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Ready, Aim - Make Ceramics

-- 2011-06-16 2:00 am --

The economy is tanking, folks are wondering how they're going to make the mortgage payment this month, while still others are wondering how they're going to feed the children this week. I don't have to tell you how grim it is because all you have to do is walk down the street. There are no smiles on faces, only dazed eyes constantly roaming for answers. Except you. You just landed an account with two major realtors in your city for custom ceramics for them to place in houses for sale, because they saw your work in others' sales plans and it sold houses for them.

Maybe your thing doesn't involve a kiln or clay. Your specialty could be air fresheners you make yourself, which could possibly be marketed to small gas stations, automotive stores or even hospitals. If your thing is food that can be carried to construction sites, marinas or college campuses in town, then you have the makings of a small business. Perhaps your forte is knowledge. Your friends all come to you for advice or services, so why not construct a small business around it? Nothing is a better foul-economy-buster than targeting a market and then supplying it.

Sometimes identifying a market is no more difficult than sitting in Starbucks listening to the conversation around you. People do grumble over their coffee, don't they? Listening to their wishes and what they're lacking can be an eye-opener. Looking at the closed store-fronts in town and listening to passers-by on the sidewalk saying what business would be perfect for that particular store-front could net someone an idea for a small business. Many times the help-wanted ads in penny-saver type magazines or online list type sites can supply ideas for a market to target.

Many times ideas stay in people's heads because they are afraid the ideas will be laughed at. Remember the realtors and the ceramics? If your thing is painting murals on dining room walls or the tray ceiling in the master bedroom, get out there and market yourself. Restaurants doing a re-fit would appreciate hearing from you. Is your talent math? How many after-school or day care centers are around you who might appreciate fun ways of helping the children learn? Making flash cards is old-school, but it's still done. Why not construct a toy like a cell phone-type thing with cutesy graphics to teach them math?

Before you put your idea into production, a small survey would help boost that confidence. Social sites online can be used to get answers to a couple simple suggestions, in addition to going around to your targeted profession and asking some targeted questions. But questions are only the beginning. Get a pad and pencil to carry with you always to jot down ideas or target markets along with questions for both. Once armed with an idea and a market, the fun can begin with production, marketing, supplying a demand and customer relations. How about ceramic cars for auto insurance offices?