Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Talking about online business strategy

Whoah.. title..

Well, I am absolutely not the right person to talk about this. Not reaching the standard yet, but since I have a little bit of experience and knowledge (not those formal knowledge; remember, I am a microbiologist.. hehehe), still learning tho, lets me share with u what I know. Maybe you can drop some comment to share with me on your own opinion about the topic.

The blog:
Of course if you want to sell thing in the net, you have to have your own space- that would be the blog. When you already have one, decide on the product. Ok, lets say you want to sell tudung. Normal people call it tudung Syria, but since you sew them by yourself and want to personalize the tudung, you call it tudung Neeza. Well, that is OK if your Tudung Neeza is a big name, appeared in the local magazine, or in Rancangan Nona and wore by Rozita Wan Chik. But if you just started the business, it is advisable to named the tudung as Tudung Syria. People googled tudung Syria and they'll found your online site. You can put your site as tudungneeza dot com. But if you're selling Syria, just put the normal name people call everyday. Google will help you in finding your customers. Trust me. Key word is very important. Like me, 50% of my online customers come to me asking me to sew them baju kurung.

Customers and promotional:
Believe me, nowaday everything can be sell in the net. You name it, you got it. You don't have to be unique. Just specify. If you sell/sew baju kurung, those wearing one will come to you. But before you jump on selling in the net, try to sell to your friends or relatives first. Get their feedback. This help you to improve your product (if yours is handmade). This is what I did. I made for my own first, later promote to my close friends, and if the service is good, the network will spread like a virus.

Social network helps a lot: twitter, facebook But what really helps is the mouth to mouth spreading method. If you good, people talk. And yes, if you not good, people will also talk. So the tagline “customers is always right” is indeed very true.

Pricing:
OK. This is very-very-very crucial. Me myself have an inner problem in putting price on my item/handwork. So far, 80% of my tailoring job is just amik upah (payment for the job done). The raw material aka the fabrics are provided by the customers. From what I read, pricing an item can be done in two ways:
1)follow what other people are offering.
2)count every single effort you put to produce the specific items (and if it is very hard to do like rubber stamping, you can charge high, provided your masterpiece is fine)

As for me, here in Putrajaya, upah jahit baju kurung kosong is rm35 with turn around time less than a week. And since I am quite slow and not pro, my upah is slight lower that is rm20 per baju for more or less than a month time frame (huhuh). Later when you're good, having your own regular customers, then you can slowly increase your price as same as what other people is offering. Or if you're really-really good, you can charge higher.

And one tips I learn on selling handmade items is that you have to have an A item that is very good, very unique with its own price range. Example here, I am selling my own made wristlets. Most of them are at rm30-40 but this one unique designer fabric is sell at rm80-100. So when people sees those wristlets which are offer at rm30-40, they will see it as a reasonable price as there is another type of wristlets in the shelve at higher price.

However, I also learnt that people here doesn't really much appreciate handmade work because of the pricing matter. And I know we're fighting very hard with the items made by people from the mainland. Hahah..

I think that is all I can think for now. Thanks Ween, for asking and for giving me an idea to write.. heheh. If you wanna know more in surviving online craft business, try read Craft MBA. Check out under label price and business basics. They really have a very good tips for us to follow.

:)

6 comments:

  1. yeah right abt the key words. ppl found me using "sunhat" or "sun hat" keywords and im in the top 10 ranking in google. ehem ehem..

    good tips la neeza. write more! tapi baca tak pasal scoutie girl tulis "why buy handmade items doesnt work anymore?"

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  2. omg. this entry does helps me a lot! i love ur writing and the way u delivered ur words, sis. thanks for answering me! :)

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  3. Mai, thanks. Key word memang sgt penting. About what scoutiegirl tulis tu, my opinion, sedar tak sedar, we crafter kills our own production. Example: mcm carrier Er**baby. Start from home biz, but later d biz went very well, so kena hire people and it grows exponentially and the cheapest man power is from the mainland. So jadila Ia made from china (just like buah epal nyer product la).. Hahaha.. But that's business la- to make profits.
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    Ween, hope you get d messages :)

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  4. walau mcm mana pun, handmade item takkan sama mcm factory made one. handmade is special. masih besar market utk handmade items. insyaallah.

    as for me, i always put a term for everyone yg asking about my homemade CD/CP - ikut giliran, and biasanya tempahan siap within a week (or more). buat giveaway mmg membantu utk promote brg kita.

    kak, ada plan nk buat entri lengkap ttg industrial machine? rasa nk beli tp clueless..

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  5. Thanks for this post! Very helpful, I just started my own online business and having a read a blog just like yours is very encouraging.Keep up the good work!

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  6. Lynn, akak dh buat dh entry pasal industrial akak dulu. check out this link:
    http://www.neezaneedles.com/2010/03/industrial-sewing-machine.html
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    Joan, thanks for dropping by my blog. glad you like this entry. :)

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