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It’s episode 155, and 3 years since I started this podcast. I’ve spoken to so many wonderful product creators and people who support product creators over the last three years, and I have learned so much from absolutely everyone that I spoke to. To celebrate I have put together a compilation of some of the best advice I have heard over the years.If you want to launch your own product or are just in need of a friendly boost this is the episode to listen to!

Listen in to hear top tips from:

  • Stephanie Orr, (01:10)
  • Meera Bhogal, (02:05)
  • Iain Moore, BGreater Shoes (03:15)
  • Laura Gillett, (05:29)
  • Louise Almond, (06:56)
  • Demi Pendakis, Find Your Glow Ltd (08:04)
  • Cara Sayer, Snooze Shade (09:20)
  • Claire Grant, OriOrso (11:45)
  • Vic Wood, Greener Beauty (12:54)
  • Marieke Syed, Snackzilla (14:01)
  • Ciara Westhead, Pico UK (15:13)
  • Trish ODwyer, Autism Threads (20:02)
  • Raksha Patel, Reflect With Raksha (21:43)
  • Charlotte Phillips, Rugsy Lugsy (23:14)
  • Puvan Briah,  (24:29)
  • Amanda Davey, Tilia Publishing (25:21)
  • Georgina Robinson, Juniper Studio (25:54)
  • Em Royston, Chasing Threads (28:25)
  • Tas, Very Craft Tea (30:32)
  • Janet Murray, (33:32)


Listen to the episodes in full: 

Episode 102 Taking part in an accelerator to grow your business – with Stephanie Orr

Episode 101 How to create an integrated range of products & services – with Meera Bhogal

Episode 149 Selling a product people don’t know they need – with Iain Moore – BGreater Shoes

Episode 130 Getting ready to launch your first product- with Laura Gillett

Episode 87 Getting ready to launch your first product – with Louise Almond

Episode 133 Leaving your career to start a new business – with Demi Pendakis – Find Your Glow Ltd

Episode 88 Why your product needs to be on Amazon – with Cara Sayer, Snooze Shade

Episode 136 How to create a children’s fashion brand – with Claire Grant – OriOrso

Episode 138 Sourcing and selling sustainable products – with Vic Wood – Greener Beauty

Episode 112 Creating a food business and getting stocked in major supermarkets – with Marieke Syed – Snackzilla

Episode 125 Selling sustainable partywear – with Ciara Westhead – Pico UK

Episode 105 Creating products with a cause – with Trish ODwyer – Autism Threads

Episode 109 3D printing your own products to sell – with Raksha Patel, Reflect with Raksha

Episode 104 Creating a business you love – with Charlotte Phillips, Rugsy Lugsy

Episode 86 Pivoting your product based business – with Puvan Briah

Episode 11, Moving your products business online – with Amanda Davey, Tilia Publishing

Episode 110 Creating a Sustainable Business – Georgina Robinson – Juniper Studio

Episode 148 Selling to retailers using wholesale platforms – with Em Royston- Chasing Threads

Episode 124 The importance of knowing your numbers – with Tas – Very Craft Tea

Episode 84 Creating and selling planners – with Janet Murray


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Welcome to the Bring Your Product Idea to Life podcast. This is the podcast for you if you're getting started selling products, or if you'd like to create your own product to sell. I'm Vicki Weinberg, a product creation coach and Amazon expert. Every week I share friendly, practical advice, as well as inspirational stories from small businesses. Let's get started.

Vicki Weinberg:

Hello and welcome to a very special episode. Not only is this episode 155. It's actually almost three years to the, today, to the very first episode of this podcast was launched, which is just incredible to me. I launched this podcast during a pandemic, which obviously wasn't the plan. And um, here we are three, three years later. I've spoken to so many wonderful product creators and people who support crop product creators over the last three years, and I have learned so much from absolutely everyone that I spoke to. One very popular episode I. Um, I think it was two years ago now. Wow. Was advice from product creators. So I ask everyone at the end of the episode their number one piece of advice and yeah, this is a compilation of some of the advice that I've heard over the years, so I really hope you enjoy. Up first is Stephanie Orr. And Stephanie has some great advice kick us off because her advice is all about just getting started.

Stephanie Orr:

Just start, just try it, put it out there. I mean, I probably should take that advice myself because I do have about five new products sat here that I haven't put out in the world yet. Um, but I think that is the biggest thing is, you know, put it out there. It, it might not sell, but at least you'll know then, and you can develop it in and you know change it and hone it until it's something that does sell or it might sell amazingly. And, you know, you'll surprise yourself and give yourself that massive boost of confidence to go again. Um, so yeah, I think it's, you know, just get started. Just get, get it out there somehow some way, whether it's your own website or Etsy or pop-up shops, or just put it out there and see. Try it.

Vicki Weinberg:

Uh, my next piece of advice comes from Meera Bhogal. I really enjoyed listening to this piece of advice because I, like probably a lot of us, um, do suffer from imposter syndrome from time to time thinking, why me? Am I good enough? And, um, I think looking at what other people are doing and thinking, oh, either I can't do that or why would anyone be interested in what I'm doing? Is something that can trip a lot of us up. So, um, do listen to this advice from Meera and take it to heart as well. Because it's a great, great thing to remember.

Meera Bhogal:

I think, um, my top piece of advice is don't be put off by people saying, but that's already been done. Yeah, it doesn't matter because you are going to do it differently to somebody else. So don't, don't, don't go looking out into, to your competitors or get overwhelmed by all the people maybe doing the same thing, because just focus on your own uniqueness and your own creativity and put that into your product, and that will make your product different to somebody else's. So don't be put off by however many people are doing things in the marketplace. There will always be somebody who will be interested in what you are doing. As long as that product is, is a piece of you, um, it will work. So my next piece of advice comes from Iain Moore When Iain's episode first came out, a few of you actually contacted me to say this advice really resonated with you. Um, it resonated with me too actually. Some of you may know that something I say quite often is that, um, done is better than perfect. I really do believe that, and I think Ian's advice is really good for anyone who sometimes can suffer a little bit with procrastination and, um, putting off, making decisions.

Iain Moore:

So I've been trying to actually give this some thought, and I don't know if I could say that, you know, I'm definitely not far enough down the line to be saying this is what other people should be doing, but I can definitely say what has worked well for me and I would say, If you're trying to make a decision, you're never going to be a hundred percent sure. So for me, I was trying to get to, am I about 75% sure this is the right decision, and if it is, that's my threshold, and then I go, fine, let's go with it. Because otherwise you can just drag things out for so long trying to find the perfect, you know, answers what, you know, the perfect shoe design or, or whatever it might be. Whereas actually I'm like, no. Is it 75% there? Yes. Good. That's good enough for me. And then I'll start doing whatever it is and if it doesn't work, and it just means you've learnt faster and you know, so, you know, when, I'll give you an example. When we first launched, because everyone has to be mindful of, of the environments and stuff, we, we wrapped our shoes to post them out in, um, paper with sort of nice, um, eco paper tape on top. And it was like, yep, this is the way I'm going. You know, 75%, I'm sure that this is the right option. And we started. And within a couple of weeks I was like, Nope, it doesn't work. Uh, just because of the amount of time, even though it was, you know, I mean it was, this taken me sort of, you know, 40 seconds I think to wrap up, uh, just a box by itself. But even still, when you're posting so many, it didn't work. But rather than spending ages and everything getting delayed, I made the decision. I started going down that path and I just learned faster that it did, does or doesn't work. And yeah, that, that's something which has really helped.

Vicki Weinberg:

Next we are hearing from Laura Gillett from Stomperz Shoes. It probably won't surprise you to know that I absolutely loved Laura's piece of advice because it is all about the importance of research, um, which is something that I feel really, really strongly about. But, um, rather than me tell you that again, I'd love you now to hear what Laura has to say.

Laura Gillet:

So I thought really hard about this question actually, and I kept changing my mind. But I think my number one piece of advice would be to spend your time before you spend your money on really doing your research into your market market, sorry, your customer, um, making sure that there is definitely an opportunity out there. I obviously knew the product well because I was the target market. I was the parent who couldn't find shoes, and I knew exactly what a parent needed, but I had to still do a lot of research into what was available. How many other parents out there were having that problem before I decided to. Any of my own money to the project. Um, because the last thing that you want to do is get very excited that you found this niche, you found a gap, chucked lots of money in and then realize that actually there isn't anything out there or there is something out there that you've missed. So I definitely think that spending your time before your money is a really, really important point.

Vicki Weinberg:

So we've just heard Laura talk about the importance of doing your research. The next piece of advice follows on from this really nicely. It's from Louise Almond, and Louise is talking about how it's really important to be willing to adapt your idea based on what you actually find out in your research.

Louise Almond:

I think just have a, have a really good plan. Like understand your customer, understand what it is you are trying to achieve. Because it can be very, you can get a bit design fixated, I think. And I've seen a lot of people do it. Students do it. But you know, you have this great idea and you just, you are bit blinkered and actually knowing how it's going to work. Is there growth in it? Can it, can the idea be adjusted? Um, can you add pieces to it? So, yeah, I think for me it was just, I had to really make sure I understood what it was that I was trying to achieve. I had an idea, but if I'm going make it a business, what, what do I really need to know and how, what would make it successful? So it's kind of almost forgetting your idea in a way. Um, so to know that you are actually willing to change your ideas to suit what is needed. Um, so avoid design fix.

Vicki Weinberg:

Next up, we are going to hear from Demi Pendakis, from Find Your Glow. Demi spoke about the importance of being authentic and how authenticity can really help a brand, but he also had a bonus second piece of advice because you know it is hard to choose just one. So listen in to hear the two pieces of advice that Demi really wants you to hear.

Demi Pendakis:

Oh, just one. Um, uh, authentic.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'll let, I'll let you have more than one If you need to.

Demi Pendakis:

Auth authenticity, just be true to, to, I would say be true to what it is you're trying to create. Don't veer from that. Have it all written down. Every decision you make, just make sure that it's authentic and nobody, everyone can tell a contrived brand straight away. Everyone can tell a copy cat straight away. Um, so yeah, authe, authenticity and do that by, by researching. Um, but what I would say is, as a second one is do whatever you can to keep your costs down because it's very, very easy to get out of control. Um, you think about all the research and developments, et cetera that you're doing. Um, it just, yeah, just make sure you got, you got an eye over your costs. But authenticity and, and that, because ultimately it's all cash flow for a young business, so many, so many businesses closed within the first three years just purely because of cash flow as well. Uh, so from my perspective, you've got, you've got to have an eye on that and whatever you're developing.

Vicki Weinberg:

So up now is Cara Sayer from Snooze Shade. So Cara again had two pieces of advice for us, so you're definitely getting some bonus advice this episode. Um, following on from Demi, talking about being authentic, that's actually something else that Cara touches on on in her advice, um, which I thought was really interesting. And she also speaks about U S P and she had some brilliant points about your U S P or unique selling point, um, which is something I haven't heard actually say, so it might give you something to think about.

Cara Sayer:

I think I would say. Just make sure you are really clear on your U S P, which is your unique selling point. And like I say, that isn't necessarily the unique, unique selling point of the product. It could be the unique selling point of the customer service experience. It could be the unique selling point of how you deliver it and package it. It could be the unique service, unique selling, um, point of the fact that, you know, You sell a tea brand and you donate to, um, you know, elephant sanctuaries in India, you know, whatever it might be, but, but find something. Um, so I'd say there's that one. Find something unique. And the other thing I would say as well is at the Amazon world is full of a lot of people. It's quite funny whenever I go to Amazon events because it's full of people who are selling like, you know, seven, eight figures or whatever, and they, and if you say to them, what do you do? They're like, oh, I'm in the baby category, or I'm in the pets category. And I'm like, oh no. I do Snooze Shade, and they're like, what? Hmm, sorry. You know, because it's all very secretive and no one likes to share what they do. And I'm like, I don't care because I'm a real, I consider myself a, a brand. I just happen to use Amazon as a sales channel. Um, because I would say that, you know, one of my top tips is if you're not afraid of putting your face out there is, you know, add a bit of personality to your listings. On Amazon and, and to your website, make it about the real you or you know, give the, give customers a story because they like stories, they like a to be given a reason why they should support you over some other faceless entity. And you know, if you go to any of my listings, uh, and you're welcome to, they're not, I do them all. They're not particularly brilliantly done. But again, doesn't have to be perfect, just has to work. And you know, you'll see there's pictures of me on there, pictures of my daughter. Um, I talk about the fact that it's invented by a mum, you know, because that is actually part, a very important part of the story. And Amazon particularly, and the internet is quite a faceless personality less place. So the more you can do to make people actually care about why they should buy from you, the better, I think, really.

Vicki Weinberg:

Next up, we have some great advice from Claire Grants, and this advice is particularly relevant to those of you in the very early days, perhaps just starting out with your business.

Claire Grants:

It would be, don't be afraid to try everything yourself. Um, I, from the outset was very set that I wanted to do every step along the way and learn about what it took to actually create a brand. And I think there's some amazing experts out there. And certainly in time I might outsource more of what I do, but I've learned a huge amount from actually having to do the marketing, the sales, the branding. Um, I've done every step along the way, and I think that has definitely, um, held me in good stead and allowed me to make sure the brands exactly as I want it. I think sometimes when you use experts too soon, um, or you outsource things like your branding, then it is very expensive. So it's a, it's an upfront cost, but it's not always authentic to what you wanted it to be. Um, and so yeah, that would be my thing is don't be afraid to, to try everything yourself. Might take a bit longer, but I think it definitely pays off in the end.

Vicki Weinberg:

Next up is Vic Wood from Greener Beauty. And Vic's advice is actually indirect contradiction really to the advice you've just heard from Claire. But the reason I chose to include it is because I feel like there is no one size fits all. Um, not every piece of advice you hear today or anywhere else is going to resonate with you or with everyone. And um, I think it's really good to get lots and lots of perspectives, which is why I love each of these interviews because everyone has something else to bring, including the advice that they give. So, um, I would love now for you to hear what Vic has to say.

Vic Wood:

I think if I could go back and do it all again, I'd probably work out a way to work with experts from the beginning. And I know that makes it difficult because there's not always the budget to do that, but the challenge is, you know, you could spend five years doing your own ad campaigns or your own accountants and it just, it just will take you so much longer. And it's more, not only, it's a time thing, it's also the efficiency thing. I would say, you know, do your best to invest as much as you can on getting the right people on board.

Vicki Weinberg:

Our next piece of advice comes Marieke from Snackzilla. Marieke's advice is also relevant to anyone in the really early stages of creating a business. Um, and it's all around asking for help and who you might thinking about asking.

Marieke Syed:

I think my number one tip would be before you start, really reach out to other people with similar products and really invite them for a coffee or a phone call and really, you know, drill them for, sorry, drill them for everything that they know. What are the highs? What are the lows? How much money have they really had to invest or raise to make their products successful and just get as much info as you can at that beginning stage before you start investing your time and money into doing anything. Because you just learn so much from, from doing that network and getting that advice from other people. Um, So that's just so important. Before you start, just talk to people who have, who have done it successfully, but also maybe not successfully. Really find out what were the lessons learned so you can take those lessons into your own business.

Vicki Weinberg:

Now you're going to hear a little chat with Ciara from Pico and myself. Um, what we talk about is really more of a mindset, um, hack or trick or point of view, or however it is you want to say it. Um, and by the way, for anyone who listens to the original episode, no one has proven me wrong yet. Um, so if you think you can please do get in touch because I genuinely would love to hear from you.


Oh yeah, I saw this. Um, I would say time, just like give it time because you know, we've only been started for three months, but I am in such a different place to where I was when I first started and I'm in such a different place to when before I started. I know so much more now from three months ago and then three months before that I know so much more and you just have to, you know, I think we hear about these overnight successes of people that they start, and that's amazing that they do. They start businesses and they're a success straight away. But actually I think, you know, to start a business, you really do need to have time and you also need to have resilience, which I'm sure, you know, most founders, um, know about You just, you have to keep kind of going and don't burn yourself out. But give yourself time and really, you know. Yeah, I would just say keep going and you'll be, if you're stuck in somewhere right now, take a break and then you, you know, take a, a moment to kind of flip everything over and then in, you'll probably look back in three months time and be like, I got over that, and then onto the next hurdle type thing. So yeah, just, I would say give it time. Give it time to get orders up and give it time to, you know, learn so much more to get to the next stage. Yeah, time.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you. I think that's really good advice and you are right because I think it can be really tempting to, it would be really tempting to sort of do thing quickly or you can get really disheartening that things take time, but I definitely think it's worth spending that time and that's all. A lot of the, what am I trying to say? I think there's so much more time upfront than you realize, but it's all the stuff that's really important, like all the research and the stuff that feels like maybe you're not actually getting anywhere, but I think it's really good groundwork to be doing. Definitely, like I think about it when I was just,


you know, sat on my, um, desk, um, every morning and Pico was really just a vision. I remember thinking, is it ever going to become like reality? Like at one point I was like, am I really going to get there? And if I can think of myself a year ago, I, I feel like really? Wow, okay. I did it. Like it's just the start and there's so much to come and I'm so, so excited about that. I didn't, in a sense, I didn't think I'd be here at one point, but I am. And then hopefully, you know, I've got visions for the next six months and the next year and hopefully I can look back and be like, I actually did get here. And you know, be proud of that.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think as well that it seems like a long time, but then I meant, I was mentioning big one before we start recording that we last spoke last year. And to me the time in which between we last spoke and speaking to you today, when I look at how much you've done in that time, I just go, wow, you've done such a lot in a short space of time. So I think often we are quite hard on ourselves as well, but um, yeah, whenever you speak to any, any sort of company founder, they've always, always been working on it for much longer than, than you'd think. And actually even a lot of like massive companies now. Um, and I know we are all small businesses. When you even talked to massive companies, they, some of them took like 5, 10, 15 years to actually get to be. You know, a household name or in some cases get to be selling anything much at all really, you know, see any kind of success. So I just think, yeah, we're often quite hard on ourselves, but it really doesn't matter how long it takes, does it?


No, I know. And I think that is, again, maybe we have, like I said, you know, we, we see things like I even saw things and I was like, oh, but like you see these overnight success stories and all these kind of things, but mo, I don't think most companies. Actually it does happen like that. Um, so yeah, don't be disheartened that if, you know, I would say don't dishearten if you haven't, if that doesn't happen for you because yeah, there's so many companies that it didn't happen, but they have been huge successors, but it's taken time. So yeah, just give time.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I think overnight success is actually a myth and um, I'm pleased. If anyone wants to prove me wrong on that, that's fine, but I would say nine times out 10, it's a myth. And actually that overnight success has probably been working away quietly for much longer than any of us realize.


Yeah, I agree. Agree. But yeah, let us know anyone if, um, prove us wrong.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I'm sure I will be free from all of that. We're now going to hear from Trish from Autism Threads. Trish's advice follows on really well from what we just heard before from Ciara. So I really wanted to share this advice with you and, um, I'm sure lots of you will be able to resonate.


Um, it's a really good, good question, I think don't, don't be sort of, um, disillusioned by, you know, or, um, fooled by people's success, especially on social media. There's the, you, you see it, and you can't help but think all of these businesses with their very pretty posts and are, are, you know, churning out the sales. It, it, that really isn't the truth. Um, it takes years, um, pandemics aside and, um, like you suggested earlier to, to focus on your passions and your strengths you have. You know, you're going to have to work really hard. You, things that you do in the background, you won't realize that will actually start to generate sales. Um, you just have to keep, you have to keep at it. And I think my, my, you know, you have to, you have to make it, you have to tell yourself, if you are, if you're a personality like me, who's, who's not full of self-confidence. You have to tell yourself that this is, that this is your business. Because when you're a mum and you're working from home and it's your own small business, you can't believe how, how unimportant it can become to the rest of the family. They just seem to assume that it just does its own thing in the background, you know? And, and, and you drop everything for loads of washing, for family lunches, for school runs for, yeah. You have to, you have to keep making it important for yourself you know.

Vicki Weinberg:

Last year I spoke to Raksha Patel about how she started up her business around bullet journaling. Raksha has some great advice to share with us now, as well as, um, a quote that she uses, which I absolutely love. Um, see if you can spot which one it is.


What I would say is that there's a lot to learn, um, in this whole journey, and you only really learn by doing and reflecting. Um, and a, there's a quote that I love that describes this really well. It's, I hear and I forget. I see. And I remember. I do and I understand, and this couldn't be more true because I always thought about starting a business or wanting to work for myself and spent years just putting myself off because I always thought I didn't have any good ideas or I don't know what to do. Um, and it was only after taking that first step of making a video that I really started understanding how to offer something valuable to others. And so it's when you actually try to do something and then reflect on what you've done and refine it along the way, that's when you truly understand your offering. Um, so my advice would be to take a small step, act on one of your thoughts, whether it's just sharing something online or testing, making a small sample of a product to try and sell. Um, the more you try to do something and then reflect and refine it along the way, the closer you get to creating something special.

Vicki Weinberg:

Now, Charlotte Phillips has some advice to share with us, and Charlotte's advice applies whether you are right at the start of your business. But equally, I think whatever stage you are, however long you've been in business for, this is definitely something that it's always worth remembering.

Charlotte Phillips:

Be adaptable. Um, as I've explained to you, we started out with one idea of how we were going to run the business. We had to change due to a pandemic. Um, now I wouldn't ever wish a pandemic on anybody and hopefully current situation, um, uh, regardless. Um, no one would have to deal with something as big and potentially damaging as that when they're setting up. But I think, you don't know what the market is going to be like. Be it online, be it selling through Amazon, be it selling it actually face to face. So it's a really good idea to just be adaptable, be ready to change, to tweak. Don't go into this with two, set an idea of exactly how it's going to work, because I think you're going to set yourself up for failure if you do so. That would be my one piece of advice would. Be adaptable.

Vicki Weinberg:

Next, I'd love you to hear from Puvan Briah. She has some great advice for you, which is based on her own experience. So if you haven't listened yet to her episode, that's a great one to listen to for a bit of context around the advice she's going to share with us.

Puvan Briah:

Hmm. I'm trying to think. I want it to be like golden advice. You know? I want it to be like the be all and end all of like advice. I would say change if you feel like it's going to make you happier. If your business isn't making you happy, then why are you doing it? You know, the whole point of it is that it gives you freedom and it it gives you purpose and you can live your life on your terms. Um, and that's why I got in, got into it. So if it's not making you happy, then change it to make you happy. Um, And also additionally, if you have extra stock, sell it and make some money. So yeah, that's my, that's my advice.

Vicki Weinberg:

The next advice we're going to hear is from Amanda Davy, who actually had two pieces of advice to share with you. Don't worry. They're really succinct and they are both definitely worth hearing.

Amanda Davy:

Can I do two?

Vicki Weinberg:

Of course you can.

Amanda Davy:

Advice we were given, um, was make your mistakes while you're small. But there's another bit of advice and that is be patient, go for the long game. Not. Not try and do the, the get rich quick models because they blow up and then down again very often.

Vicki Weinberg:

Now you're going to hear Georgina Robinson from Juniper Studios and myself have a little chat. Um, so Georgina had some really great advice. It's, um, Georgina did say it, well initially it wasn't about selling products, although she did agree in the end that actually it, it is. Um, but I think this is great to listen to. And to remember when you are having tough times and you're just trying to sort of stay in touch with why you're doing what it is that you're doing.

Georgina Robinson:

I think it would just be to make sure you're still having fun with it. Um, make sure you're enjoying it because I think that really does come across in, especially as a small business when it tends to be one person or a few people doing everything. If you are not passionate about it and enjoying it and doing it for the right reasons, your content and marketing and and re reason isn't going to resonate with a customer. Um, but also it's going to be about your quality of life as well. Like there's very few people that will choose to work, um, if they didn't need to. But actually it, I don't know, it's not, I'm not making sense. Are making sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

You are making sense. I think you're right. Because I think you need to enjoy it because, um, otherwise it's a job and I guess. But a lot of us, if we didn't want to be doing what we were doing, would go and get a job. Mm-hmm. Um, so you have the, I I agree. You have to, you have to want to do it because running a business isn't easy and you know, you have to put in hours, maybe, you know, work more hours, maybe you'd like to, and you know, the income might not always be where you want it to be. So I think you do have to have that reason to keep going, because it's hard, and I think if you're not enjoying it, then it's much harder to keep going when you have those hard days or weeks or months even.

Georgina Robinson:

Yeah. Yeah, I, yeah, I think that's what I'm getting at, basically. And just keep checking in with yourself and make sure that you are, because it's really stressful and it's really hard work and the hours are actually way longer than if you're working for someone else. But obviously there's the huge perks of working for yourself and running your own business as well. Um, but yeah, I think my biggest thing is just keep checking in with yourself and making sure you're still doing it for the right reasons and for you and your family. Um, I guess it's not really a tip on how to get your product out there and sell it, but um, ultimately I think it actually is because I think it does come through in small businesses as a whole when someone is genuinely enjoying and loving what they do.

Vicki Weinberg:

Em Royston from Chasing Threads is now going to share some advice with us, um, which is something that I've definitely taken on board myself over the last few years. And, um, I think while you're listening to this, it actually might be worth thinking for yourself. How much of a good boss are you? And, um, love to know your thoughts on this.

Em Royston:

Yeah, no problem. I think it's probably maybe more down to kind of how I think, you know, a lot of product creators and small businesses work on their own and the whole kind of, um, The benefit of, of having your own business is, you know, that flexibility of lifestyle and, um, but I think that can be quite hard to kind of, to work with your own energy and like, you know, work with your own time when you are feeling creative and when you are feeling actually, like, I can't, I don't, I don't feel creative today. But, you know, um, I base, I guess basically what I'm trying to say is like the whole point of, of being your own boss is to be a good boss to yourself and not sort of give yourself a hard time if things aren't like going that well. I, I used to just set myself kind of a nine to six working day, but actually I found that that's not necessarily the best way to be productive. And you know, if I'm just sat on my computer just not really achieving anything, then I do just go for a walk and listen to podcast. Or I'm lucky that I can stitch as part of my kind of work. Um, even though it feels really weird, especially like a cross stitch, uh, sorry, a trade show time when I'm trying to stitch up samples and I'm manically cross stitching. It doesn't feel like. But, um, yeah, I think just kind of, yeah, allowing yourself to, to use time as, as it works for you and, and give yourself a break if you know it's not all happening every day. Because I think I went through a few years at the beginning when I really did late hours and weekends, and I really put all of my energy into my business. And that's, you know, put me in the position I am in now, um, where I don't necessarily have to burn the candle all the time. And yeah, just allowing myself to sort of work with my energy when I'm feeling creative and, and know that it'll come back. Um, so yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

We are changing gears slightly in this penultimate piece of advice and we're going to hear some really practical business advice from our last two contributors to this episode. So first we can hear from Tas from Very Craft Tea, who's got some really practical but useful advice for you.


That's a really good question. Um.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's why I leave it till the end because it's true.


Yeah. Lull to a false sense of security being, oh yes. This is a lot harder question Um, I really, th. Oh, I think the main thing is, is getting your numbers right. I can't stress this enough about everything. So I have this spreadsheet and it's, I don't know, I think it's about 27 columns long or something like that. And it talk and it goes through every single bit of costs that it takes for me to produce either a bag of tea to sell or a craft kit to sell. Um, and it talks about bags, labels, uh, processing costs on the website. Uh, so, you know, so like, um, so I, my websites do Shopify, so it'll, um, the cost that Shopify take per sale. Postage how much? Um, you know, PayPal takes all these sorts of things and it all works, and I've done it every single point and then work out how much it costs to sell that before I end up with a price. I didn't do that for about two and a half, uh, no, probably longer than that, probably three years. I hadn't had that and I worked out that I was selling cheaper than it was costing me to, to make it, which is not really a good thing when you're, when you're in a business. So, um, so, um, so yeah, so if I could start again, that would definitely be it, because not O one I guess it would is obviously you don't get into the thing that I was, that you're not selling things cheaper than what you are. It's costing you to get and make, um, two, it you'll be able to build in quite a nice, uh, you know, margin or profit for you as well. But also like three is like you can build in potential uplifts and costs that you, that you might incur from like, uh, you know, like, you know, uh, over the pandemic, like nobody could get cardboard boxes and cardboard boxes that I was buying for 30 p went up to like a pound 50 each. And it was, you know, and all these sorts of things. And it was, you can take a little bit of the hit of that for a small amount of time, but not if it was for, for, you know, forever. So it's, you can work out, you can change, you know, small amount of figures, you know, your figures in this, you know, in your spreadsheet to say, you know, if it did go up a thousand percent, how much is that going to affect the, you know, what I end up getting or, you know, will I have to pass that cost onto the consumer and how, if I do, how do I, you know, explain that to them? How do I mitigate that if I can, or all these sorts of things. So yes, my one piece of advice would be to make sure your numbers are correct because it will end, it will save so much heartache and headache later on when you have up in your prices, um, because you've not factored that in until the beginning.

Vicki Weinberg:

Our very final piece of advice comes from Janet Murray, and to give a little bit of context, I asked Janet for her number one piece of advice for creating content around your products because I know that's something that a lot of us can find really tricky. And Janet is an expert in this area, so here she is with her advice for us.

Janet Murray:

I think it will be to almost put your product aside and to focus on your ideal customer or client. What problems does your product or service solve for them? that's key. But also what problems have they got that would bring you bring them to your product in the first place? So to use, you know, hair products as an example, my daughter does the curly, the curly girl method, and I've bought her all sorts of stuff like silk caps and silk pillows and all that kind of stuff. Like, just really thinking what else would that person, you know, want information on? Like my daughter? Multitude of videos on how to, you know, you sell, you might sell silk caps, but actually your ideal client is also looking for the best brush to buy, or they're also looking for the best, um, leave in conditioner or whatever. And, and actually sometimes it's, bit about being brave enough to talk about other people's products or methods because that's what your ideal customers or clients want. And rather than making them not buy your stuff, it will bring them closer because they will see you as an expert. That's my actually top tip actually to finish is you. Instead of seeing yourself as someone who sells a product, see yourself as an expert in the problem that your product solves, if that makes sense.

Vicki Weinberg:

So that is it, that is all of our advice for this episode. So thank you so much for all the contributors to this episode. Um, you may not have known you were going to make it here, but you did. Um, thank you so much for sharing your advice. Thank you so much for listening. I really hope you find these episodes valuable. I know that when I ask this question at the end of each podcast interview I do, I always get such, you know, such unique answers, such different answers, but ultimately such valuable advice. Um, and I think it's really great to have this all in one place so that people can, you know, just pick up these top tips. It's great hearing everyone's stories and everyone's journeys, but I love hearing what people say to this question, and I hope that you do too. So thank you for listening all the way to the end of this very special episode. I can't believe I've been doing this for three years now. That's such a long time. And, um, in some ways, in other ways not. Thank you again for being here and if this is your very first listen. Thank you as well for giving this podcast a try. And, um, I will be back with another episode for you next week. Thank you so much for listening right to the end of this episode. Do remember that you can get the full back catalogue and lots of free resources on my website, vicki Please do remember to rate and review this episode if you've enjoyed it, and also share it with a friend who you think might find it useful. Thank you again and see you next week.