A crisis of conscience
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Posted on Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:02 pm || Last edited by Nárrína on Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Exactly right, Martin. The overall focus needs to be on the yearly earnings, and determine your hourly from that. However, I'd change what you just said slightly from "what you'd like to make in a year" to what you need to make in a year. A lot of businesses go under because they don't understand their actual cost-of-doing-business. You have to do the math. Determine you CODB and cost-of-living, as well as, factor in taxes and profit to find out how much you need to make in a year. From there, you can figure out your target wage-per-hour. You can't just arbitrarily pick a number that sounds good; you need to do the math or you are just setting yourself up to fail as a business. Also, the only part of your business that will actually make you money is when you are making product. So this means that with all the other aspects of business that needs to be done, you won't actually be spending 40hrs a week making product. Most professional artists only spend 25-20hrs a week making their art so for that reason also your hourly wage will be higher as there is still going to be a specific minimum that you need to make in a year. Everyone's CODB and COL is different and so no one specific rate will work. You need to actually take the time to do all the math so you can accurately determine what you need to make in a year and from there you can find the wage per hour you need to charge.


Insistence is futile.

We are the Quartz, lower your shovels and surrender your rocks. We will add your gemological and mineralogical distinctiveness to our own. You will adapt to service us. Resistance is rutile.

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Posted on Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:54 pm
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IDK, It's a personal choice, I don't think we are doing anyone else a disservice by selling our works at any price low or high. I could see how getting an arts degree could be expensive and one would want to recoup that initial investment. I never studied art myself, just put 7 years into the study of chainmaille specifically. Marketing, travel, booth fees, and such are factors. I've found an inexpensive way of marketing is handing the piles of stuff over to friends and family to sell, they often are eager to help out and get better prices than I would ask. I don't begrudge anyone trying to make a buck or ten even, but I'm just going to focus on keeping things from piling up.

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Posted on Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:46 am
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Martin, that formula is a sure-fire way to fail in business. There are two problems with it.

First, you do not always sell, and you need to account for that. You need to make a lot when you can to cover the lean times. I'm consulting, the rule of thumb is 3X you sallery per hour. So to make $30k/year you should charge $60/hour.

Secod, you do not account for business expenses, such as space, equipment, shipping, supplies, marketing, etc. All of that eats up your $20/hour REALLY fast.

Tripling your numbers gets you into the right ballpark. But you still need to do the math.

djgm, your marketing model is a hobbiest model. It works great for that. But imagine paying your sales reps (family). Imagine surviving off those sales. By under-valuing our work we teach people that our work is cheap, or at least should be priced cheap. The result s that we sell ourselves out of business. That's the math.

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Posted on Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:01 pm
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Price as high as the market can bear, correct? Not everything about that is always within our control.

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Posted on Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:08 pm || Last edited by Nárrína on Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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calyx wrote:
Price as high as the market can bear, correct? Not everything about that is always within our control.


True, and just because something is not selling at the price you need it to sell at does not mean it is too high. It can just as easily, and likely more often, mean that you need to change your market not your price, or that your prices may even be too low compared to their perceived value.

However, regardless of the issues that are outside of your control you need to understand what all of your costs (business and living expenses) are and what the bottom line is that you need to make in order to actually have a successful business and be able to make a living from it. Do not compromise on this.



Insistence is futile.

We are the Quartz, lower your shovels and surrender your rocks. We will add your gemological and mineralogical distinctiveness to our own. You will adapt to service us. Resistance is rutile.

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Posted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:07 am
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calyx wrote:
Price as high as the market can bear, correct? Not everything about that is always within our control.
not quite. Price what the market will bear, but understand the cost of doing business. Sometimes the market simply can't support your business. Pretending that's not true doesn't't help anyone.

It's simple: if your business is not self-sufficient, it will sink. This includes ALL costs, including salary, equipment, supplies, overhead, downtime, and all other costs, hidden and direct.

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Posted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:23 am
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perhaps if the market can't bear a business a hobbyist model is more realistic.

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Posted on Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:06 pm
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Dinwar wrote:
calyx wrote:
Price as high as the market can bear, correct? Not everything about that is always within our control.
not quite. Price what the market will bear, but understand the cost of doing business. Sometimes the market simply can't support your business. Pretending that's not true doesn't't help anyone.


And if that happens with you, and you still wish to have this as a business then you need to find where the market will support your business. I do not sell where I live. The area is just to poor an area to grow my business. I tried selling at some of the local events and craft shows and I couldn't even make my table cost (and this was only a $25 booth fee). So I changed where I did my shows and the type of show I would do. I've found that for me, the right market is at the fine art shows, not the craft shows (the booth fees took a dramatic increase, but so did my sales). So if you find that where you are seeking to do business, is unable to support your business then try a different area and look for where will support your business.

djgm wrote:
Perhaps if the market can't' bear a business a hobbyist model is more realistic.


Not if you intend it to be a business and not a hobby. If you run a business by a hobby model you will just end up with a lot of frustration and a failing business. A hobby model cannot sustain a business. If you find the market where you are trying to sell will not support your business then look for where will. Only after exploring for a reasonable amount of time different markets if you still find your business unsupportable, then evaluate what needs to change with your business: is there a way you can lower your business costs? Speed up your production time? Reevaluate what types of items you sell? Is there an even lower cost item line you could introduce without compromising on the ones you already have? Etc.


Insistence is futile.

We are the Quartz, lower your shovels and surrender your rocks. We will add your gemological and mineralogical distinctiveness to our own. You will adapt to service us. Resistance is rutile.

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Posted on Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:35 am
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Heather Dale gave a TED talk on finding your tribe that is worth watching In this context. She does very little advertising, yet makes a good living--because she found a market that loves what she produces.

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Posted on Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:46 pm
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Dinwar wrote:
Heather Dale gave a TED talk on finding your tribe that is worth watching In this context. She does very little advertising, yet makes a good living--because she found a market that loves what she produces.

More specifically, she found where those people are and then started going to them. Wherever they congregate is where her market is, so that's where she goes. Consequently she goes to a lot of conventions, and does house concerts--people say "I leave here, I can get X people to come" and she goes to their house and does a concert. And I have got to convince my mom to do that some day, because oh my god with the acoustics in that house..........sorry, what were we talking about?

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Posted on Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:11 am
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Dinwar wrote:
calyx wrote:
Price as high as the market can bear, correct? Not everything about that is always within our control.
not quite. Price what the market will bear, but understand the cost of doing business. Sometimes the market simply can't support your business. Pretending that's not true doesn't't help anyone.

It's simple: if your business is not self-sufficient, it will sink. This includes ALL costs, including salary, equipment, supplies, overhead, downtime, and all other costs, hidden and direct.


But that's what I meant...? If the market can't bear your costs, then you sink. So all you can do is try to lower your costs (if you can at all), and/or increase your perceived value, and if you can't then try to find a different market. If you can't, then you go out of business.

Some advice just says, decide what you want to make and price accordingly, but the market has the final say.

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