June 24, 2017

Introduction

 

Successful Ceramic Studio 

Why a book on ceramic studio business? Well, there are many reasons, the most important being that when you are an entrepreneur, working 12 hours or more a day and being up to your neck in one’s daily challenges, there is often little time to consider basic questions about your business, such as

  1. What is my present financial situation?
  2. Is my marketing leading me in the right direction?
  3. Do I have enough time to plan for my future?
  4. What do my customers think about my business?
  5. Is my customer service great or just average?
  6. Do I have time to stay on top of new trends, new products, changes in customers’ tastes?
  7. Do I have enough financing to pursue new business opportunities?
  8. Does my daily planning give me room for an overview of my business?
  9.  Am I physically and psychologically in good shape?
  10.  Am I prepared to meet future growth?

 Those are basic questions, just some of them. I this book, I will address these challenges. And, as you will find out, in addition you will have access to our Successful Ceramics website with forums where to ask questions and get access to expert advice to solve your problems and challenges.

This is not a book on ceramic techniques. There are hundreds of books and articles guiding you in these aspects. In this book we will deal with the business aspects, with growing, operating and making money – creating profits over the longer term. 

When I started this book, my main challenge was how to reach all types of ceramic studios – all of them being different in one aspect or another. How would I address all the particular issues for the very many different types of ceramic studios in existence? Should I concentrate on one type of ceramic studio and forget about the rest? For instance, how do I address the particular questions a start-up has compared to a mature studio?

Also, what do the owners of small or large pottery studios, traditional teaching studios,  contemporary ceramic studios, china painting studio, porcelain dollmaking studios,  porcelain figurine making studios and a plethora of specialty studios focusing on a particular segment of ceramics, have in common? Well, if you think about it – a lot.  

It turned out that this perceived problem could be solved by addressing issues that pertain to all studios. So, by tackling areas that any ceramic studio deals with, I hope I am giving everybody inspiration and guidance. And with this approach, it turned out not to be a major issue at all.

The global landscape of ceramic studio businesses, tens of thousands of them, is extremely broad, but all of them have plenty of challenges in common. I have divided up the chapters in my book under major umbrella subjects, such as those pertaining to start-up, marketing, financing, operating, controlling, managing, employing, promoting – and also sprinkled in a few interviews with successful studio owners. This does not make it complete, but can help any studio owner searching for solutions to particular problems and get some good ideas and inspirations.

Each area could be the subject of an entire book. We all have strengths and weaknesses and very little time. My aim is to point out challenges that you will meet and try to make you think right about your business. Before you can solve a problem, you must identify what that problem really is. This sounds self-evident but in the land of business, this step is many times the most difficult one. With so much information available in business books through associations and on-line today, there are solutions available. But finding the right answer starts with asking the right question. This book will help you do that.

This book started as an e-book published on line under the name of “Successful Ceramics”. The chapters were made available as they were written and published on the website with the same name over a period of a year and a half.  In the process I also opened up a forum for discussions and questions on the site, which you will find under www.successfulceramics.com. The site will remain on line, live. The idea is to have a meeting place where you can discuss and hash out particular challenges with me and fellow business owners.

After all, we all have the same objective, namely success in achieving profits while operating our ceramic studio businesses over many enjoyable years in a fascinating field.

 

 

Copyright Protection
© 2011 by Rolf E. Ericson, Oneonta, New York, publisher. All rights reserved. Photocopying, reproduction , copying, or redistribution of any kind in printed or electronic form is strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher.