What does it look like to be thriving in your business?


Let’s imagine this life together: 
You wake up slowly in the morning (without an alarm), sip on hot coffee, and spend some time reading your favorite book. Around nine am you get ready and head to your studio about five minutes down the road from your home. Your assistant is already there for the morning and hard at work answering emails and processing orders received from the night before. You tie your apron around your waist and get started on a clean white canvas. Your studio assistant puts Amos Lee on Spotify as she packs new orders and fills you in on last night's episode of The Bachelor.

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This is Britt Bass' life now. But it did not look like this when we first met. 

When we met, Britt was really considering quitting. Getting a job a Starbucks where she could have a paycheck and benefits and just paint on the side was sounding pretty tempting. She realized she was so busy packing orders that she didn’t have to time to actually paint to fulfill the orders...she knew there was a problem. She was so busy handling the day to day, that her business would surely flat line if something didn’t change soon. For Britt, making sure the price of each product covered not only the cost to produce it, but also built in margin for overhead costs and company profit was transformational. Her products no longer cost her money to make, but allowed her the cushion to hire staff, try new things, and expand into new markets. Essentially it was her financial margin that gave her the freedom to grow creatively.

I'll let Britt tell you more...

 
 
 
 

Creating margin in your pricing lets you do your thing + allows for growth in your business.


Britt's a painter. But until she got her prices right she was doing everything but painting! Now, instead of worrying about packing, shipping, and email, she can focus on creating, growing and expanding. As a business owner we often believe we have to wear all the hats. Sometimes it’s a pride thing, like a martyr who believes their sacrifice evokes honor. More often, I think it’s a fear thing. There is risk involved in giving away precious dollars especially when we are more than capable of typing out emails on our own. But there comes a time when you embrace that you can't do it all and that, in fact, everything will be better when you don't do it all. You have to plan for that in your pricing, but if you do, it leads to good things, I promise.

Creating financial margin also creates margin for your mind.


According to Britt in an interview here: "In order to keep my creative tank full I need to be rested and have my physical, mental, and emotional tanks full, too. To do this, I give myself social media time-outs, I take off afternoons when I need to, and I try to never work nights and weekends. I fill up on community, reading, long walks, and lots of laughter and gratitude. When all that is good, I am able to receive inspiration and get inspired to make great work."

Do you think this was happening when I first met Britt, when she was doing it all herself? No way. 

The point of all of this is not just to make more money so you can have more money. We want to help you become more profitable so you can keep creating, growing, and thrive.

Can you imagine what your day would look like if you were in your sweet spot and thriving?
 

 

Written by Shanna Skidmore. Photos of Britt Bass' work by Kathryn McCrary.


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Transcript of video:

Britt:

 

I had just launched my business going full-time, and I was doing a lot of commission work and original paintings. I did have a print shop, and I had just started doing my first batch of phone cases. But everything was not very intentionally thought out, I was just sort of keeping my head above water and flying by the seat of my pants, I was just sort of scrounging to get by….if I go back and look at the numbers now, I truly was just getting by. I barely had any profit margin at all.

The biggest principles that I have learned from working with Shanna have been budget and how to create margin in my product lines, and how to create sustainable business models so that I can add in products that may or may not work or could totally fail but that’s okay because I have padding. The most important thing was trying to find my true costs of all my products so that took a really long time but that’s been the most beneficial thing that she’s taught me how to do is break down not only my cost of materials, but my overhead, the cost of my time, and then on top of that create my margin for my profit.

What i’ve learned the most through this process is that it will not be sustainable if I don’t price it x way, that this will all be for naught if I don’t price it correctly to make it where I can make this sustainable for me and my family. Yeah, because I had so much growth in the beginning I really needed help I was spending all my time focusing on the everyday manwork of getting things packed and shipped and up on the website and things like that. I did not really have time to paint so therefore my business wasn’t really growing. So I’ve pretty much hired now everything that I can - I’ve hired people now to handle my emails, my packing & shipping, and all the behind the scenes work that I can’t do by myself.

I was kind of stuck before only being able to grow just so much, and now I’m really able to catapult my business into a bunch of different markets where as before I only had a few.