Less Information Can Be More: Your Handmade Business

Every couple months we do a recap of our most popular newsletter and podcast topic! And we include responses to the discussion of these topics from members in our forums. Enjoy.

Have you ever started to embark on a project and because you are such a thorough business owner you immediately embarked on research. And then more research. And pretty soon you were wondering if you need even more research to begin.

One of the best things in grad school for my dissertation was a deadline. Over and over again my professors told me to “just start” because the dangers of getting bogged down in research are real. It’s very easy to feel like you can’t say anything or do anything until you have ALL the facts-- but frankly that is just not humanly possible.

The same is true in business. Eventually you have to pull a trigger. It can be very easy to keep ourselves from taking the risk that comes with starting on a new thing, so burying ourselves in research is an easy out. I mean, it does look productive from the outside.

Too much info also keeps us from making decisions. When I was a wee lass in college learning the marketing ropes, one of the first things I was taught was that you want to give your customer choices-- but not too many. Why? Because then they become overly analytical and once they make a decision they are never satisfied because they believe there might be a perfect choice out there and they aren’t sure if they made it.

Same is true in business. Do I use this person’s Instagram strategy or this other person’s? Same with wholesale, marketing, product development, etc. Too much info can make you think there is an elusive perfect way out there. There isn’t! And guess what… if you find it’s not working you can go down another path!

I know it’s hard to know what you don’t know and when to stop, but ask yourself honestly if you’ve done your homework or if you’re now just trying to avoid something scary?

Want more on the subject?

Listen to episode 6 of our podcast Your Handmade Business below:

Here's what our members had to say

Every week in our network, members come together to discuss topics relevant to their businesses. Here's what some of our members had to say about information overload:

"So true. So much info out there. So many people selling courses and offering free training. It's almost an endless loop of info that you can get stuck in like a hamster wheel and never actually get anything implemented." - Rita Cheng of Heart & Art Cottage

I find that it is helpful to focus on one topic or course at a time. It's also good to either take your time going through the course so that you can implement as you go, or schedule time on your calendar for implementation immediately following.- Kimberly Taylor-Pestell of Lacelit

"I resemble that remark. I am on a mission to organize all the free and paid for courses and resources I've accumulated like a pack rat, and going to prioritize institutionally which one I feel will have the most positive impact for me right now and just focus on that! Fingers crossed :)" - Arrowyn Craban Lauer of Little Gold Fox Designs 

"There are a ton of resources and courses out there! That and groups. I used to get completely overwhelmed with it all and if I fell behind I'd get anxiety over the "need" I imposed on myself to catch up. Not anymore. I now look at what I am currently doing and what I am needing help on. I then focus on that subject and once I feel like I am getting the hang of it, I move on. I also have stopped feeling like I need to be a part of so many groups. I've picked just a few that are beneficial to me. And if I get behind on them, so be it. I just pick it back up where it is at the moment and go on from there. I'd never sleep if I tried to stay on top of all of it all the time. Letting go and putting focus on one thing at a time has been a huge release for me." - Wendy Vitzthum of Av Jorden

Relevant Resources from The Academy of Handmade

Productivity tools for Makers
Crowdsourcing could kill your business
Trust your inner voice

Members of the Academy of Handmade have access to even more resources and can join the conversation in our Mighty Network.