Business advice - finance - your thoughts

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5 minutes ago, BayrischDude said:

An update - of sorts.

 

Following the advice of some, I looked into crowdfunding and decided to do Kickstarter.  Inside day one and three backers already.  Not complaining, but I am not overly optimistic.  The potential landlord and my bank were both (surprisingly) willing to hold their respective contracts until 15 June.  Aye, the bank was harder sale.  I told them I wanted to look at other locations in the area and needed more time.  Not a complete lie as there is another shop here - not ideal, but could do.

If anyone is interested:  Kickstarter project

 

@john g., send me a pn so I can get you added to the list - quickly.  I've added four orders to the queue just this week (2 - TTers!).
 

 

Hey man, 

 

I have had a look at kickstarter and I have some thoughts, if you don't mind a bit of honest feedback from someone who loves your product but is also a multiple kickstarter backer

 

1. You should have a 10 dollar reward. The people who give you this don't get anything physical back, but you can send them weekly updates/photos etc on what you are working on. Consider a newsletter kind of thing.

 

2. You are not giving anyone an incentive to back you here instead of going direct to you. In fact it is the opposite. The people here are your investors, but you want to charge them double for the same product you sell them online? Truthfully mate that is not going to get you any customers. (unless I'm 100% wrong). In fact you should be offering them something they can't get by going to your shop direct. It doesn't have to be a discount per se, but charging significantly higher is I think bad business. What kickstarter does is put your product in display in front of thousands. As we said before no one minds paying top prices, for top products, but no one wants to buy the same quality for double the price.

 

3. You haven't completed the FAQ section... Do it, this is your chance to inform the public!

 

4.. You haven't outlined how regularly you are going to update backers, and in what medium? Maybe backer only newsletter/you tube videos.

 

5. You should thinking about using tags... The gauntlets for example would fit in a cosplayers wardrobe too, and people pay a lot for it.

 

Hope this helps

 

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While I'm here, 

 

Another thing you may want to consider is giving a belt to someone who you think represents your brand, is an influencer. Get the right person wearing one of your belts/bags, and tweeting it to thousands might give you a hell of a lot of orders.

 

Using your friend's example. Imagine if Stephen Spielberg tweeted I got my hand made belt from BayrischDude...go look him up here:

 

Have a think about it!

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1 hour ago, hugsrock said:

1. You should have a 10 dollar reward. The people who give you this don't get anything physical back, but you can send them weekly updates/photos etc on what you are working on. Consider a newsletter kind of thing.

 

2. You are not giving anyone an incentive to back you here instead of going direct to you. In fact it is the opposite. The people here are your investors, but you want to charge them double for the same product you sell them online? Truthfully mate that is not going to get you any customers. (unless I'm 100% wrong). In fact you should be offering them something they can't get by going to your shop direct. It doesn't have to be a discount per se, but charging significantly higher is I think bad business. What kickstarter does is put your product in display in front of thousands. As we said before no one minds paying top prices, for top products, but no one wants to buy the same quality for double the price.

 

3. You haven't completed the FAQ section... Do it, this is your chance to inform the public!

 

4.. You haven't outlined how regularly you are going to update backers, and in what medium? Maybe backer only newsletter/you tube videos.

 

5. You should thinking about using tags... The gauntlets for example would fit in a cosplayers wardrobe too, and people pay a lot for it.

 

Hope this helps

 

 

 

I read everything I could on this online crowdfunding thing and there is a load of it.  Can't find it all.  I also followed the instructions on the site.  Will do some editing.

 

1.  On the rewards, I thought of a coupon for 10 or 20€, but those are not allowed.  Updates and photos.  It's a good idea.  I'll see if I can make a change.

2.  I understand this completely, but it makes little sense to me to offer a 130€ belt for a 130€ pledge.  If my project is fully backed in 29 days, I'll need near 75% of that funding to purchase materials to fill the orders.  You have more experience with crowdfunding than I, but to me it made little sense.  Unfortunately I cannot make changes.

i can do an update towards Nr. 1, above.

 

3.  Have already started that.

 

4.  I can post an update every couple of days.  But honestly, there will be little I can offer.  'Currently making a belt'  and the like.

5.  Tags?

 

59 minutes ago, hugsrock said:

While I'm here, 

 

Another thing you may want to consider is giving a belt to someone who you think represents your brand, is an influencer. Get the right person wearing one of your belts/bags, and tweeting it to thousands might give you a hell of a lot of orders.

 

Using your friend's example. Imagine if Stephen Spielberg tweeted I got my hand made belt from BayrischDude...go look him up here:

 

Have a think about it!

 

I think it a great idea.  I'll give him ring.  :lol:  Seriously, I find it a great idea, but how in the world does some unknown little guy in the the Oberallgäu make contact with an influencer?  I don't know any influencers... I think I understand the term though.  I wonder if Sandra Bullock needs a belt or bag...  :wub:

 

 

 

 

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Most of you have offered some really great advise, so I have another question.

 

Hugsrock and I have continued this discussion through my FB site.  Mostly the use of Kickstarter, which seems to be a non-starter.  Germans, seem to either know little of crowdfunding or don't trust it.  Perhaps they think it a pyramid scheme.  Be that as it might, Hugsrock had a grand idea and this could prove advantageous. 

 

Steven Spielberg.  Not him specifically, but a known person.  Understandable, these people want off-time, as do I.  How does one go about finding these well-known people?  Or, is there a TTer with 100K Twitter followers?  That would suit! 

 

Being realistic now, these people get bombarded with such offers.  I would be another drop in their pail. 

 

I think it a grand idea, but I need to look at this properly. 

 

Does anyone have a similar suggestion or know a semi-known person who is accessible?

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There is a fellow from the Ulm area who writes novels using "real" details, facts, history in his stories  set in different cities in the area. ( I am struggling to think of his name.)  Offer him a yarn from your former life (i.e. made up) and a unique   belt/bag from that  solves the case...

 

Even better : similar scenario, except its a" Krimi"  and your stuff gets featured. Who wouldn't enjoy a murder mystery set in a quaint place in the Allgau... (o.k. another murder mystery in the Allgau.)

 

Can you create description of  a good "bad guy" who wears your stuff? Or does the good guy wear it or the victim...

 

I'd offer to do the screenplay  but I was an accountant: dull as dishwater.

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You know @arunadasi is a published author of novels. She may have a big twitter following, or be part of some great gathering of readers and writers. She is vegetarian (or pescatarian?) but I can't remember if she has shared her views on leather!

 

Another thought is being featured in Landlust or one of the copies, who do feature articles on artisans and their products. Those magazines are extremely highly read. A friend's property was featured in it - I don't think money changed hands either way, but the magazine of course gets a story, and you get essentially a massive advert of discerning people.

 

 

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11 hours ago, easytodraw said:

There is a fellow from the Ulm area who writes novels using "real" details, facts, history in his stories  set in different cities in the area. ( I am struggling to think of his name.)  Offer him a yarn from your former life (i.e. made up) and a unique   belt/bag from that  solves the case...

 

Even better : similar scenario, except its a" Krimi"  and your stuff gets featured. Who wouldn't enjoy a murder mystery set in a quaint place in the Allgau... (o.k. another murder mystery in the Allgau.)

 

An Allgäu krimi... someone murders a cow and uses the hide to make bags and belts?  :lol:  An idea for Tatort! 

 

9 hours ago, kiplette said:

You know @arunadasi is a published author of novels. She may have a big twitter following, or be part of some great gathering of readers and writers. She is vegetarian (or pescatarian?) but I can't remember if she has shared her views on leather!

 

 

 

@arunadasi, what is your view on leather?  Are you a vegetarian or vegan?  If you are the latter, please don't stone me.  I have numerous vegetarian and vegan mates.  I respect them and ... well, they most like tolerate me.  Do have have a twitter following?  I only recently started a twitter account.  I am following 2 groups and I have no followers.  Rather proud of that!...the fact that I knew how to create the account. :lol:

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The ever helpful @PandaMunich reminded me of this old thread.  She forgets nothing!  :lol:  I sat and read over it this morning and found it an interesting read...most like for me alone.  Everyone who provided their 'two-cent' was definitely appreciated for taking time and offering thoughts and ideas.

Should I update? 

At the time, May 2018, I had been looking at this small unfriendly shop, with an unfriendly landlord, hidden in the pedestrian zone.  Not long after I returned to Scotland with a few Allgäuers to tackle to West Highland Way.  If this is something you've not done, I highly recommend it.  I've done now four times and will go again next year with a good friend who lives here from New Castle and we will also tackle Ben Nevis!

Regardless, I returned home and later in 2018 there was a shop offered in the pedestrian zone to let, directly in one of the main streets.  I had been in before when it was a media design business, so I had an idea of the layout.  Ground floor, upstairs and a cellar.  All three at 44qm, each.  I met with the landlady, who has since become a good friend, and we had a coffee and chat. I wanted to move in a create a shop - flat.  Convert the first floor to livingroom, kitchen and bath and half the cellar to a bedroom, at my cost and keep the ground floor as the shop.  She was in and my local bank gave me the needed funds for the renovations.  This had been the Raiffeisen Bank years ago.  I keep digging in the cellar floor, but no buried money thus far! :ph34r:

We began in December 2018 on the renovations and I moved in fully on 01.03.19, although I had begun to work in the shop in January.  Had a huge Einweihungsparty!  ...and so it began...

Expectedly, I took a loss in 2019, renovations being what they were, but a steady flow of customers.  Oddly, 2020 was a solid year, Corona aside, and I began to have Stammkunde.  Last year was not as good as 2020, but still a steady stream of customers.  I Learned I was not the only one to suffer last year here in Immenstadt.  Others as well, but not one shop closed during Corona (NKD finally left the town centre! It was across from the Schloß! Bah!)

Now, in October 2022, I can honestly say this was a good decision.  My debt to the bank was paid off last year, I have a professionally built website, my skills improve weekly and my client base increases constantly. I also get the odd student. Two orders yesterday and the items are planned for February next year.  Seldom a complaint on turn around time.  Probably 10 online orders per year, with about 30 email or phone inquiries. 

I meet loads of nice people each day and I truly enjoy making things that my customers seem to really enjoy having.  At 58, I hope I can continue this until I'm 70.  I hope.

Downsides?  Suppliers.  Obtaining the leather I need and the small metal fiddly bits can be difficult.  Brexit put a hamper on my stock of English Bridle Leather, but it still comes along, just more expensive.

Also, having one door to the shop and flat... rather a pain. 

And...understanding the complexity that is German taxes! :blink::wacko:

Otherwise, I'm quite happy with this chapter in my world. 

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Wow, glad that worked out for you, among all the stories of woe where people start out with big dreams that end in a big floundering on the shores of reality it´s comforting to hear a success story.

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Thank you Slammer.  One item that helped I did not mention was the support of the other shops.  Immenstadt is small - 11.000 people.  We have a good number of shops and a rather good amount of locally owned speciality shops in the pedestrian zone...aside from Tedi, Müller and Takko.  This shops have truly helped.  I've worked to become friendly with them and chat up the owners.  Wednesday mornings I'll make the odd round of stopping in to say 'Servus' have a coffee and do collaborations with them.  This has truly helped.  Clients come round after having been in other shops due to the shop keeper or sales person having recommended me.  

Everything little thing helps.

Thanks for the compliment!
 

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On 12/10/2022, 16:11:52, fraufruit said:

Just saw the update. Thrilled for you!

 

I never doubted.

Thank you herself. :lol:   Very kind words.

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