Super Saturday Selections – How to decide?

Hyperbolic crochet kelp garden by the Institut...
Hyperbolic crochet kelp garden by the Institute For Figuring at the Los Angeles County Fair. Sept 2006. The installation is part of the Fair Exchange show at the worlds biggest celebration of prize-winning animals andhome-baked wonders. A book with Instructions for making these models is available at the IFF website: photo by the IFF (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am in the process of working on a blog post about picking a specific niche for your business (subscribe so you’ll be sure not to miss it!).  It’s important to have a few things that are very well represented instead of a lot of things that are only partially represented.  Well, if you like to make a whole bunch of different things, how on earth do you decide which one to choose?  It’s definitely a selection process (Hence why this is going on “Super Saturday SELECTIONS”).  I’ll be using my own business as an example.

I LOVE to crochet, I also enjoy painting, and I like to sew, and occasionally, I like to paste.  These things are all really easy for me.  Let’s narrow this down even further…you can find a crochet pattern for virtually *anything*:  From toys (amigurumi), to pillows, to dresses, to hats, to shoes and slippers, to decorations, to pot holders, to slip covers, to scarfs, to shorts, to bikinis, etc etc.  If you can think it up, I’m sure there is a crochet pattern out there that has been designed.  I’m really good at crocheting, and it would be really easy for me to work up some of everything to throw in my shop.  How do I decide what to represent, and why do some things not make the cut?

  • The enjoyment of the creation process.  Some things just aren’t fun for me to crochet.  Either they take too much time, or they are too intricate, or I get bored doing the same row over and over and over again.  If I don’t enjoy making the product the first time, I for sure am not going to enjoy doing it a second, a third, or a tenth, or twentieth time.  These products get sliced off my list.
  • Liberty Dollar
    Liberty Dollar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Cost effectiveness.  I could crochet an iphone case, it would be easy, it would be relatively quick (as far as crochet products go).  But, to make it worth my time and effort, I would have to charge twice what a seamstress would charge for hers.  So, why not sew them instead of crochet them?  I don’t have a readily available fabric store nearby.  I’d have to order the fabric.  Shipping costs would have to be increased due to the cost of materials, and I’d still have to charge more for the end product.  If I can’t offer a competitive price for my products (and still be fair to myself), that product gets cut.

  • Does it sell?  If you’re just starting out, it may be a good idea to dip your toe into several different niche’s.  See what is going to sell, figure out what your customers are looking for.  If it isn’t ging to sell, cross it off, don’t spend your time working on it.  If you find a really good product that sells often, try expanding it a bit.  Add more options – colors, sizes.  If your initial idea isn’t selling, don’t waste your time on it.  Maybe later you can come back to it; figure out why it wasn’t selling, change it up a bit, and try again.
  • Appeal to your target audience.  I mostly sell crocheted newborn photo props, this means my target audience is soon-to-be-mothers and photographers (and soon-to-be-grandmothers).  It would probably not be a good idea to all of a sudden start selling ipad sleeves.  Sure, those new mothers might have an ipad that needs protection, but they are very far from the majority of ipad purchasers.  My target audience would change.  My attention would change.  Instead of focusing on photo props and other things that a new baby would need, I’d be spending my time on electronic accessories.  Basically, I’d be tearing down everything I’ve worked so hard to achieve with my current target audience and re-building up from scratch.  If your new idea doesn’t appeal to your target audience, trash it.
Selling in the wat to
Selling in the wat to (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve seen a few people who have two or more shops in order to cover two or more niches.  If you have the time and energy to devote equally to each shop, I say go for it!  You can always refer customers of one shop over to the other shop.

I promise, that I will cover “why a specific niche is important” at a later time.  For now, just take my word for it, it’s important 😛

So, I’d love to hear from you:  How do you decide what to make and sell, and what not to?  Leave a comment, let the world know!!


5 thoughts on “Super Saturday Selections – How to decide?

  1. I’m not sure I’ve “bought” into the niche mentality of blogging. Hence the blog post you picked up. At this point, and I admit I’m new at this, I’m more interested in people reading what I have to say.

    1. I think that you need to consider your readers from time-to-time as well. I’ll use myself as an example again. I’m into running (just started, really), and so I am following a few different blogs also written by runners. I’m interested in their running, I’m not interested in their relationship issues, nor their dog problems, and while I do like crafty things, I’m not following them because of that.

      If you are looking for a following, I think that having a niche is very important to stick with. If you are just writing about your life and the happenings thereof for family and friends to stay in touch, go ahead and paint the rainbow!!

  2. This blog post is absolutely brilliant ( and that isn’t just because you’ve pinged my blog post on to the bottom about Self esteem ( !) I share exactly the same loves as you, I paint, draw , crochet and make stuff. Crochet is my latest addiction and I have made so many different things. If I had read this blog post before I started off on my addiction, I may not have had the stock for my market stall that I have. I would’ve targeted those things that don’t take much time and those things that would sell first. Never mind, now I have a pretty stall at least….

    1. haha, thanks a lot! At least you can appeal to a wide audience. Maybe physical stores/stalls are a bit difference, I haven’t been able to get into that yet. And pretty definitely counts for SOMETHING 😛

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