Fun with business decisions...
Yarn shops are struggling through the recession. While on the one hand, it's inevitable that a time will come when the weaker members of the herd are picked off, leaving the strong shops even stronger, on the other hand it's difficult to know if I should continue to put all my eggs in the LYS basket. I've focused my business plan on selling wholesale only, and while my business grew a lot in 2009 (and I can't complain too much about sales of my book, either, and I relied mainly on shops and Amazon to get my book out there), I'm wondering if it's sustainable. There are so many pattern lines out there - how do shop owners make a choice to buy my patterns over the gajillion others vying for their attention? For that matter, how do knitters?
I'm also suffering terrible burnout this winter. Usually the January TNNA show is the turning point, and we'll see how I feel when I come back from Long Beach. If we have a great show, it will confirm I'm on the right track with my business and I'll keep doing what I'm doing for another year. If it's a bad show...well...then come the hard choices. Do I turn my focus to pdf downloads? Do I start selling retail from my website and/or Ravelry? I'm conducting a small experiment right now with a couple of my patterns, offering them for sale on Ravelry to see what happens. I'd love to get beyond all the printing and sleeving of hard copy patterns, but I have a feeling I'd miss out on a huge market segment by not doing it.
See what fun it is to be a small business owner? And I bet you thought I got to knit and come up with new designs all day! If only. I won't even start on my bookkeeping rant (except to say I hate it so) - I've got packing to do!
If you'll be in Long Beach this weekend, stop by Booth 348 to say hi! As for the rest of you, stop back next week to see the new designs we've got for spring. There are some good ones, if I do say so myself!