5 Tips for Launching a New Handmade Product

5 Tips for Launching a New Product

If you are anything like me, the fast approach of the New Year has your creative brain buzzing with ideas for new products.

Ideas development, product planning, and market research are all very important – but there are a few more things to think about for a new product launch in order to give it it’s best chances of success.


1. Create suspense

This is a good time to get people to sign up to your email newsletter. Entice them by letting them know that subscribers will have exclusive pre-launch offers or event invitations.

A very important part of your creative business is creating customer engagement. You need to engage as many as possible in the launch of the new product weeks or even months in advance.

This creates positive word of mouth and suspense or ‘buzz’ around your brand and your new product, which means when it comes to the launch you will have a higher chance of success.


2. Share the process

Let your customers have little sneak peeks into the process and planning of the new product. This shows your customers the time and effort that goes into what you do.

It also helps in creating that ‘buzz’ in the lead up to the launch. Don’t be afraid to show the human side of creativity either! Mistakes and accidents are all part of creativity, and sharing the good as well as the not so good are great for that customer engagement. Facebook and instagram are excellent tools that will help you do this.




3. Take pre-orders

Once you have a product completed or near completion it is a good idea to take some good quality photographs so that people can see the item.

Customers who are now engaged will want the product as soon as possible! If you have the resources, offering limited pre-orders can be a great way to gain confidence in your product, offer exclusivity and back to the most important step, it keeps that ‘buzz’ going!





4. Set a date

Once you have an idea of time set a date and stick to it! This is a great way to stop procrastination and get those products finished.

It also tells your customers that they have something to look forward to and will assist with those initial sales. You can give all of your new mailing list subscribers exclusive access to the new product prior to the official launch also as their gift as well as invitations to your official launch.


5. Create an event

It is great to launch your new product online but having a physical presence can also be a great boost. Somewhere people can come to hold, feel, and engage with the new item and of course you!

See if you can make your launch date coincide with a local market, a retail outlet, gallery or even a private gathering to celebrate.


By taking the time to launch your product – rather than just popping it it your shop with little fanfare – you have an opportunity to not only boost sales, but build the story of your business in an authentic way that will win you new fans and potential long-term customers who feel connected to your brand.

5 Tips for Work-at-Home Creatives


During the Holidays, it’s no doubt you get together with family that perhaps you don’t see much of the year. 

Inevitably, you will be asked ‘What have you been up to?’  When you start telling them about working for yourself from home, I am sure there has been at least one person who exclaims, ‘MUST BE NICE!’  Little do they know!

Working from home is not as easy as the stereotype would have you believe.  

In fact, it can end becoming MORE work than the ol’ 9-5 you ditched to become a full-time entrepreneur.  

Now that’s not to say it can’t be everything you ever hoped for. 

Treating your business seriously and learning to practice professionalism and are a must.  

Here are five tips in order to keep from losing your mind and throwing in the towel:

1. Always make sure to present your best self.  You may not be going in to an office where you are surrounded by coworkers, but this is not the time for ratty sweats and last night’s mascara.  Make it a pre-workday ritual, wash your face, comb your hair, get dressed!  You wouldn’t present a sloppy piece of work, so don’t present yourself that way (even if no one is around). 

2.  Create a dedicated working space.  Having a space you set aside just for your business, will mentally prepare you to get busy!  It also allows you to create that separation from your work when the day is over and you move to the next room (or the other side of your apartment).

3.  Always remember, YOU ARE NOT A RECLUSE.  Have a life outside of your home.  Just because you work at home and live at work you are not a shut-in! You need to make that physical break regularly. 

4. ORGANISE.  ORGANISE. ORGANISE.  Clearly, I think highly of this practice.  As a small-business owner, you are juggling many, many roles.  You will need to have a good handle on your different tasks and learn to manage.

5 practices organizaiton is a must

5.  Having a plan will help with this.  Do you have yearly goals?  Monthly goals?  Daily goals?  Well you should!

Know where you are going, and plan a clear path.  Write down your daily tasks that get you to those goals.  Set deadlines!  Meet those deadlines!!  You always need to know where you are going and how you are getting there, or what is it all for?

Lastly, be prepared to plan again if you get thrown off course.  

All that being said, working from home really can be wonderful!  

You need to develop discipline, though.  

Keep reminding yourself why you love what you do, and stay focused.  And maybe you can even initiate casual Friday and show up to work in your gym clothes and top knot.

Do you have your own practices that help you work from home?

Why you should work on ideas consecutively, not concurrently



Why you should work on ideas consecutively,

As entrepreneurs, we have so many ideas swirling around our heads. New ideas for products, marketing ideas, new business launches and the list goes on and on.

How do we make sure we focus enough on an idea to see if it’s viable, make a plan to carry it out and then ensure it’s a success.

After many hard-won years of trying new things in my business, I’ve unlocked one of the secrets.

Do things one at a time, not all at once.

Consecutive not Concurrent.

Seems like a really simple and almost ‘duh’ kinda realisation but I’m telling you now: it’s often the simplest things that we fail to see or forget when we’re knee deep in our business planning.

I have started so many things in the past that haven’t really had the legs because I tried to do them alongside another huge project or business and then ultimately ran out of time.

So how do you decide what you should focus your time on?

Follow these three easy steps to make sure you actually get things done and don’t use up all your energy trying to do things all at once

1. Write them down

You’re afraid if you don’t start on your new idea right away, you’ll forget it.

Simple solution: write it down.

Use a project planning site like Trello or a just piece of paper and a pen: it doesn’t matter as long as you have it to refer back to.

2. Plan them out

Make yourself a list of questions which will help you to decide whether this idea is going to be good for your business.

e.g. Does this fit with my business plan? Am I at the right stage of my business to add this dimension? What is the real reason I want to enact this plan/idea? Is this financially viable (write a small budget)? etc.

Then, once you’ve written a few of these plans and you have a few ideas which you want to get started on, decide which one to do first.

Consecutive not Concurrent.

3. Put them in your calendar

Now that you know what you want to do first, plot out how long it’s going to take you.

e.g. If it’s new product, how long will it take you to design, develop, make, photograph, market and list in your store

Then do this for the other ideas you have and plot them into your calendar along with milestones you want to reach along the way.

Then you’re all set to get started on your new idea without feeling like you’re neglecting all your other great ideas.

Having a planning day away from your creative space is such a great idea if you’re going to undertake this activity. I can’t recommend enough finding a Library, cafe or other free space to sit and think about these things without the distraction of home and work.

Have you got a story to tell where you took on too many things? Tell me below!

[20] Handmade Business Holiday Prep Checklist (with Downloadable PDF)

The Create & Thrive Podcast - Episode 20

I know it’s only the end of August, BUT – for those of us in handmade business, the time to start thinking about the holidays and Christmas sales is now. Why? Because it takes a lot of time to get prepared for the (hopeful) Christmas rush, and by getting ready early, we can ensure we’re organised, stocked up, and don’t miss any potential opportunities.

No matter how many years you’ve been in business, it is worth setting aside a bit of time around the beginning of September to plan your holiday strategy. How? Well, that’s exactly what I’ve got for you today. I’ve created a checklist of the most important tasks and steps to take in order to have your best Christmas sales season yet.

Sound good? Right on, let’s do this!



Ep 20 Quote - Create & Thrive Podcast

Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

I reckon the downloadable checklist is enough for you to be getting on with this week – so download the image and/or the pdf printable version below! I go into a lot more detail about each step in the podcast (including sharing a few stories where I got these things VERY wrong and learnt my lesson the hard way).

Please feel free to share the image of the checklist below wherever you’d like – Pin it; share it on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram; email it to a friend; print it out and stick it on the noticeboard at your local craft shop or cafe – whatever! – and help other makers get prepared for their own holiday sales.


Handmade Business Holiday Prep Checklist - Create & Thrive (1)


 To get a FREE downloadable PDF of the checklist, just enter your email below!

This download is available as part of my #HandmadeBusinessToolkit – which is packed full of free resources (ebooks, downloadables, and guides) that will help you grow a thriving handmade biz.

The Handmade Business Toolkit is available for absolutely FREE to my C&T email subscribers.

If you’re already a subscriber, check your inbox for the most recent email I sent you – the password for access is inside!

If you’re not already subscribed, just pop your email in the box above and click ‘yes please’ to get access to the #HandmadeBusinessToolkit for absolutely free!


Download/Listen to this Episode

You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher

6 Top Tips for Market Stall Setup Success



6 Top Tips for Market Stall Setup Success

So, you’ve decided to do your first market, or perhaps you’ve done a few and are struggling a little with your setup.

Here are some things I’ve learnt over the past 6 years to make the lead up to a market and your setup time easy and fun.

  1. Plan Ahead

Setting up your table a couple of days before your market will not only make your setup time quicker and easier, it will also allow you to play around with how best to exhibit your products, give you time to work on your display, and allow you to setup with confidence and joy on the big day.

Set up just as you would for the market.  If it’s a night market and you need lighting, set up at night and use your lights to ensure they highlight your work in a way that will draw customers to your stall.

If you’ll be in a marquee set up in one or if you don’t have one, measure out the space so you can get a feel for your table layout.

Market Stall 2
  1. Promote yourself

Most markets rely to some degree on the fan bases of their stall-holders to drive customers to the event so make sure you promote your market dates to your customers and followers and in your e-newsletter if you have one.

  1. Packed and Ready

Packing your items and display pieces to take to market takes practice but having them packed neatly and concisely will make it easier to travel from your car to your stall site and to unpack quickly. 

Plastic boxes of various sizes are the most common way to pack your pieces if they are small.  Use bubblewrap for fragile items, you can use it again to wrap them when they sell.

If you sell clothes, you can set up a hanging rail in the back of your car so you can transport them to market without them getting crushed.

Buy or borrow a flatbed trolley and straps to keep boxes secure (you can get them both cheaply from lots of places and they truly are worth it).

  1. Display

You don’t need expensive display items to show your work off.

Creating height and balance to your stall can be achieved through using wooden crates or boxes or wrapping and painting cardboard boxes.

Look around your house and see what you can use to create a memorable display. 

Op shops are also a great source of display items and if you’re handy or got someone handy in your life, making bits and pieces for your display is not only satisfying but makes sure it’s the perfect size and fit for your products.  Remember that you’re creating a mini shopfront so make it inviting with business cards in a prominent place.

Market Stall 3
  1. Stock

Always make it bit more than you think you’ll need and be prepared with pen and paper to take any custom orders that might come along on the day if your business works that way.

Sometimes customers don’t like to ask the price so make sure everything on display in your stall is priced in a discreet yet clear manner.

Ensure that your items are priced clearly and that your table is not overcrowded. 

Price points are an absolute must so be prepared with entry (impulse), mid (affordable and the bulk of your sales) and high-end (draws people in) priced products to attract a range of customers and encourage repeat custom.

  1. Essentials for Market Day

It’s easy to stay up late the night before a market whizzing up last minute bits and pieces but it’s to your advantage to give yourself a cut-off point where you stop making, get your car packed and rest up for the big day or night ahead.

  • Wear your product if it’s appropriate and make sure to choose comfortable clothes and shoes suitable to the weather and your style
  • Have some healthy and wholesome snacks with you as well as lots of water
  • Pack a mini first-aid kit with some band-aids, pain relief, hair bands, safety pins, sunscreen etc in case of emergencies
  • Make sure you’ve got bags/packaging for your customers to take your products home in
  • Be sure to take business cards along so your customers can find you again!
  • Have a newsletter signup sheet so people who are interested with your work can keep up to date with what you’re making

And last but definitely not least, be inviting, courteous and gracious and most of all have heaps of fun!


P.S. Do you want to learn how to sell more at Markets & Shows? Check out out self-study e-course, which you can start right now!

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