Musings from the workshop
1st March 16
Your own Curtain Making Business Part 1

Here is the first in a series of blog posts, that will hopefully give you a little help if you are thinking of starting your own small business. So if you want to make Curtains for a living here is our first TIP: Remember this Proverb.

"Charge nothing and you'll get a lot of customers”

In other words don’t end up being a "Busy Fool”. BEWARE, you may well go through the following cycle as you set up. 

  • Learn how to make the curtains and blinds on courses, tutorials etc
  • Decide you need more practice, so make your own, then make blinds/curtains for family and friends really cheap.
  • Get  loads of repeat business from family and friends cos you are so cheap. (you feel you can’t put your prices up)
  • Your friends and family highly recommend you - because you are so cheap.
  • Your skills improve, you are making good quality products now.
  • Everyone wants a deal. You get every job you price for.
  • You are working really hard but don’t seem to be making much money.

Congratulations you appear really successful but you are in fact now a “Busy Fool"- (don’t worry we have been too).

So .......STOP!!!!!!!!!!

That is the alarm BELL - "You get every job you price for", which means you are almost certainly too cheap.

So, what to do?

Firstly you need to get to stage 5 "making good quality products” which will take time, mistakes and a lot of hard work. If you get the opportunity to work in another workshop don’t underestimate how much this will improve your skill levels and knowledge. Then...

  • FOCUS ON QUALITY (Make sure the quality of what you make and the service you provide is the best it can be.)
  • VALUE YOUR TIME (Running your own business involves paperwork as well as making.)
  • VALUE YOUR SKILL (Think, what are you being charged by your Plumber/ Electrician/ Mechanic/ Chimney Sweep per hr.)
  • PUT YOUR PRICES UP and earn a living. 

Remember anyone can find cheap fabric - It’s much harder to find a good maker.

Believe or not we don't think you should attract every customer. If someone declines your quote - That is good news!! You are finding the right price point. Have you ever heard of the Pareto 80:20 rule?

  • 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers
  • 80% of your hassle comes from 20% of your customers

In our opinion those customers that are very price sensitive (I need a deal! I can find it cheaper on the internet! Can you price match this? I haven't got much money to spend on this!......) are very likely to be the in the 20% that create 80% of your hassle. So our advice is don't be a busy fool and a bottom feeder, focus on making quality products at fair prices to YOU as well as your customers.

Next Blog - Our thoughts on Pricing: How to charge and How much to charge??

Extra Help & Comments

Emma Evans
I love this blog & need the next one now, lol!!!
Ali Hildred
Lol. So many 'bells ringing'.
Karen Finney
So pleased to be able to read this because I would never have 'heard' a word due to very loud, ringing bells! Thanks... my costings and t's & c'have been updated to reflect the time and personal service I offer.

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