It's an odd time to be giving advice on starting and building a creative business because it looks like the sky is in the process of falling in. As I'm typing this, the "bail-out" is being debated and the markets look like this:
and part of me just wants to hide under the quilt (with whatever I have converted into gold under the mattress - though it wouldn't go far) and hope it will all blow over. But it won't. I actually do think that we are seeing the end of extreme, unfettered market capitalism - and personally I had a hunch this was bound to happen when Soviet communism ended - somehow one ideological system had propped up the other. With any luck the outcome will be a softer, more humane type of middle of the road capitalism with a good dollop of gentle socialism thrown in. Er, if we don't just slide into fascism that is.
So. Is there any point in even trying to run a business that's selling anything other than the basics? Well, yes, there is. The world will not stop. People will still want some fantasy and beauty in their lives. And - if you think of the 1930s, these wild times actually can produce extraordinary art and design. However, it might be an idea to rethink strategy now - change demands change and you may well not be able to follow your own five-year business plan (assuming you ever had one - the futility of such plans may well become my "point 25" when we get there).
It's probably time to look at new ways of doing things. Some thoughts on that in my next post. Firstly though, I need to send a letter to our "base bag" supplier to say we have decided to change to using silk-mix rather than silk in some of our products. Thus taking a really big chunk off the final price while keeping the exact same look.