If you could be guaranteed Indie Business success just by remembering 3 things, and working according to them, would you be up to the challenge?
If so, here is today's tip:
1. Make Technology Your Slave.
Big topic, I know. But let's start with e-commerce. No Indie should have a website with a printable order form. Do you have time to choose a product, print an order form, fill it out, write a check, find an envelope, find a stamp, seal everything up and keep track of it until you get to the post office? Yeah, I know. Get a merchant account and make it easy for your customers to buy your products. You can use services offered by your banking institution. If they can't help, use a search engine to find merchant services that fit your needs. If you can't get a traditional account, use PayPal or Checkout. If they don't work, use CCNow. (They charge too much, but at least you get the sales.) Other ways to use technology include a user-friendly website, a digital camera to take pictures for your site, an email newsletter, a blog and countless other things to make your business easier and more fun for you and your customers. If you don't make technology your slave, you will work harder for less.
2. The Riches Are In The Niches.
No one buys jeans anymore. They buy low rise jeans. They buy jeans for women with hips. They buy boot cut jeans. They buy customized jeans. They buy stone washed jeans. Levi's has the bucks to make and effectively market all of them. In other words, they can be all things to all people. Indie's can't. Start with one thing and expand from there. Pick a niche and stick with it. Pick and Stick. I like that.
3. Schmooze Or Lose.
No Indie is an island. Just like an attempt to live life without like-minded friends will be a disaster, so will an attempt to enjoy Indie Business without like-minded Indies. Find a trade association, local chamber of commerce, moms group, dads group, whatever, and start showing up. You'll get new business ideas, leads for new customers, leads for new vendors and you'll have fun at the same time.
… and they're off!
PS – I love blogging for many reasons, one of which is it gives me a chance to engage in shameless and gratuitous sharing of my kids' pictures. I'm sorry, I can't help myself. Above, they are with a friend at their weekly horseback riding lesson.