered a niche market! I haven’t got a business up and running just yet but it is something I am very keen to do in the not-too-distant future so like many newbies, it is natural to think that charging something at a high price is wrong. Never undercharge yourself particularly by underestimating the value of the time you spend creating that particular product or service. If your product is considered premium, then your price needs to reflect that……it’s as simple as that (however difficult that may be to take in at first)! That being said, you don’t go overpricing yourself in the wrong market! So it’s about striking a balance without compromising your business. At the end of the day you need to make something out of business to replenish your overheads! If you struggle with this, then you know there’s something not quite right in the chosen product/service.
Next up was Patricia van den Akker talk on the ‘10 Steps To Starting Your Crafts Business‘ which covered the process from asking yourself “why” to market research to pricing and marketing yourself correctly. A lot of it seemed like basic business skills or common sense but it really was good to hear them being reiterated as well as feeling assured that you are thankfully thinking on the same wavelength! (Phew!) It is always good to keep questioning yourself with the “who are you“, “what are you about“, “are you charging enough“, “who are your Clients” and “what are you missing” all through out the process! The next talk ‘Cashflow – What You Need To Know‘ was by Sarah Thewall of mycake.org tied in really well with the last two, once again highlighting the importance of managing your money and ensuring that you are making a return out of what you sell!
So as you can see, the talks were really helpful and definitely educational with just the tips you need if you are thinking of starting up or have just done so! If you are really interested in enrolling onto their advanced one-year part-time course run by the former Dragon Den Doug Richards along with other top experts on all the business know how and turning your creative ideas into viable businesses then this is worth investing in. Anyway, we strolled about through the ‘marketplace’ after the talks checking out some really lovely and talented work. We met a few new lovely faces; Lili from Lili & Ida (jewellery & Clothing), Sarah Strickland of Slouch (upcycled handmade vintage cushions), Deborah Henning of Shoreditch Muse (a platform for International Designers) and husband and wife John and Clare of Crocus-Projects (design services for people with learning disabilities). And of course, there were some familiar ones too like Holly Francesca. Sadly missed catching up with Tina of Tobyboo that day- apparently she had just nipped out with her boy Toby! So before I ramble any further, here’s a peek at what it was like on the day and the people we met. I’m afraid these are taken on my iPhone so not the sharpest of photos!