One of the hardest parts about running a business is putting something totally new out there. You may think you have an awesome idea that your dream customers are going to LOVE, but until you put it out there and get feedback, you're biting your nails in anticipation and making yourself sick with all kinds of self-doubt "what if nobody buys this", "what if they hate it", "what if it doesn't meet their expectations"?
As an entrepreneur, one of the most rewarding and most difficult things you will do is CREATE. Actually take your ideas and turn them into a product or service to help people. And when people buy it, you'll be over the moon, and when they love it, well there's no greater feeling!
Creating new products can feel like throwing a bunch of thumb tacks at a wall and hoping that some of them will stick.
If you decide to start a business, just know that you will have hits and misses, but the thing that will set you apart from those who fail is that you will listen to feedback and keep on creating based on what your customers are telling you.
Sometimes, I create a design that I think is going to sell like hotcakes. And then it just sits there forever, no one buys it. So I tweak and make changes, sometimes updating colors, sometimes just scrapping the whole design and starting fresh. Other times, I create a design on the fly, inspired by a comment from a customer or a trend I've seen lately and it sells like crazy!
The key is to keep on designing and learning from the process. Keep putting things out there and asking for your customers to provide feedback. They are, after all, your most important marketing tool. Listen to them and give them what they want. Listen to them and make changes if you need to. Treat them well and they will continue to buy from you and tell their friends about you. That is the key to running a successful business.
The creative process can sometimes be a lonely one, and it can feel like it's just you sitting behind a computer screen pouring your time and energy into something, hoping that others will like it. Asking for, and receiving feedback can help you to feel connected to your customers and can reassure that you're on the right track.
At the end of the day, running a business is not just about what you like, it's about giving your customers what they want. Now, that doesn't mean sacrificing your own sense of style or creating products that are not an authentic reflection of your brand - but it does mean listening really well to what your customers are asking for - and then giving it to them in the best possible way you can.
When you're first starting out, the idea of getting feedback and criticism (even constructively presented) can be super intimidating. But it's such an important part of developing your creativity. That's why in my Start A Party Printables Business Course I've given students the opportunity to share their designs with me and receive my honest feedback on their work. I always try to let them know what I like about their designs, and also what tweaks they can implement to make their designs even stronger.
What is your creative process like? Do you tap into a community or your customers for feedback? Let me know in the comments below!