In my work with cooperatives and artisan entrepreneurs, if I mention the word accounting, their attention wonders and eyes glaze over. So how do I address the need for a sound business model? -for costing concept and product development? for costing sourcing? costing supplies? costing market testing? costing marketing and merchandising? for pricing and linking to the market? Maybe a little piece of my CAKE, can do it! -along with your ipad.
The group at MYCAKE.ORG concepted and brought to the web the answer. My Cake is a financial toolkit that accounts for your actions as an artisan and serves as a base of knowledge on how best to cost and price your creations. It accounts for money flows, both in and out of your business. And we all know that a lack of cash flow can kill your business quickly, and poor profitability kills it slowly. Take a look at their 10 reason why My cake cuz MyCake has it all figured out!
The designer/makers over at Cockpit Arts, UK's only social enterprise creative incubator, uses my Cake... you should too. They offer 2 month free trail on the website.
Why ipad? Because the other thing that I notice is workshops full of produced products that were made in 2001. Front yards packed with carvings of stone and wood. Cupboards full of dust covered boxes, containing handcrafts. Meaning? Most of the items were produced, with no market in mind.
Remember the "signature sheep" blog post? A good business model with market tested prototypes is essential, before spending the time and money. So you ask... "what is a business model? I have a plan. What is a model?"
The Business Generator has an ipad app that combines the speed of a "napkin sketch" with the smarts of a spreadsheet. They say it enables you to map, build, test and iterate your business ideas fast. And these days that is the name of the game.
Stay tuned, as I will give you some insight into the variables of a good business model in artisan speak!