5 Key Lessons Learned While Growing a Million Dollar Handmade Business
As a handmade business owner, hitting your first 5-figure, 6-figure, or 7-figure year is a huge milestone with tons of learning lessons along the way. I hit the million dollars per year mark in my handmade business in 2018, and I thought I would share some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned over the years as a handmade seller.
5 Lessons of a Million Dollar Handmade Business
Lesson 1 - Entrepreneurship Isn’t Easy
Anyone that tells you running your own business is easy is a liar. It’s not easy, especially at the beginning, but even once you’ve hit success (whatever that means for you and your goals), there are constant obstacles, fears, and new areas to focus on.
It does get easier, but I would never call it easy. Well, parts of it get easier and parts get harder ;)
We love what we do and the business we’ve built, but easy? Heck no.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, and it will test you at every opportunity. However, if you have the passion and dedication needed to succeed, you will. It’s just a matter of when, and as long as you keep going and moving forward, you’re a great entrepreneur!
Lesson 2 - Always Have Goals
When I hit 6-figures, I didn’t slow down. I instead focused on how I could take the business growth even further and didn’t settle.
A growth mindset and always having the next goal in mind are key for keeping yourself and your business moving. Nobody wants a stagnant business. You want to create one where the growth and opportunities are endless.
Once you hit a goal or business milestone, celebrate your accomplishments! Then, make a plan for where you want your business to go next.
Lesson 3 - Hire Help Sooner Rather Than Later
Most handmade business owners struggle with this and usually hire help when they are already swamped and overwhelmed. Having to onboard or train a new employee when you’re already stressed out likely isn’t the best idea.
Always hire before you are actually ready and plan for seasonal increases once you have a few years of sales data to back you up on those key hiring decisions.
Lesson 4 - Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight
If you are a new handmade seller, you might feel defeated when you see others making 6 or 7-figures, but how long have they been working on their business?
You can’t compare your first chapter to someone else’s middle chapter. Most people don’t have viral success overnight, and when it comes to business, slow and steady growth is way more sustainable and strategic anyway.
Focus on your own growth and year over year increase.
Lesson 5 - Always Focus on Growing
Focusing on business growth and asking yourself the right questions to move your business forward is essential. Even how you look at failures can affect your growth mindset. You need to be open to pivoting, changing with the market, listening to your audience, and world changes.
Many businesses had to pivot over the last few years, and so many didn’t let the pandemic slow them down. One great example is a photographer who, instead of being down because they couldn’t do in-person shoots, pivoted and launched a virtual photoshoot option for clients via Zoom and their phone!
How awesome is that?
It’s that kind of growth and innovative thinking that is the difference between businesses thriving or failing.
I hope these lessons have gotten you thinking about your own business and how you can make some minor changes to move the needle forward. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post; feel free to reach out to see if working with me as a business coach and mentor is a good fit.