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Number one piece of advice for product creators - part 2
Episode 15517th March 2023 • Bring Your Product Idea to Life • Vicki Weinberg
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It’s episode 155, and 3 years since I started this podcast. I've spoken to so many wonderful product creators and people who support product creators over the last three years, and I have learned so much from absolutely everyone that I spoke to. To celebrate I have put together a compilation of some of the best advice I have heard over the years.If you want to launch your own product or are just in need of a friendly boost this is the episode to listen to!

Listen in to hear top tips from:

  • Stephanie Orr, (01:10)
  • Meera Bhogal, (02:05)
  • Iain Moore, BGreater Shoes (03:15)
  • Laura Gillett, (05:29)
  • Louise Almond, (06:56)
  • Demi Pendakis, Find Your Glow Ltd (08:04)
  • Cara Sayer, Snooze Shade (09:20)
  • Claire Grant, OriOrso (11:45)
  • Vic Wood, Greener Beauty (12:54)
  • Marieke Syed, Snackzilla (14:01)
  • Ciara Westhead, Pico UK (15:13)
  • Trish ODwyer, Autism Threads (20:02)
  • Raksha Patel, Reflect With Raksha (21:43)
  • Charlotte Phillips, Rugsy Lugsy (23:14)
  • Puvan Briah,  (24:29)
  • Amanda Davey, Tilia Publishing (25:21)
  • Georgina Robinson, Juniper Studio (25:54)
  • Em Royston, Chasing Threads (28:25)
  • Tas, Very Craft Tea (30:32)
  • Janet Murray, (33:32)

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Listen to the episodes in full: 

Episode 102 Taking part in an accelerator to grow your business - with Stephanie Orr

Episode 101 How to create an integrated range of products & services - with Meera Bhogal

Episode 149 Selling a product people don't know they need - with Iain Moore - BGreater Shoes

Episode 130 Getting ready to launch your first product- with Laura Gillett

Episode 87 Getting ready to launch your first product - with Louise Almond

Episode 133 Leaving your career to start a new business - with Demi Pendakis - Find Your Glow Ltd

Episode 88 Why your product needs to be on Amazon - with Cara Sayer, Snooze Shade

Episode 136 How to create a children's fashion brand - with Claire Grant - OriOrso

Episode 138 Sourcing and selling sustainable products - with Vic Wood - Greener Beauty

Episode 112 Creating a food business and getting stocked in major supermarkets - with Marieke Syed - Snackzilla

Episode 125 Selling sustainable partywear - with Ciara Westhead - Pico UK

Episode 105 Creating products with a cause - with Trish ODwyer - Autism Threads

Episode 109 3D printing your own products to sell - with Raksha Patel, Reflect with Raksha

Episode 104 Creating a business you love - with Charlotte Phillips, Rugsy Lugsy

Episode 86 Pivoting your product based business - with Puvan Briah

Episode 11, Moving your products business online - with Amanda Davey, Tilia Publishing

Episode 110 Creating a Sustainable Business - Georgina Robinson - Juniper Studio

Episode 148 Selling to retailers using wholesale platforms - with Em Royston- Chasing Threads

Episode 124 The importance of knowing your numbers - with Tas - Very Craft Tea

Episode 84 Creating and selling planners - with Janet Murray

LET’S CONNECT

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This episode is sponsored by Cara Bendon Brand Consultancy

If you need branding & packaging for your product, Cara is my go-to. She and her team create beautiful and unique branding so that your product will impress retailers, stand out on the shelf and look great online. They also offer packaging and e-commerce website design, so that you can get everything set up and ready to launch, confident that it looks brilliant. If you’d like to chat to Cara about branding for your business, she’s offering a free no-obligation call for my listeners.

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Transcripts

Speaker:

Welcome to the Bring Your Product Idea to Life podcast.

Speaker:

This is the podcast for you if you're getting started selling

Speaker:

products, or if you'd like to create your own product to sell.

Speaker:

I'm Vicki Weinberg, a product creation coach and Amazon expert.

Speaker:

Every week I share friendly, practical advice, as well as inspirational

Speaker:

stories from small businesses.

Speaker:

Let's get started.

Vicki Weinberg:

Hello and welcome to a very special episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

Not only is this episode 155.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's actually almost three years to the, today, to the very first

Vicki Weinberg:

episode of this podcast was launched, which is just incredible to me.

Vicki Weinberg:

I launched this podcast during a pandemic, which obviously wasn't the plan.

Vicki Weinberg:

And um, here we are three, three years later.

Vicki Weinberg:

I've spoken to so many wonderful product creators and people who support crop

Vicki Weinberg:

product creators over the last three years, and I have learned so much from

Vicki Weinberg:

absolutely everyone that I spoke to.

Vicki Weinberg:

One very popular episode I.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I think it was two years ago now.

Vicki Weinberg:

Wow.

Vicki Weinberg:

Was advice from product creators.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I ask everyone at the end of the episode their number one piece of advice

Vicki Weinberg:

and yeah, this is a compilation of some of the advice that I've heard over

Vicki Weinberg:

the years, so I really hope you enjoy.

Vicki Weinberg:

Up first is Stephanie Orr.

Vicki Weinberg:

And Stephanie has some great advice kick us off because her advice is

Vicki Weinberg:

all about just getting started.

Stephanie Orr:

Just start, just try it, put it out there.

Stephanie Orr:

I mean, I probably should take that advice myself because I do have about

Stephanie Orr:

five new products sat here that I haven't put out in the world yet.

Stephanie Orr:

Um, but I think that is the biggest thing is, you know, put it out there.

Stephanie Orr:

It, it might not sell, but at least you'll know then, and you can develop

Stephanie Orr:

it in and you know change it and hone it until it's something that

Stephanie Orr:

does sell or it might sell amazingly.

Stephanie Orr:

And, you know, you'll surprise yourself and give yourself that massive

Stephanie Orr:

boost of confidence to go again.

Stephanie Orr:

Um, so yeah, I think it's, you know, just get started.

Stephanie Orr:

Just get, get it out there somehow some way, whether it's your own

Stephanie Orr:

website or Etsy or pop-up shops, or just put it out there and see.

Stephanie Orr:

Try it.

Vicki Weinberg:

Uh, my next piece of advice comes from Meera Bhogal.

Vicki Weinberg:

I really enjoyed listening to this piece of advice because I,

Vicki Weinberg:

like probably a lot of us, um, do suffer from imposter syndrome from

Vicki Weinberg:

time to time thinking, why me?

Vicki Weinberg:

Am I good enough?

Vicki Weinberg:

And, um, I think looking at what other people are doing and thinking, oh,

Vicki Weinberg:

either I can't do that or why would anyone be interested in what I'm doing?

Vicki Weinberg:

Is something that can trip a lot of us up.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, um, do listen to this advice from Meera and take it to heart as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because it's a great, great thing to remember.

Meera Bhogal:

I think, um, my top piece of advice is don't be put off by people

Meera Bhogal:

saying, but that's already been done.

Meera Bhogal:

Yeah, it doesn't matter because you are going to do it

Meera Bhogal:

differently to somebody else.

Meera Bhogal:

So don't, don't, don't go looking out into, to your competitors or get

Meera Bhogal:

overwhelmed by all the people maybe doing the same thing, because just

Meera Bhogal:

focus on your own uniqueness and your own creativity and put that into

Meera Bhogal:

your product, and that will make your product different to somebody else's.

Meera Bhogal:

So don't be put off by however many people are doing things in the marketplace.

Meera Bhogal:

There will always be somebody who will be interested in what you are doing.

Meera Bhogal:

As long as that product is, is a piece of you, um, it will work.

Meera Bhogal:

So my next piece of advice comes from Iain Moore . When Iain's episode first came

Meera Bhogal:

out, a few of you actually contacted me to say this advice really resonated with you.

Meera Bhogal:

Um, it resonated with me too actually.

Meera Bhogal:

Some of you may know that something I say quite often is that, um,

Meera Bhogal:

done is better than perfect.

Meera Bhogal:

I really do believe that, and I think Ian's advice is really good

Meera Bhogal:

for anyone who sometimes can suffer a little bit with procrastination and,

Meera Bhogal:

um, putting off, making decisions.

Iain Moore:

So I've been trying to actually give this some thought, and

Iain Moore:

I don't know if I could say that, you know, I'm definitely not far enough

Iain Moore:

down the line to be saying this is what other people should be doing, but

Iain Moore:

I can definitely say what has worked well for me and I would say, If you're

Iain Moore:

trying to make a decision, you're never going to be a hundred percent sure.

Iain Moore:

So for me, I was trying to get to, am I about 75% sure this is the right decision,

Iain Moore:

and if it is, that's my threshold, and then I go, fine, let's go with it.

Iain Moore:

Because otherwise you can just drag things out for so long trying to

Iain Moore:

find the perfect, you know, answers what, you know, the perfect shoe

Iain Moore:

design or, or whatever it might be.

Iain Moore:

Whereas actually I'm like, no.

Iain Moore:

Is it 75% there?

Iain Moore:

Yes.

Iain Moore:

Good.

Iain Moore:

That's good enough for me.

Iain Moore:

And then I'll start doing whatever it is and if it doesn't work, and it just means

Iain Moore:

you've learnt faster and you know, so, you know, when, I'll give you an example.

Iain Moore:

When we first launched, because everyone has to be mindful of, of the environments

Iain Moore:

and stuff, we, we wrapped our shoes to post them out in, um, paper with sort

Iain Moore:

of nice, um, eco paper tape on top.

Iain Moore:

And it was like, yep, this is the way I'm going.

Iain Moore:

You know, 75%, I'm sure that this is the right option.

Iain Moore:

And we started.

Iain Moore:

And within a couple of weeks I was like, Nope, it doesn't work.

Iain Moore:

Uh, just because of the amount of time, even though it was, you know,

Iain Moore:

I mean it was, this taken me sort of, you know, 40 seconds I think to

Iain Moore:

wrap up, uh, just a box by itself.

Iain Moore:

But even still, when you're posting so many, it didn't work.

Iain Moore:

But rather than spending ages and everything getting

Iain Moore:

delayed, I made the decision.

Iain Moore:

I started going down that path and I just learned faster that

Iain Moore:

it did, does or doesn't work.

Iain Moore:

And yeah, that, that's something which has really helped.

Vicki Weinberg:

Next we are hearing from Laura Gillett from Stomperz Shoes.

Vicki Weinberg:

It probably won't surprise you to know that I absolutely loved Laura's

Vicki Weinberg:

piece of advice because it is all about the importance of research,

Vicki Weinberg:

um, which is something that I feel really, really strongly about.

Vicki Weinberg:

But, um, rather than me tell you that again, I'd love you now

Vicki Weinberg:

to hear what Laura has to say.

Laura Gillet:

So I thought really hard about this question actually,

Laura Gillet:

and I kept changing my mind.

Laura Gillet:

But I think my number one piece of advice would be to spend your time before you

Laura Gillet:

spend your money on really doing your research into your market market, sorry,

Laura Gillet:

your customer, um, making sure that there is definitely an opportunity out there.

Laura Gillet:

I obviously knew the product well because I was the target market.

Laura Gillet:

I was the parent who couldn't find shoes, and I knew exactly what a parent

Laura Gillet:

needed, but I had to still do a lot of research into what was available.

Laura Gillet:

How many other parents out there were having that problem before I decided to.

Laura Gillet:

Any of my own money to the project.

Laura Gillet:

Um, because the last thing that you want to do is get very excited that you found

Laura Gillet:

this niche, you found a gap, chucked lots of money in and then realize that actually

Laura Gillet:

there isn't anything out there or there is something out there that you've missed.

Laura Gillet:

So I definitely think that spending your time before your money is a

Laura Gillet:

really, really important point.

Vicki Weinberg:

So we've just heard Laura talk about the

Vicki Weinberg:

importance of doing your research.

Vicki Weinberg:

The next piece of advice follows on from this really nicely.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's from Louise Almond, and Louise is talking about how it's

Vicki Weinberg:

really important to be willing to adapt your idea based on what you

Vicki Weinberg:

actually find out in your research.

Louise Almond:

I think just have a, have a really good plan.

Louise Almond:

Like understand your customer, understand what it is you are trying to achieve.

Louise Almond:

Because it can be very, you can get a bit design fixated, I think.

Louise Almond:

And I've seen a lot of people do it.

Louise Almond:

Students do it.

Louise Almond:

But you know, you have this great idea and you just, you are bit blinkered and

Louise Almond:

actually knowing how it's going to work.

Louise Almond:

Is there growth in it?

Louise Almond:

Can it, can the idea be adjusted?

Louise Almond:

Um, can you add pieces to it?

Louise Almond:

So, yeah, I think for me it was just, I had to really make sure I understood

Louise Almond:

what it was that I was trying to achieve.

Louise Almond:

I had an idea, but if I'm going make it a business, what, what

Louise Almond:

do I really need to know and how, what would make it successful?

Louise Almond:

So it's kind of almost forgetting your idea in a way.

Louise Almond:

Um, so to know that you are actually willing to change your

Louise Almond:

ideas to suit what is needed.

Louise Almond:

Um, so avoid design fix.

Vicki Weinberg:

Next up, we are going to hear from Demi

Vicki Weinberg:

Pendakis, from Find Your Glow.

Vicki Weinberg:

Demi spoke about the importance of being authentic and how authenticity

Vicki Weinberg:

can really help a brand, but he also had a bonus second piece of advice because

Vicki Weinberg:

you know it is hard to choose just one.

Vicki Weinberg:

So listen in to hear the two pieces of advice that Demi really wants you to hear.

Demi Pendakis:

Oh, just one.

Demi Pendakis:

Um, uh, authentic.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'll let, I'll let you have more than one If you need to.

Demi Pendakis:

Auth authenticity, just be true to, to, I would say be true

Demi Pendakis:

to what it is you're trying to create.

Demi Pendakis:

Don't veer from that.

Demi Pendakis:

Have it all written down.

Demi Pendakis:

Every decision you make, just make sure that it's authentic and nobody, everyone

Demi Pendakis:

can tell a contrived brand straight away.

Demi Pendakis:

Everyone can tell a copy cat straight away.

Demi Pendakis:

Um, so yeah, authe, authenticity and do that by, by researching.

Demi Pendakis:

Um, but what I would say is, as a second one is do whatever you can

Demi Pendakis:

to keep your costs down because it's very, very easy to get out of control.

Demi Pendakis:

Um, you think about all the research and developments, et cetera that you're doing.

Demi Pendakis:

Um, it just, yeah, just make sure you got, you got an eye over your costs.

Demi Pendakis:

But authenticity and, and that, because ultimately it's all cash flow for a young

Demi Pendakis:

business, so many, so many businesses closed within the first three years just

Demi Pendakis:

purely because of cash flow as well.

Demi Pendakis:

Uh, so from my perspective, you've got, you've got to have an eye on

Demi Pendakis:

that and whatever you're developing.

Vicki Weinberg:

So up now is Cara Sayer from Snooze Shade.

Vicki Weinberg:

So Cara again had two pieces of advice for us, so you're definitely getting

Vicki Weinberg:

some bonus advice this episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, following on from Demi, talking about being authentic, that's actually

Vicki Weinberg:

something else that Cara touches on on in her advice, um, which I

Vicki Weinberg:

thought was really interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

And she also speaks about U S P and she had some brilliant points about

Vicki Weinberg:

your U S P or unique selling point, um, which is something I haven't

Vicki Weinberg:

heard actually say, so it might give you something to think about.

Cara Sayer:

I think I would say.

Cara Sayer:

Just make sure you are really clear on your U S P, which

Cara Sayer:

is your unique selling point.

Cara Sayer:

And like I say, that isn't necessarily the unique, unique

Cara Sayer:

selling point of the product.

Cara Sayer:

It could be the unique selling point of the customer service experience.

Cara Sayer:

It could be the unique selling point of how you deliver it and package it.

Cara Sayer:

It could be the unique service, unique selling, um, point of the fact that,

Cara Sayer:

you know, You sell a tea brand and you donate to, um, you know, elephant

Cara Sayer:

sanctuaries in India, you know, whatever it might be, but, but find something.

Cara Sayer:

Um, so I'd say there's that one.

Cara Sayer:

Find something unique.

Cara Sayer:

And the other thing I would say as well is at the Amazon world

Cara Sayer:

is full of a lot of people.

Cara Sayer:

It's quite funny whenever I go to Amazon events because it's full of people

Cara Sayer:

who are selling like, you know, seven, eight figures or whatever, and they,

Cara Sayer:

and if you say to them, what do you do?

Cara Sayer:

They're like, oh, I'm in the baby category, or I'm in the pets category.

Cara Sayer:

And I'm like, oh no.

Cara Sayer:

I do Snooze Shade, and they're like, what?

Cara Sayer:

Hmm, sorry.

Cara Sayer:

You know, because it's all very secretive and no one likes to share what they do.

Cara Sayer:

And I'm like, I don't care because I'm a real, I consider myself a, a brand.

Cara Sayer:

I just happen to use Amazon as a sales channel.

Cara Sayer:

Um, because I would say that, you know, one of my top tips is if

Cara Sayer:

you're not afraid of putting your face out there is, you know, add a

Cara Sayer:

bit of personality to your listings.

Cara Sayer:

On Amazon and, and to your website, make it about the real you or you know,

Cara Sayer:

give the, give customers a story because they like stories, they like a to be

Cara Sayer:

given a reason why they should support you over some other faceless entity.

Cara Sayer:

And you know, if you go to any of my listings, uh, and you're welcome

Cara Sayer:

to, they're not, I do them all.

Cara Sayer:

They're not particularly brilliantly done.

Cara Sayer:

But again, doesn't have to be perfect, just has to work.

Cara Sayer:

And you know, you'll see there's pictures of me on there, pictures of my daughter.

Cara Sayer:

Um, I talk about the fact that it's invented by a mum, you know,

Cara Sayer:

because that is actually part, a very important part of the story.

Cara Sayer:

And Amazon particularly, and the internet is quite a

Cara Sayer:

faceless personality less place.

Cara Sayer:

So the more you can do to make people actually care about why they should buy

Cara Sayer:

from you, the better, I think, really.

Vicki Weinberg:

Next up, we have some great advice from Claire Grants, and this

Vicki Weinberg:

advice is particularly relevant to those of you in the very early days, perhaps

Vicki Weinberg:

just starting out with your business.

Claire Grants:

It would be, don't be afraid to try everything yourself.

Claire Grants:

Um, I, from the outset was very set that I wanted to do every step

Claire Grants:

along the way and learn about what it took to actually create a brand.

Claire Grants:

And I think there's some amazing experts out there.

Claire Grants:

And certainly in time I might outsource more of what I do, but I've learned a

Claire Grants:

huge amount from actually having to do the marketing, the sales, the branding.

Claire Grants:

Um, I've done every step along the way, and I think that has definitely, um, held

Claire Grants:

me in good stead and allowed me to make sure the brands exactly as I want it.

Claire Grants:

I think sometimes when you use experts too soon, um, or you outsource things like

Claire Grants:

your branding, then it is very expensive.

Claire Grants:

So it's a, it's an upfront cost, but it's not always authentic

Claire Grants:

to what you wanted it to be.

Claire Grants:

Um, and so yeah, that would be my thing is don't be afraid

Claire Grants:

to, to try everything yourself.

Claire Grants:

Might take a bit longer, but I think it definitely pays off in the end.

Vicki Weinberg:

Next up is Vic Wood from Greener Beauty.

Vicki Weinberg:

And Vic's advice is actually indirect contradiction really to the advice

Vicki Weinberg:

you've just heard from Claire.

Vicki Weinberg:

But the reason I chose to include it is because I feel like

Vicki Weinberg:

there is no one size fits all.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, not every piece of advice you hear today or anywhere else is going to

Vicki Weinberg:

resonate with you or with everyone.

Vicki Weinberg:

And um, I think it's really good to get lots and lots of perspectives,

Vicki Weinberg:

which is why I love each of these interviews because everyone has

Vicki Weinberg:

something else to bring, including the advice that they give.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, um, I would love now for you to hear what Vic has to say.

Vic Wood:

I think if I could go back and do it all again, I'd

Vic Wood:

probably work out a way to work with experts from the beginning.

Vic Wood:

And I know that makes it difficult because there's not always the budget

Vic Wood:

to do that, but the challenge is, you know, you could spend five years

Vic Wood:

doing your own ad campaigns or your own accountants and it just, it

Vic Wood:

just will take you so much longer.

Vic Wood:

And it's more, not only, it's a time thing, it's also the efficiency thing.

Vic Wood:

I would say, you know, do your best to invest as much as you can on

Vic Wood:

getting the right people on board.

Vicki Weinberg:

Our next piece of advice comes Marieke from Snackzilla.

Vicki Weinberg:

Marieke's advice is also relevant to anyone in the really early

Vicki Weinberg:

stages of creating a business.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and it's all around asking for help and who you might thinking about asking.

Marieke Syed:

I think my number one tip would be before you start, really

Marieke Syed:

reach out to other people with similar products and really invite them for

Marieke Syed:

a coffee or a phone call and really, you know, drill them for, sorry, drill

Marieke Syed:

them for everything that they know.

Marieke Syed:

What are the highs?

Marieke Syed:

What are the lows?

Marieke Syed:

How much money have they really had to invest or raise to make their

Marieke Syed:

products successful and just get as much info as you can at that beginning

Marieke Syed:

stage before you start investing your time and money into doing anything.

Marieke Syed:

Because you just learn so much from, from doing that network and getting

Marieke Syed:

that advice from other people.

Marieke Syed:

Um, So that's just so important.

Marieke Syed:

Before you start, just talk to people who have, who have done it successfully,

Marieke Syed:

but also maybe not successfully.

Marieke Syed:

Really find out what were the lessons learned so you can take

Marieke Syed:

those lessons into your own business.

Vicki Weinberg:

Now you're going to hear a little chat

Vicki Weinberg:

with Ciara from Pico and myself.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, what we talk about is really more of a mindset, um, hack or trick or point of

Vicki Weinberg:

view, or however it is you want to say it.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and by the way, for anyone who listens to the original episode,

Vicki Weinberg:

no one has proven me wrong yet.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so if you think you can please do get in touch because I genuinely

Vicki Weinberg:

would love to hear from you.

Ciara:

Oh yeah, I saw this.

Ciara:

Um, I would say time, just like give it time because you know, we've only been

Ciara:

started for three months, but I am in such a different place to where I was

Ciara:

when I first started and I'm in such a different place to when before I started.

Ciara:

I know so much more now from three months ago and then three months before that I

Ciara:

know so much more and you just have to, you know, I think we hear about these

Ciara:

overnight successes of people that they start, and that's amazing that they do.

Ciara:

They start businesses and they're a success straight away.

Ciara:

But actually I think, you know, to start a business, you really do need to have

Ciara:

time and you also need to have resilience, which I'm sure, you know, most founders,

Ciara:

um, know about You just, you have to keep kind of going and don't burn yourself out.

Ciara:

But give yourself time and really, you know.

Ciara:

Yeah, I would just say keep going and you'll be, if you're stuck in somewhere

Ciara:

right now, take a break and then you, you know, take a, a moment to kind of

Ciara:

flip everything over and then in, you'll probably look back in three months

Ciara:

time and be like, I got over that, and then onto the next hurdle type thing.

Ciara:

So yeah, just, I would say give it time.

Ciara:

Give it time to get orders up and give it time to, you know, learn so

Ciara:

much more to get to the next stage.

Ciara:

Yeah, time.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think that's really good advice and you are right because I think it can be really

Vicki Weinberg:

tempting to, it would be really tempting to sort of do thing quickly or you can

Vicki Weinberg:

get really disheartening that things take time, but I definitely think it's

Vicki Weinberg:

worth spending that time and that's all.

Vicki Weinberg:

A lot of the, what am I trying to say?

Vicki Weinberg:

I think there's so much more time upfront than you realize, but it's all

Vicki Weinberg:

the stuff that's really important, like all the research and the stuff that

Vicki Weinberg:

feels like maybe you're not actually getting anywhere, but I think it's

Vicki Weinberg:

really good groundwork to be doing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Definitely, like I think about it when I was just,

Ciara:

you know, sat on my, um, desk, um, every morning and

Ciara:

Pico was really just a vision.

Ciara:

I remember thinking, is it ever going to become like reality?

Ciara:

Like at one point I was like, am I really going to get there?

Ciara:

And if I can think of myself a year ago, I, I feel like really?

Ciara:

Wow, okay.

Ciara:

I did it.

Ciara:

Like it's just the start and there's so much to come and

Ciara:

I'm so, so excited about that.

Ciara:

I didn't, in a sense, I didn't think I'd be here at one point, but I am.

Ciara:

And then hopefully, you know, I've got visions for the next six months and the

Ciara:

next year and hopefully I can look back and be like, I actually did get here.

Ciara:

And you know, be proud of that.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think as well that it seems like a long time,

Vicki Weinberg:

but then I meant, I was mentioning big one before we start recording

Vicki Weinberg:

that we last spoke last year.

Vicki Weinberg:

And to me the time in which between we last spoke and speaking to you today,

Vicki Weinberg:

when I look at how much you've done in that time, I just go, wow, you've done

Vicki Weinberg:

such a lot in a short space of time.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think often we are quite hard on ourselves as well, but um, yeah,

Vicki Weinberg:

whenever you speak to any, any sort of company founder, they've always,

Vicki Weinberg:

always been working on it for much longer than, than you'd think.

Vicki Weinberg:

And actually even a lot of like massive companies now.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and I know we are all small businesses.

Vicki Weinberg:

When you even talked to massive companies, they, some of them took like

Vicki Weinberg:

5, 10, 15 years to actually get to be.

Vicki Weinberg:

You know, a household name or in some cases get to be selling

Vicki Weinberg:

anything much at all really, you know, see any kind of success.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I just think, yeah, we're often quite hard on ourselves, but it really doesn't

Vicki Weinberg:

matter how long it takes, does it?

Ciara:

No, I know.

Ciara:

And I think that is, again, maybe we have, like I said, you know, we, we see things

Ciara:

like I even saw things and I was like, oh, but like you see these overnight success

Ciara:

stories and all these kind of things, but mo, I don't think most companies.

Ciara:

Actually it does happen like that.

Ciara:

Um, so yeah, don't be disheartened that if, you know, I would say don't

Ciara:

dishearten if you haven't, if that doesn't happen for you because yeah,

Ciara:

there's so many companies that it didn't happen, but they have been

Ciara:

huge successors, but it's taken time.

Ciara:

So yeah, just give time.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I think overnight success is actually

Vicki Weinberg:

a myth and um, I'm pleased.

Vicki Weinberg:

If anyone wants to prove me wrong on that, that's fine, but I would

Vicki Weinberg:

say nine times out 10, it's a myth.

Vicki Weinberg:

And actually that overnight success has probably been working away quietly

Vicki Weinberg:

for much longer than any of us realize.

Ciara:

Yeah, I agree.

Ciara:

Agree.

Ciara:

But yeah, let us know anyone if, um, prove us wrong.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I'm sure I will be free from all of that.

Vicki Weinberg:

We're now going to hear from Trish from Autism Threads.

Vicki Weinberg:

Trish's advice follows on really well from what we just heard before from Ciara.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I really wanted to share this advice with you and, um, I'm sure

Vicki Weinberg:

lots of you will be able to resonate.

Trish:

Um, it's a really good, good question, I think don't, don't be

Trish:

sort of, um, disillusioned by, you know, or, um, fooled by people's

Trish:

success, especially on social media.

Trish:

There's the, you, you see it, and you can't help but think all

Trish:

of these businesses with their very pretty posts and are, are,

Trish:

you know, churning out the sales.

Trish:

It, it, that really isn't the truth.

Trish:

Um, it takes years, um, pandemics aside and, um, like you suggested

Trish:

earlier to, to focus on your passions and your strengths you have.

Trish:

You know, you're going to have to work really hard.

Trish:

You, things that you do in the background, you won't realize that

Trish:

will actually start to generate sales.

Trish:

Um, you just have to keep, you have to keep at it.

Trish:

And I think my, my, you know, you have to, you have to make it, you

Trish:

have to tell yourself, if you are, if you're a personality like me, who's,

Trish:

who's not full of self-confidence.

Trish:

You have to tell yourself that this is, that this is your business.

Trish:

Because when you're a mum and you're working from home and it's

Trish:

your own small business, you can't believe how, how unimportant it can

Trish:

become to the rest of the family.

Trish:

They just seem to assume that it just does its own thing in the background, you know?

Trish:

And, and, and you drop everything for loads of washing, for family

Trish:

lunches, for school runs for, yeah.

Trish:

You have to, you have to keep making it important for yourself you know.

Vicki Weinberg:

Last year I spoke to Raksha Patel about how she started up

Vicki Weinberg:

her business around bullet journaling.

Vicki Weinberg:

Raksha has some great advice to share with us now, as well as, um, a quote

Vicki Weinberg:

that she uses, which I absolutely love.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, see if you can spot which one it is.

Raksha:

What I would say is that there's a lot to learn, um, in this

Raksha:

whole journey, and you only really learn by doing and reflecting.

Raksha:

Um, and a, there's a quote that I love that describes this really well.

Raksha:

It's, I hear and I forget.

Raksha:

I see.

Raksha:

And I remember.

Raksha:

I do and I understand, and this couldn't be more true because I always

Raksha:

thought about starting a business or wanting to work for myself and spent

Raksha:

years just putting myself off because I always thought I didn't have any

Raksha:

good ideas or I don't know what to do.

Raksha:

Um, and it was only after taking that first step of making a video that I

Raksha:

really started understanding how to offer something valuable to others.

Raksha:

And so it's when you actually try to do something and then reflect on what you've

Raksha:

done and refine it along the way, that's when you truly understand your offering.

Raksha:

Um, so my advice would be to take a small step, act on one of your thoughts,

Raksha:

whether it's just sharing something online or testing, making a small

Raksha:

sample of a product to try and sell.

Raksha:

Um, the more you try to do something and then reflect and refine it

Raksha:

along the way, the closer you get to creating something special.

Vicki Weinberg:

Now, Charlotte Phillips has some advice to share with us, and

Vicki Weinberg:

Charlotte's advice applies whether you are right at the start of your business.

Vicki Weinberg:

But equally, I think whatever stage you are, however long you've been in

Vicki Weinberg:

business for, this is definitely something that it's always worth remembering.

Charlotte Phillips:

Be adaptable.

Charlotte Phillips:

Um, as I've explained to you, we started out with one idea of how

Charlotte Phillips:

we were going to run the business.

Charlotte Phillips:

We had to change due to a pandemic.

Charlotte Phillips:

Um, now I wouldn't ever wish a pandemic on anybody and hopefully

Charlotte Phillips:

current situation, um, uh, regardless.

Charlotte Phillips:

Um, no one would have to deal with something as big and potentially

Charlotte Phillips:

damaging as that when they're setting up.

Charlotte Phillips:

But I think, you don't know what the market is going to be like.

Charlotte Phillips:

Be it online, be it selling through Amazon, be it selling

Charlotte Phillips:

it actually face to face.

Charlotte Phillips:

So it's a really good idea to just be adaptable, be ready to change, to tweak.

Charlotte Phillips:

Don't go into this with two, set an idea of exactly how it's going to work,

Charlotte Phillips:

because I think you're going to set yourself up for failure if you do so.

Charlotte Phillips:

That would be my one piece of advice would.

Charlotte Phillips:

Be adaptable.

Vicki Weinberg:

Next, I'd love you to hear from Puvan Briah.

Vicki Weinberg:

She has some great advice for you, which is based on her own experience.

Vicki Weinberg:

So if you haven't listened yet to her episode, that's a great one to listen

Vicki Weinberg:

to for a bit of context around the advice she's going to share with us.

Puvan Briah:

Hmm.

Puvan Briah:

I'm trying to think.

Puvan Briah:

I want it to be like golden advice.

Puvan Briah:

You know?

Puvan Briah:

I want it to be like the be all and end all of like advice.

Puvan Briah:

I would say change if you feel like it's going to make you happier.

Puvan Briah:

If your business isn't making you happy, then why are you doing it?

Puvan Briah:

You know, the whole point of it is that it gives you freedom and

Puvan Briah:

it it gives you purpose and you can live your life on your terms.

Puvan Briah:

Um, and that's why I got in, got into it.

Puvan Briah:

So if it's not making you happy, then change it to make you happy.

Puvan Briah:

Um, And also additionally, if you have extra stock, sell it and make some money.

Puvan Briah:

So yeah, that's my, that's my advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

The next advice we're going to hear is from Amanda

Vicki Weinberg:

Davy, who actually had two pieces of advice to share with you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Don't worry.

Vicki Weinberg:

They're really succinct and they are both definitely worth hearing.

Amanda Davy:

Can I do two?

Vicki Weinberg:

Of course you can.

Amanda Davy:

Advice we were given, um, was make your mistakes while you're small.

Amanda Davy:

But there's another bit of advice and that is be patient, go for the long game.

Amanda Davy:

Not.

Amanda Davy:

Not try and do the, the get rich quick models because they blow up

Amanda Davy:

and then down again very often.

Vicki Weinberg:

Now you're going to hear Georgina Robinson from Juniper

Vicki Weinberg:

Studios and myself have a little chat.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so Georgina had some really great advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's, um, Georgina did say it, well initially it wasn't about selling

Vicki Weinberg:

products, although she did agree in the end that actually it, it is.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but I think this is great to listen to.

Vicki Weinberg:

And to remember when you are having tough times and you're just trying to

Vicki Weinberg:

sort of stay in touch with why you're doing what it is that you're doing.

Georgina Robinson:

I think it would just be to make sure

Georgina Robinson:

you're still having fun with it.

Georgina Robinson:

Um, make sure you're enjoying it because I think that really does

Georgina Robinson:

come across in, especially as a small business when it tends to be one person

Georgina Robinson:

or a few people doing everything.

Georgina Robinson:

If you are not passionate about it and enjoying it and doing it for

Georgina Robinson:

the right reasons, your content and marketing and and re reason isn't

Georgina Robinson:

going to resonate with a customer.

Georgina Robinson:

Um, but also it's going to be about your quality of life as well.

Georgina Robinson:

Like there's very few people that will choose to work,

Georgina Robinson:

um, if they didn't need to.

Georgina Robinson:

But actually it, I don't know, it's not, I'm not making sense.

Georgina Robinson:

Are making sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

You are making sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think you're right.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I think you need to enjoy it because, um, otherwise

Vicki Weinberg:

it's a job and I guess.

Vicki Weinberg:

But a lot of us, if we didn't want to be doing what we were

Vicki Weinberg:

doing, would go and get a job.

Vicki Weinberg:

Mm-hmm.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so you have the, I I agree.

Vicki Weinberg:

You have to, you have to want to do it because running a business isn't easy and

Vicki Weinberg:

you know, you have to put in hours, maybe, you know, work more hours, maybe you'd

Vicki Weinberg:

like to, and you know, the income might not always be where you want it to be.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think you do have to have that reason to keep going, because it's hard, and I

Vicki Weinberg:

think if you're not enjoying it, then it's much harder to keep going when you have

Vicki Weinberg:

those hard days or weeks or months even.

Georgina Robinson:

Yeah.

Georgina Robinson:

Yeah, I, yeah, I think that's what I'm getting at, basically.

Georgina Robinson:

And just keep checking in with yourself and make sure that you are, because it's

Georgina Robinson:

really stressful and it's really hard work and the hours are actually way longer

Georgina Robinson:

than if you're working for someone else.

Georgina Robinson:

But obviously there's the huge perks of working for yourself and

Georgina Robinson:

running your own business as well.

Georgina Robinson:

Um, but yeah, I think my biggest thing is just keep checking in with yourself and

Georgina Robinson:

making sure you're still doing it for the right reasons and for you and your family.

Georgina Robinson:

Um, I guess it's not really a tip on how to get your product out there and

Georgina Robinson:

sell it, but um, ultimately I think it actually is because I think it

Georgina Robinson:

does come through in small businesses as a whole when someone is genuinely

Georgina Robinson:

enjoying and loving what they do.

Vicki Weinberg:

Em Royston from Chasing Threads is now going to share some

Vicki Weinberg:

advice with us, um, which is something that I've definitely taken on board

Vicki Weinberg:

myself over the last few years.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, um, I think while you're listening to this, it actually might

Vicki Weinberg:

be worth thinking for yourself.

Vicki Weinberg:

How much of a good boss are you?

Vicki Weinberg:

And, um, love to know your thoughts on this.

Em Royston:

Yeah, no problem.

Em Royston:

I think it's probably maybe more down to kind of how I think, you know, a lot

Em Royston:

of product creators and small businesses work on their own and the whole kind

Em Royston:

of, um, The benefit of, of having your own business is, you know, that

Em Royston:

flexibility of lifestyle and, um, but I think that can be quite hard to kind

Em Royston:

of, to work with your own energy and like, you know, work with your own time

Em Royston:

when you are feeling creative and when you are feeling actually, like, I can't,

Em Royston:

I don't, I don't feel creative today.

Em Royston:

But, you know, um, I base, I guess basically what I'm trying to say is like

Em Royston:

the whole point of, of being your own boss is to be a good boss to yourself

Em Royston:

and not sort of give yourself a hard time if things aren't like going that well.

Em Royston:

I, I used to just set myself kind of a nine to six working day, but actually

Em Royston:

I found that that's not necessarily the best way to be productive.

Em Royston:

And you know, if I'm just sat on my computer just not really achieving

Em Royston:

anything, then I do just go for a walk and listen to podcast.

Em Royston:

Or I'm lucky that I can stitch as part of my kind of work.

Em Royston:

Um, even though it feels really weird, especially like a cross

Em Royston:

stitch, uh, sorry, a trade show time when I'm trying to stitch up samples

Em Royston:

and I'm manically cross stitching.

Em Royston:

It doesn't feel like.

Em Royston:

But, um, yeah, I think just kind of, yeah, allowing yourself to, to use

Em Royston:

time as, as it works for you and, and give yourself a break if you know

Em Royston:

it's not all happening every day.

Em Royston:

Because I think I went through a few years at the beginning when I really did

Em Royston:

late hours and weekends, and I really put all of my energy into my business.

Em Royston:

And that's, you know, put me in the position I am in now, um,

Em Royston:

where I don't necessarily have to burn the candle all the time.

Em Royston:

And yeah, just allowing myself to sort of work with my energy

Em Royston:

when I'm feeling creative and, and know that it'll come back.

Em Royston:

Um, so yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

We are changing gears slightly in this penultimate piece of

Vicki Weinberg:

advice and we're going to hear some really practical business advice from our

Vicki Weinberg:

last two contributors to this episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

So first we can hear from Tas from Very Craft Tea, who's got some really

Vicki Weinberg:

practical but useful advice for you.

Tas:

That's a really good question.

Tas:

Um.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's why I leave it till the end because it's true.

Tas:

Yeah.

Tas:

Lull to a false sense of security being, oh yes.

Tas:

This is a lot harder question . Um, I really, th.

Tas:

Oh, I think the main thing is, is getting your numbers right.

Tas:

I can't stress this enough about everything.

Tas:

So I have this spreadsheet and it's, I don't know, I think it's about 27

Tas:

columns long or something like that.

Tas:

And it talk and it goes through every single bit of costs that it takes

Tas:

for me to produce either a bag of tea to sell or a craft kit to sell.

Tas:

Um, and it talks about bags, labels, uh, processing costs on the website.

Tas:

Uh, so, you know, so like, um, so I, my websites do Shopify, so it'll, um,

Tas:

the cost that Shopify take per sale.

Tas:

Postage how much?

Tas:

Um, you know, PayPal takes all these sorts of things and it all works, and

Tas:

I've done it every single point and then work out how much it costs to

Tas:

sell that before I end up with a price.

Tas:

I didn't do that for about two and a half, uh, no, probably longer

Tas:

than that, probably three years.

Tas:

I hadn't had that and I worked out that I was selling cheaper than it

Tas:

was costing me to, to make it, which is not really a good thing when

Tas:

you're, when you're in a business.

Tas:

So, um, so, um, so yeah, so if I could start again, that would definitely

Tas:

be it, because not O one I guess it would is obviously you don't get into

Tas:

the thing that I was, that you're not selling things cheaper than what you are.

Tas:

It's costing you to get and make, um, two, it you'll be able to build

Tas:

in quite a nice, uh, you know, margin or profit for you as well.

Tas:

But also like three is like you can build in potential uplifts and

Tas:

costs that you, that you might incur from like, uh, you know, like, you

Tas:

know, uh, over the pandemic, like nobody could get cardboard boxes and

Tas:

cardboard boxes that I was buying for 30 p went up to like a pound 50 each.

Tas:

And it was, you know, and all these sorts of things.

Tas:

And it was, you can take a little bit of the hit of that for a small

Tas:

amount of time, but not if it was for, for, you know, forever.

Tas:

So it's, you can work out, you can change, you know, small amount of figures, you

Tas:

know, your figures in this, you know, in your spreadsheet to say, you know,

Tas:

if it did go up a thousand percent, how much is that going to affect the,

Tas:

you know, what I end up getting or, you know, will I have to pass that cost

Tas:

onto the consumer and how, if I do, how do I, you know, explain that to them?

Tas:

How do I mitigate that if I can, or all these sorts of things.

Tas:

So yes, my one piece of advice would be to make sure your numbers are correct

Tas:

because it will end, it will save so much heartache and headache later on when you

Tas:

have up in your prices, um, because you've not factored that in until the beginning.

Vicki Weinberg:

Our very final piece of advice comes from Janet Murray, and to

Vicki Weinberg:

give a little bit of context, I asked Janet for her number one piece of advice

Vicki Weinberg:

for creating content around your products because I know that's something that

Vicki Weinberg:

a lot of us can find really tricky.

Vicki Weinberg:

And Janet is an expert in this area, so here she is with her advice for us.

Janet Murray:

I think it will be to almost put your product aside and to

Janet Murray:

focus on your ideal customer or client.

Janet Murray:

What problems does your product or service solve for them?

Janet Murray:

that's key.

Janet Murray:

But also what problems have they got that would bring you bring them

Janet Murray:

to your product in the first place?

Janet Murray:

So to use, you know, hair products as an example, my daughter does the curly, the

Janet Murray:

curly girl method, and I've bought her all sorts of stuff like silk caps and

Janet Murray:

silk pillows and all that kind of stuff.

Janet Murray:

Like, just really thinking what else would that person,

Janet Murray:

you know, want information on?

Janet Murray:

Like my daughter?

Janet Murray:

Multitude of videos on how to, you know, you sell, you might sell silk

Janet Murray:

caps, but actually your ideal client is also looking for the best brush to buy,

Janet Murray:

or they're also looking for the best, um, leave in conditioner or whatever.

Janet Murray:

And, and actually sometimes it's, bit about being brave enough to

Janet Murray:

talk about other people's products or methods because that's what your

Janet Murray:

ideal customers or clients want.

Janet Murray:

And rather than making them not buy your stuff, it will bring them closer

Janet Murray:

because they will see you as an expert.

Janet Murray:

That's my actually top tip actually to finish is you.

Janet Murray:

Instead of seeing yourself as someone who sells a product, see yourself as

Janet Murray:

an expert in the problem that your product solves, if that makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

So that is it, that is all of our advice for this episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

So thank you so much for all the contributors to this episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, you may not have known you were going to make it here, but you did.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, thank you so much for sharing your advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for listening.

Vicki Weinberg:

I really hope you find these episodes valuable.

Vicki Weinberg:

I know that when I ask this question at the end of each podcast interview I

Vicki Weinberg:

do, I always get such, you know, such unique answers, such different answers,

Vicki Weinberg:

but ultimately such valuable advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and I think it's really great to have this all in one place so that people can,

Vicki Weinberg:

you know, just pick up these top tips.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's great hearing everyone's stories and everyone's journeys, but I love

Vicki Weinberg:

hearing what people say to this question, and I hope that you do too.

Vicki Weinberg:

So thank you for listening all the way to the end of this very special episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

I can't believe I've been doing this for three years now.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's such a long time.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, um, in some ways, in other ways not.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you again for being here and if this is your very first listen.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you as well for giving this podcast a try.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, um, I will be back with another episode for you next week.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for listening right to the end of this episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

Do remember that you can get the full back catalogue and lots of free resources

Vicki Weinberg:

on my website, vicki weinberg.com.

Vicki Weinberg:

Please do remember to rate and review this episode if you've enjoyed it,

Vicki Weinberg:

and also share it with a friend who you think might find it useful.

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