Specificity and Paring Down

Keeping it simple in business has always been a huge challenge for me. And that’s putting it mildly. I come from a very artistic, creative family and I find inspiration everywhere. I finish something (a new moisturizer, a new perfume, etc.) and before I’ve uploaded it, I’m off to the next project. I get into a new project and want to add it to the shop, only to find it doesn’t sell. I get a new packaging idea and I spend a lot of money on the supplies, only to abandon the idea two months later. Let me tell you, my office is filled with bits and pieces of this and that – burlap bags, white gift boxes, brown gift boxes, jute twine, baker’s twine, rubber stamps, fancy pens, pretty stickers… All things that were, at one point, indispensable to a product or a marketing idea, and that quickly fell off the radar.

And targeting a demographic? No way! I have been completely incapable of doing that. In the past, I’ve said I’m targeting men and woman from 14 to 100 who want gentle, natural products. People who might be educated and knowledgeable of the chemicals in traditional products. People who might be socially conscious enough to appreciate homemade, natural products. People who are trying to avoid using plastic (which I have found to be a super small demographic, in itself.) Conscientious moms, pimple-addled teens, ambitious male cyclists who need a good muscle rub, new age goddesses who love natural perfumes, older women who want something gentle for their skin… Could this demographic be any bigger? Any more general?

I have realized some things as I work on unrolling a complete overhaul of Five Seed: I cannot function in this mental mess and lack of focus. It is unprofitable, unproductive and very stressful. I think this is something all of us small business owners need to address at some point.

So I’m working on specificity. It’s oddly terrifying, but whenever I freak out, I remind myself that there's great relief in keeping things simple. I literally can’t keep going with all the products, the packaging and the total lack of a target audience.

Here’s what I have so far:

::I’m starting to put the focus on products I consistently love the most and on products that receive the most feedback. Flower Balm has become the backbone of my line and I cannot believe how many people have found it helpful for them. That’s what I want – for people to find healing with my products, as I did. I want to support the use of folk medicine and spread awareness of this disappearing art.

As I brainstorm on all this, I’m trying to figure out how I want to rearrange and reconfigure my product line. There’s a lot of change coming in that department!

::I’m accepting the fact that I need to take a deep breath and finally pinpoint my peeps. Who knows where it will lead or what it will limit and/or expand. I’m ready.

Who are my peeps? Women who…

…are in their 30’s (or late 20's...or early 40's...LOL)

…value the earth and have a strong sense of stewardship for our beautiful little planet

…believe in the power of folk medicine

…value their inner beauty as much, if not more, than their outer beauty

…understand the inherent power, strength and sexuality of the female body

…aren’t afraid of going out in public without wearing makeup

…don’t count calories

…pursue health not because it’s trendy but because they love and value themselves

Is that specific enough? Honestly, I’m not sure! But I’m working on it.

How have you business owners struggled with specificity (in any area of your business)? How have you kept things simple and focused?