Find Your BIG IDEA and Keep It Simple
By Jane Button
As a creative person who has either recently launched a new
business or if you're just starting out trying to figure out just
what product to start with, it's a good idea to keep it simple.
Keeping your base categories and product line straight forward
helps your customer know exactly who you are, what you offer and
how they can relate to your brand.
Make sure your potential customers or clients understand
exactly what you do. Get known for being the best
"__________" If they don't understand your products or the need
for them - good-bye potential customer! And pretty much - good-bye
One of my clients came to me with a line of clothing she had
started for the kids market. Her sales were low even though
everything was beautifully designed and manufactured. As we
evaluated the line it was clear her focus had been on separates
without telling a story or creating collections. It seemed
scattered and random. She also offered way too many sizes and
options. We narrowed the size ranges and then concentrated on
building collections and color ways. It allowed her customers to
really understand her strength - and consequently sales grew
rapidly. The reason? Her brand was now understood in the
Just because you can make more products does not mean you
should. Keep some on the back burner. When you start a
business you need to create momentum and traction - therefore best
to keep it simple, and then later on add to the offerings.
So often, as creatives, we have a tendency to over complicate -
wanting to launch too much too soon, too many products and too
many ideas all at the same time. Sure you've got enthusiasm, but
sometimes being over-enthusiastic leads to confusion. And we all
know a confused buyer makes no decision - meaning there is no
It's not because we're trying to make it complicated, it's that we
have so many ideas we want to implement - and of course most of us
suffer from "BSOS: Bright Shiny Object Syndrome" which we need to
get under control.
The Simplification or Editing Process:
down all your BIG IDEAS
- everything you can think of what you want to do or what you
want to add to your existing line. Or if you are editing products
you currently sell in your business - lay them out in front of you
or on a wall.
For each BIG IDEA
make a list
of all the component parts for potential product
development. That would include all the steps for creating the
product, component parts, packaging, manufacturing, and shipping.
is the most complicated?
And would take the most resources?
Ask people you trust
- be careful here because you don't necessarily want to give away
your BIG IDEA and you also don't want to go outside that group of
people who support you being an entrepreneur.
which are the most easily understood by your potential customers.
You want to make sure they understand your point of view and core
decide, move forward
- remember in most cases less is more. Simplicity is a good thing.
7. Be patient
- as your business grows you will be able to add more - get the
core going first!
Your final line or product is your core message - and the place
from which you should begin. Later you will be able to add more -
your customer needs to understand you first.