7 Things You Can Change In Your Creative Product Business So You Can Make More Money NOW

by Jane Button on August 2, 2011


A few days ago I was asked (on twitter) to critique a website to see if I could offer any help about a creative product. I checked through it pretty quickly and my immediate response was: there are 5 things I could tell you right away about what you could change that would completely alter your bottom line, increase your sales and turn your great idea into a REAL business.

I'm thinking that maybe if that was you, and you were looking to become a profitable business, you might want to know the 5 things you could change. So I am going to share those with you, and add a bonus two items, so here they are:


The 7 Things You Can Change in your Creative Product Business So You Can Make MORE MONEY NOW:
1. Unless you are an artist who lives for making one of a kind artwork (that is a whole different business) DO NOT offer choices and custom made products. First of all when you offer your potential buyer too many choices it is hard for them to make up their minds and they become confused. A confused customer does not buy, and leaves with nothing. Offering choices of fabric designs, colors, etc. forces the potential buyer to make a decision. Don't have them make the choice – you make the choice by offering your products by style and color with separate style numbers for each. If you truly want to be profitable by selling products to stores and one by one to individuals – then you have to change this mentality. NO MORE CHOICES – and especially on your website! I'm sorry it was too confusing, I could not figure out which one I would want to buy.

2. If you still want to allow customers to "design their own" make it well worth your while. My rule of thumb is at least 3 times the regular retail. It's CUSTOM work and requires a custom price. So if someone is insistent you can make the offer and a profit. The reason for this is: You'll have multiple emails and communication going back and forth – time is very valuable.  If you are making just one of something whether doing it yourself or hiring someone to do it – one item is SO SLOW – you have to pay yourself or someone to do it. If it is a wholesale order require a minimum number of units and make sure it is either prepaid in full or at least a 50% deposit for custom orders. Custom order means custom cutting, fabric, perhaps embroidery or other special touch that you normally do not sell off the shelf.

3.Include individual photos of items with a "buy" button. I know, I know this sounds so elementary – click to buy, but amazingly enough this is not standard. I think what happens is people get so carried away with getting photos up on their site, they forget that the purpose of the site is to sell their products. Each product MUST have a style number and a description. So if your product's name is "Rose Garden Tote" and has a style number "123RGT09" and when your client clicks to buy it goes into a shopping cart and "ta da!" both you and the customer know what the purchase is! Each individual product needs to have a buy button – even if you offer the same product in a different color or pattern. Remember get rid of the confusion!


4.Photos must be clear and show off the product. These are not snapshots of your vacation; these are good clear photos of your product's design and features. Great to show someone using the product, but also up close and personal is important. When people are buying online they want to know exactly what they are buying – so they need to have good close-ups as well as the whole product. I encourage my clients to show all features so potential buyers can see the workmanship. Remember these folks have not seen your products in person, so you want to convey the quality, design and workmanship. And by the way, if you really want to show off your products post a video explaining the benefits and features of an individual product or your company. To get an idea of what to say and do, I suggest watching HSN or QVC for pointers.

5. Have a way for people to pay. Again, sounds simple but unless you offer a way for people to buy with a merchant account (you can accept major credit cards) or PayPal, how do they know they can really buy? My suggestion is to have a shopping cart – I personally like 1ShoppingCart because it is easy and works with nearly all merchant accounts including PayPal and further it's easy to change prices and create many items. Remember – MAKE IT EASY TO BUY

6. The Main Page or Home Page of your site must be enticing and exciting – think of it as an invitation. The design as well as the graphics, headlines and the copywriting are all critical. Most small product businesses have people directed to their home page. When your potential customer comes to that page you need to WOW them so they will look further into the site and make a purchase. So on the main page, you might have "deal of the month" featuring a popular item – or a story about a customer – with leads to get them to a page to make a purchase. Make them curious about what you have to offer.

7. Sell your products wholesale. In the long run this is the only way to stop making one of a kind and start making money. Would you rather sell 100 units to one buyer or 100 units to 100 buyers? It's as simple as that. Going wholesale means your life will change. Going wholesale means taking your business to the next level. So if you sell designer aprons – sell them wholesale to restaurants, delis and food stores. And sell them in packages – not one of! You'll want to make sure this is visible on your website for all to know – because you never know who might visit.

And lastly I want to say do not get discouraged. It's usually not as much the product that is holding back sales, it's the other component parts. You can do it!

Love and Success,


Jane Button


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