Like many of us, Jacinta’s business started when she couldn’t buy something she wanted – so she figured out how to make it.

Fast-forward a number of years later, and she’s developed a successful niche business making products out of laminated cotton.

One fascinting element of Jacinta’s business development has been the way she’s focussed on customer-driven product development. That is – listening to her community, and creating products that they want, rather than creating products and then finding a market for them.

We talk about the importance of listening to and learning from our customers, and how you can leverage that knowledge to give people what they’re looking for.

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Quotes and highlights from this episode:

 

  • Jacinta’s business originated when she couldn’t find a washable high chair mat and sourced fabric to make her own. When she shared this on Facebook lots of people requested one and her business grew from there.
  • “We all have the same problems – if you have a problem there’s a chance that there are a lot of other people who need a solution to this problem.” {Jacinta}
  • Jacinta listened to customer comments, feedback and requests to create new products that solved problems for others. 
  • “Sometimes we gloss over messages on social media but there can be real gold in these.” {Jess}
  • “Once three paying customers you don’t know directly are happy to buy it this is going to be a product that will work.” {Jacinta}
  • Jacinta values markets as this allows her to connect with customers and gather feedback and ideas. She rotates through lots of markets and engages with smaller regional areas.
  • She wholesales selectively which creates an intermediary to audiences she may not generally connect to.
  • “Not everyone will like you but they may like your product.” {Jacinta}
  • Jacinta expanded her business in 2018 to hire a staff member to assist with production and social media.
  • To best use her time, Jacinta uses a weekly plan where she sets goals and breaks tasks down.
  • “A mistake a lot of people makes is they overestimate how much they can get done in a week.” {Jess}
  • Lower your expectations on what can get done in a week and become comfortable with the idea that you will never have a blank slate on your business to do list.
  • Jess discusses the Urgent/Important task management matrix.
  • Visit Jacinta’s business: Laminated Cotton Shop.

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