Paul and I started out painting furniture as a hobby. Click here if you’d like to read our whole story but the short version is this:
We were both working in stale corporate jobs and painting furniture was our creative outlet.
Like so many other people who find a hobby they just adore, we dreamed that one day doing what we loved could be our full-time job.
Fast forward a few years and here we are, our hobby actually DID turn into our full-time job and now we coach others who want to do the same thing.
So, here are our pointers for getting your business off the ground.
Earlier this week Paul and I were chatting with a friend whose daughter paints and sells her furniture. Our friend told us that her daughter was wondering if painted furniture was on its way out and if the market is oversaturated since she hasn’t sold anything in a week or two.
A week or two without selling a piece isn’t exactly cause for concern. There are seasonal fluctuations in any industry. I took a look at the last 6 years of data for Furniture and Home Decor provided by FRED® Economic Research and I found that the busiest month for furniture sales is December, and the slowest is January. June ranks near the bottom of the list at #9 so it isn't a surprise that her sales were off a little in June.
So, if you’re concerned because your sales are off at some point throughout the year, this list may help ease your mind.
As most people already know, I spent many years working in big pharma. Much of that time I worked directly with the VP of Sales and later, I worked in Marketing. Along the way, I kept my eyes and ears open and learned everything I could from the entire experience.
I never dreamed that so much of what I learned could be applied to my life as the owner of a small business.
So, in no particular order here are the lessons I use every single day.
"Everyone's painting furniture."
We heard this twice in the last week from two separate customers who paint furniture for sale.
Both customers were feeling discouraged because they were starting to feel like the marketplace was becoming too crowded.
Look, if Paul and I felt that was true we would never help and encourage people to start up their own business. We would be holding on to our tips, techniques and marketing knowledge for dear life.
If we felt the market was saturated, we wouldn't want anyone else out there painting furniture for sale.
But here's the truth...
I know you feel it, too.
That excitement you feel every time you start painting a new piece?
When you crack open a can of paint, pick up a brush and start in.
Your mind wanders and you start thinking about how great it would feel to do this as a full-time job.
You’ve never thought of yourself as a creative person. But there’s something about doing this that awakens something in you.
But you immediately push the thought of doing it as a job down. It’s not practical, this is a hobby, not a job.
Maybe you’re afraid...