Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Small business what?

I've been under a lot of stress recently, all of my own making.  Setting up a business sounds great...and then, you get to the pricing part.

I have been reading some great stuff recently about "name your own price" promotions, and how that worked out for another stationery/paper goods graphic designer.  And I completely agree with what's at the heart of the experiment:  what value does my work actually have to the consumer?  And of course there's the difficult notion that its still all in my head:  I have no idea what my stuff is worth to an actual consumer, because, um, I haven't listed anything as for sale?  Because then I would have to set a price.

I do have a history of selling myself short.  Not always, not every time, but in the grand scheme of things, I want to be liked more than I want to be wealthy apparently.  But what do I care what some random person on the internet thinks of me?  It's not like they'll ever meet me, and if they happen to know me (like they're reading this blog, for example) and they think my prices are not well aligned then...maybe they wont read my blog anymore?  Maybe they wont want to be friends anymore?  Or maybe...they just wont buy any paper goods from me.  And that has to be ok, I think.

Its been really scary to me to put a hard price on something, and I don't even have to look someone in the eye when I do it.  I just put the number out there on the internet, and wait to see if anyone bites.  If no one does, does that mean my stuff is no good, or no one can find me, or that my prices are too high?

My dad keeps telling me that I can't afford to do this at cost, and I know he's right.  I can't afford to do this at cost.  But what I haven't figured out yet is whether I can afford to charge what I need to to justify my time and energy.  And I think the hard thing for me to accept is that quite possibly, the answer will be no.  And if that's the case, it has to be ok too.  I'll always have something to fall back on. Like maybe my professional degree.  Or furniture.

Anyone want to buy this chair? :)

Art Nouveau side chair.  That's right, I made this.  And then I taught myself how to upholster, and upholstered it too.

1 comment:

  1. I can't tell if you're saying you really don't think the stationery business is worth the trouble, or if you just doubt people would pay what you'd need to make it worth it. if you really want to do it, maybe lowball the prices at first, or for the first few clients, so you can have a few customers under your belt and you can gauge what people will pay. then raise prices to make it something you can live off of when you're ready! eh?

    also if I had any money I would TOTALLYYY buy that chair. gorge.