If you’re not 100% clear about the future of your business, don’t miss today’s episode!

My guest is Katie Hunt, and she’s going to share how you can take the temperature of your business by focussing on 4 key areas:

  • Time
  • Money
  • Heart
  • Impact

Katie is the founder of Proof to Product, a podcast host, business strategist and community builder for product-based business owners.

Since 2011, Katie has helped thousands of brands get their products on the shelves of retail stores big & small. Her alumni’s products are sold in Target, Nordstrom, Container Store, Starbucks as well as independent boutiques around the world.

Katie brings experience, education and a love of learning into her programs. She earned a dual MBA in marketing & finance from Loyola Marymount University and she has over 20 years experience teaching innovative business development and marketing strategies.

Her strengths lie in connecting people and bringing ideas to life – brainstorming, making a plan and executing.

Katie’s Facebook & Instagram.

You can listen to the podcast below, or on your fave podcast app – or you can watch it on YouTube!

Support the show

You can make a secure donation (of the amount of your choice) via the Paypal button below.

Each donation helps cover the cost of hosting, show-note writing, research, interviewing, recording, editing, etc. etc.

In short – it helps to cover the time and financial costs of putting together a free weekly show to help you grow your handmade business.

You can also:

Highlights and quotes from this episode:

 Katie worked a corporate job for over 20 years until she decided to create her own handmade stationery for her wedding. Soon after, friends and family began requesting stationery and the business, Kelp Designs, grew from there.

  • Katie not only wanted to sell custom made products, but also pre-made items that could be sold wholesale.
  • 6 months after starting the business, Katie exhibited her products at one of the largest paper goods and stationery trade shows, and it became obvious that many of her colleagues at the trade show were amazing artists, but they struggled with the business side of things such as marketing, billing etc.
  • This led to the creation of Proof to Product to help artists get their products onto store shelves.
  • Jess agreed that it is an endemic problem within the handmade industry that artists and creators struggle with pricing or marketing products, and business aspects.
  • “I have this practice that I teach our clients about taking our business temperature, and it means that we are intentionally taking time and looking at the bigger picture and making strategic decisions about where we want the business to go next.” {Katie}
  • Jess stressed to listeners the importance of taking the time to plan; it makes things so much easier and it allows you to feel in control of things.
  • Katie agreed that it makes decision making easier. If an opportunity presents itself, you can ask yourself if this aligns with the direction you are wanting your business to go, and with the goals you want to achieve.
  • There are four key metrics that Katie runs every decision through:
  • Time involved in the project / opportunity
  • Money i.e. what is the potential profit
  • Heart, energy level of this opportunity. Do you look forward to doing this?
  • What kind of impact is this going to have on you, your business, your clients etc.
  • Jess spoke about making a long term vision for the business, as this can help you relax more, slow down, and see that rest and creativity are just as important as the other ‘businessy’ things that you have to do.
  • For example, Jess takes an annual planning sabbatical when she plans what the year will look like with regards to product launches, events etc. but also creating blocks of time for creativity and design.
  • Katie also takes an annual planning retreat similar to Jess. As well as business items, Katie suggested that makers should first plot out their personal schedule on this planning calendar as this is the priority. Then add on the major events such as trade shows, making time for product releases, including time for product photos, updating the website, etc. Finally, be sure to leave plenty of space to allow for new opportunities that might arise throughout the year.
  • Both Katie and Jess also block out their Fridays to allow for catch up work, meetups.
  • Following Covid, Katie now tries to do short term planning as this gives more flexibility and can allow for a shift in focus if necessary.
  • Makers should remember that the plan / calendar is not set in stone, it is there for you so that you can come from a place of knowledge, if and when new opportunities arise, and make decisions about what is best for the business.
  • Katie also layers plans for her clients and categorises different aspects of the business. For example, pre-production, production, sales. This helps with not overloading on one side of the business.
  • Things to avoid: Avoid assuming things won’t change, as they always will. Makers therefore need to leave space for change, and be flexible. 
  • Don’t underestimate the time taken to do certain things, and be sure to prioritise. 

Not planning is the biggest mistake, and can be as simple as a piece of paper and a calendar. You don’t need fancy software.

  • Katie spoke again about taking the temperature of a business as this is about more than just planning. It includes an assessment of what is working well, not working well, and how we make a shift from this. How do we work smarter and not harder? 
  • ‘It’s not just putting things on a calendar, it’s about putting the right things on a calendar.’ {Katie}
  • Katie reiterated that this is your business so you get to choose the direction, what you say yes or no to, and really lean into that power. You don’t have to do something just because that’s what other people do, you set the rules for your business.
  • Katie can be found at prooftoproduct.com, and her podcast is Proof to Product, available everywhere you listen to podcasts. 

There is a great free course available at prooftoproduct.com/resources for those people considering if wholesale is suitable for them. 

Pin It on Pinterest