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LETS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Question :
Hi there, I’m an artist supplying retailers throughout NZ (tourist, design and gallery stores). I do art prints and accessory products. What to do when stores and printers have closed and no couriers. I’m on Insta, FB, Etsy and sell through website and wholesale. Any ideas on where to focus now would be appreciated, thanks :)

Question submitted 30/03/20 @ 06:15pm
Industry: Creative Services
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  • Hi Cathy.

    Unfortunately with this lock down in place it’s going to be very challenging. You’re not the only one out there facing this issue so I’d suggest you still keep marketing yourself through the channels mentioned and inform your potential clients that once we go back to normal you will be able to send out any purchased item. The key here is communication and understanding. Keep communicating with your clients / network and they will understand.

    I’d be happy to take a call if that would help to.

    Regards

    Andy

    Hi Cathy – can you switch to selling vouchers now for products to be delivered later? Check out this initiative which is trying this to solve a similar challenge
    http://www.soscafe.nz

    HI Cathy – thinking about this, maybe split your business into (1) wholesale sales – look at your top customers, talk to them, find out what they are up too, what they are thinking about the future and how you could partner with them – you guys are all in this together – explore what you could do to get through now and also prepare for the revival (2) web sales – take a look at the month on month sales for last 1-2 years, see any patterns, see if there are any regular customers that have purchased a few times, go to them and ask they ‘why’ did they buy from you, and then maybe go back to them with ‘would you like to buy something else’ which sounds wrong, you would need to think about that and how you positioned it – but don’t be afraid to ask – what is the worst that they say no – at least you know!!

    Finally – new potential customers – where else could you hunt for prospects, you could start with the work in 2 above around who has bought from you over the last couple years, understand their profile and then see if you can go out online and find more people like that – and / or ask them to refer anyone like them who might like what you offer or you could even ask the 2 people if they want to gift their same print to a friend if they buy a new print from you.

    I would just say – hustle, learn from patterns, turn over stones and just be the best awesome owner of a business who makes great products that you can – and ask for the order!!

    Hi Cathy
    The answer will depend on your particular kind of art.
    Clearly your tourism-focused NZ retailers are not going to be as good a channel as it may have been for you in the past so I would tend to focus on your design and gallery sales.
    Your strategies for these channels will depend on a number of factors including whether you have a specific “brand” for your work, and also your product and price.
    It’s highly likely that what people are looking for in design stores and galleries after the lockdown will subtly change, so it also depends how flexible you are to respond to this new demand.
    It might be good to talk to friends who have similar tastes to the people who have bought your work and listen for what they might love to make their homes feel better/fresh after spending 4-12 weeks in them.
    Hope that helps a little.
    Paul

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