Today I and my class had the good fortune to be visited by the director of The Design Trust, Patricia Van Den Akker. She came to talk to us about what we must do to start our own businesses and to discuss the essentials of the business world. Mrs Van Den Akker taught us of her 9 steps to discovering where your interests are in the market and how to rule your niche. She believes that finding your niche is the key to loving what you do and she stated that you will never be known for what you do unless you design for a niche “instead of being a small fish in a big pond, get a smaller pond”. These 9 steps allow you to create your own pond and enjoy what you do. The steps are as follows and each comes with ways to discover how it relates to you.
- Step 1 – How to find your niche?
- Step 2 – Who are your role models?
- Step 3 – What do you want?
- Step 4 – Why do you want it?
- Step 5 – What do you sell?
- Step 6 – Who are your ideal clients?
- Step 7 – Where will you sell?
- Step 8 – When will you sell?
- Step 9 – People only buy from people they know, like and trust
your specialism + your target market = your niche
Using these steps you really can discover exactly what you want and how to get it. I intend to work through this exercise very soon and will post the results on my blog as soon as I have.
Mrs Van Den Akker finished up with her “15 vital steps into business for graduates”. I found these steps very useful and I am currently on my way to completing them. The steps are posted bellow:
- Identify your niche
- What’s your business name (get a logo)
- Register with the tax man (if you intend to sell)
- Get a professional website and email address
- Create a 100 word intro and about page
- Get fabulous images (and tag appropriately)
- Create an online presence ( website, portfolio site, online shop)
- Get business cards
- Manage time wisely (50% marketing, 40% crafting and 10% admin and learning)
- Identify 20 potential (trade) clients (approach them personally and professionally)
- Identify 10 people that can help you (advice, mentors, support, referrals, suppliers, peers, tutors)
- Participate in shows and group projects
- Create and grow your database
- Stay in touch (without being a nuisance)
- Work with and learn from other creative suppliers
I have been struggling to condense all my business ides to date but I am finding it a lot easier now that I can work my heard around what was said today.
Thank you very much to mike press for organising the talk and of course thank you very much Patricia Van Den Akker for taking the time out to give us her fantastic and inspiring talk.